Under the World Bank project "CBNRM Initiative" (see Note 3), that is, at the international workshop on Community-Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM), in Washington DC, May 1998, the participants were invited to submit recommendations for concrete follow-up activities. These recommendations were addressed to: (a) The World Bank, (b) the governments in the respective home countries, and (c) themselves. The networking activities under this project were emphasized strongly in the recommendations prepared by the workshop participants. Specifically for the World Bank, the recommendations overwhelmingly called for a virtual network of and for the participants to be organized. This was understood as necessary, given that most participants – as well as future CBNRM stakeholders – had never met before, worked in different areas and ecosystems, and lived in different countries around the world. Originally a World Bank activity, in 2000 CBNRM Net became a project under the Norwegian NGO "CBNRM Networking". In 2001 the World Bank CPRNet (see Sources) opted to merge with CBNRM Net.
Building the Network
The "CBNRM Initiative" immediately set about implementing this recommendation of a network, which was called CBNRM Net. Importantly, it included also World Bank staff. Given the widespread location of its members around the world, it was deemed necessary that it be a virtual network, one that would base its communication strategy primarily on the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), specifically Internet and email.
It was early on featured on the World Bank's intranet, and gradually also on a dedicated domain (see Sources).
In addition to facilitating communication between the World Bank, and later on CBNRM Net, and its members, it was also a goal that CBNRM Net should address knowledge management. That is, assemble documents on CBNRM, including research and descriptive documents, and make them available to those interested. The knowledge management aspect of CBNRM Net has mainly been done via the website.
During the first several years there were two main activities, consisting of building websites and publishing newsletters.
First, building the CBNRM Net website (and also the CBNRM Networking website), and maintaining it (that is, specifically populate it with documents to realize the knowledge management focus).
Second, publishing Newsletters. The World Bank CPRNet (see Note 3) opted to join CBNRM Net in 2001, the CPRNet Newsletter series continued as CBNRM Net Newsletters. The CBNRM Net Newsetters were published in the period 2001-2006. After 2006 the CBNRM Net Newsletters have not been published. There were two main reasons for this: Issuing these newsletters is a pretty time-consuming affair, and it was all done by Lars Soeftestad. Eventually he could not defend continuing to invest time in doing this. An additional factor was that, although users prised the initiative very few got involved, even in contributing material. The second main reason for discontinuing the newsletter series was that the whole communication landscape changed, and quite fast. in the beginning, access to Internet and email was
The network was coordinated by Lars Soeftestad. When he left the World Bank in 2000 to move back to Norway, there appeared to be no possibility on the side of the World Bank to take it over, and continue these important networking activities. Accordingly, since 2000 the Network has been managed out of Norway, formally as a project of the Norwegian NGO "CBNRM Networking" (see Sources).