The diplomacy of practitioners: for an ecology of practices about the problem of the coexistence of wind farms and red kites

Gathering information, comparing points of view, and designing actions in and about problematic situations are no longer purely academic activities. Learning about complex state of affairs is becoming an increasingly widely-distributed necessity and practice, including within civil society. We propose to give first-hand information – as practitioners and members of a citizens’ wind energy co-operative in Belgium – about the problematic and highly controversial coexistence between wind farms and red kite (Milvus milvus). Will be reported the implementation of a community-based management scheme involving active, original practices of collaboration between citizens with local knowledge and skills and experts or scientists in order to produce research and intervention questions, methods, and results that are claimed to be more sustainable. The sustainability challenges are to design and set up in context a local space for collaboration and learning that departs from traditional public regulatory procedures (i.e. impact studies, public information meetings, etc.). However, the outcomes of this collaborative approach remain fragile. We shall argue in this regard that both the Transdisciplinary Environmental Research and the art of diplomacy may be central to the emergence of reflexive governance within transition processes that strive to be sustainable.

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