Negotiating Environmental Affairs

A roadmap for navigating environmental conflict, compliance, enforcement and how to reach durable outcomes

Program Description:

Environmental negotiations present specialized challenges for government agencies, companies, and nonprofit groups trying to reach durable agreements. Environmental negotiations occur in the context of statutory and regulatory requirements and frequently involve time constraints. Individual stakeholder groups may or may not be clearly defined. Whether negotiating a policy, a program, or a specific project, a well-designed process is essential for productive discussions, the generation of options, and durable agreements. Each step in the negotiation process offers process choices based on the specific issues being addressed and the parties at the table. The Negotiating Environmental Affairs seminar provides participants with the knowledge of how to develop good strategies at the table and negotiate within their own interest groups. Understanding the dynamics, negotiation steps, and specific process options will facilitate more productive discussions and successful outcomes. Environmental negotiations also require careful preparation to determine how best to structure a discussion, how to engage people around understanding issues and concerns, how to determine who should participate at the table, and who should be involved in other ways. Creating and maintaining good working relationships with all the parties is critical to the success of an environmental negotiation. Participants will learn how to use careful listening, good questioning, and constructive ways to handle strong feelings to help keep conversations on track. The faculty instructor for this seminar is a practicing specialist in mediating and negotiating public issues with 30 years of experience building consensus on sensitive issues around the globe. She received a PhD in Future Studies and an MA in International Education from the University of Massachusetts. This customized TNI seminar will help participants productively deal with the varied and competing interest groups as well as complex issues surrounding negotiating environmental issues. Participants will take away a set of skills and tools to immediately—and substantially—improve their negotiating performance.

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  • Topics:
    • Appropriate Process, Approaches, and Components of Negotiation
    • Building Ownership for the Legitimacy of a Negotiation Process
    • Thoughtful Preparation and a Well-Designed Process for Productive Discussions, Generation of Options, and Agreements
    • Steps in the Negotiation Process
    • Dynamics, Strategies and Tactics for Successful Negotiations
    • Keeping Constituents Informed and Engaged
    • Strategies & Tactics for Helping Groups Recognize Interests, to Generate a Range of Workable Options, and Reach Durable Agreements
    • Effective Communication
    • Listening Well, Eliciting Information, Conveying Concerns, Recognizing Cross-Cultural Differences, and Reading Non-Verbal Messages
    • Dealing with Challenges--Development and Maintenance of an On-Going Process, Substantive Issues, Environment-Specific Concerns
    • Handling an Entrenched Individual or Group
    • When Progress Is Not Being Made Fast Enough or Is Being Made Too Fast
    • Limited or Unacceptable Options
    • Preventing & Handling Serious Challenges
  • Key Takeaways:
    • Understand choices for process, approaches, and components of an environmental negotiation
    • Examine the dynamics, strategies and tactics for effective negotiation
    • Consider the affect of communications on negotiations
    • Identify ways to handle people, process and substantive challenges
    • Apply to hypothetical and real cases
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