Community Engagement and the Creation of Social Capital
Since the concept of sustainable development gained traction in the early 70s, there has been demand for new approaches, perspectives, and practices to the conservation of natural resources. The proposition that much of our modern environmental policies need citizen participation is widely accepted. In line with this standpoint, several concepts have emerged. They are shaped by Faith- Based Environmental Conservation, theoretical developments on environmental governance of the commons (e.g. Community Based Natural Resources Management), and social capital. The first and the second concepts indicate the integration of religious principles and social ecological wisdom into natural resources management. The third concept captures the idea that social bonds, norms, cultures, knowledge, attitudes, and information channels are central for a sustainable environment. In a highly organised group, where social capital is strong, the pace towards environmental sustainability has been expedited by successes in community-based programmes.