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A Knowledge Management Model for Natural Resources Management in Southeast Asia

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This study analyzes the feasibility of the community of practice or CoP concept as a KM model for natural resources management. At the theoretical level, however, it tests the CoP as a capacity development platform specifically in the design of a
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    A KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT MODELFOR NATURAL RESOURCES MANAGEMENT IN SOUTHEAST ASIA Alexander G. FlorFaculty of Information and Communication StudiesUP Open UniversityNarong SampongFaculty of EducationKasetsart University      ABSTRACT This study analyzes the feasibility of the community of practice or CoP concept as a KM modelfor natural resources management. At the theoretical level, however, it tests the CoP as acapacity development platform specifically in the design of a learning program. Can acommunity of practice transcend institutional, geographical, disciplinal and language barriers todesign new curricula?The objectives of the study are: to analyze a knowledge management (KM) model for naturalresources management in Southeast Asia; to test a system appropriate to the KM model; and todetermine the feasibility of designing a post baccalaureate program on NRM KnowledgeManagement for Southeast Asian professionals employing the above model and system.This applied research study employed the design, development and testing model. It adopted afour-pronged methodology: knowledge management modeling; KM system development;community of practice consensus building; and instructional program design using theconstructivist approach. It was implemented from Kasetsart University in Bangkok and the UPOpen University in Los Baños, with the latter hosting the KM system and administering theonline platform. However, it involved a community of practice that came from four countries:Thailand; Philippines; Lao PDR; and Indonesia.The study found that the community of practice model may be used for natural resourcesknowledge management. Furthermore, Web-based learning management systems such as IVLEand Moodle can adequately serve as the knowledge management system for such a CoP.   However, it is recommended that the following factors should be borne in mind in the conduct of online discussion forums: the language barrier; the schedule and availability of expertparticipants; the cultural sensitivities of Southeast Asian participants; connectivity; and non-material incentives for participants. Furthermore, the researchers recommend that the GraduateProgram on Natural Resources Knowledge Management be developed and implemented by aconsortium of universities in the Southeast Asian Region. Keyword Index: knowledge management, community of practice, natural resourcesmanagement.    I. INTRODUCTIONA. Background Southeast Asian is beset with natural resources management problems. Decades of unhamperedresource exploitation in the watersheds of the Philippines and Indonesia by logging concerns areexacting their toll through landslides and flashfloods in the Visayas and Central Java. Land-locked areas in the Greater Mekong Subregion are now suffering the same fate. Coastalresources in the Sulu-Celebes Sea, home of the most biologically diverse marine ecosystems inthe world, are being endangered by destructive fishing practices, mangrove destruction, and oilspills.The collective expertise of the region should be brought to bear on these problems through theestablishment of a regional knowledge management (KM) system for natural resources. Alongthis line, the capacities of both individuals and institutions for natural resources knowledgemanagement should be built and strengthened.This study analyzes the feasibility of the community of practice or CoP concept as a KM modelfor natural resources management. At the theoretical level, however, it tests the CoP as acapacity development platform specifically in the design of a learning program.    B. Statement of the Problem This study revisits the curriculum development process with an added dimension, the Internet.The Internet has not only caused the death of distance. It has also destroyed exclusivity,undermined hierarchy, enabled nonlinear/ asynchronous interaction, and globalized education.The educational process now assumes a new label: knowledge management  . Communities of practice may eventually become to knowledge management what invisible colleges were to theeducational process.If, indeed, such is the case, can a community of practice transcend institutional, geographical,disciplinal and language barriers to design new curricula?This paper attempts to answer the above research question. C. Objectives The objectives of the study are:1.   to analyze a knowledge management (KM) model for natural resources management inSoutheast Asia;2.   to test a system appropriate to the KM model; and3.   to determine the feasibility of designing a post baccalaureate program on NRM KnowledgeManagement for Southeast Asian professionals employing the above model and system.
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