Land use decision making requires knowledge integration from a wide range of stakeholders across science and practice. Many participatory methods and instruments aiming at such science-practice interaction have been developed during the last decades. However, there are methodological challenges, and little evidence neither about the methodological applicability and practicability under diverse socio-political conditions nor about their dynamics. The objective of this paper is to offer some insights on the design and implementation of reasonable science-practice interaction. The Chinese-German project SURUMER (Sustainable rubber cultivation in the Mekong region) served as a case study with the aim of developing sustainable land use strategies for rubber cultivation in southwest China. A triangulation of methods tailor-made for every specific stakeholder group allows the gradual deepening and broadening of participation in problem definition, knowledge generation, development of applicable solutions and implementation. The composition of methods should be reflected on and adjusted to the communication demands of specific stakeholder groups during project phases. It is important to invest in trust-building and allow time and space for the adaptation of approaches, especially in communities where participation is not a tradition.
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Land Use Policy is an international and interdisciplinary journal concerned with the social, economic, political, legal, physical and planning aspects of urban and rural land use. It provides a forum for the exchange of ideas and information from the diverse range of disciplines and interest groups which must be combined to formulate effective land use policies.
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