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Handbook 7: The importance of relationship building
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Fostering trust through time investment and innovative interactive exercises

A major learning that has come out of ICLEI Africa’s ongoing work on the UNA programme is that it’s not enough to simply produce nature-related information and then search for “entry points” in decision-making into which this knowledge can be embedded. Considering the complex environment within which African decision-makers operate, this is, unfortunately, not an effective way to mainstream nature-based solutions into urban planning and facilitate on-the-ground change. In African cities, “entry points” cannot be found; they need to be created. This requires a fundamental shift in the way decision-making and planning is currently carried out – a shift that puts more focus on certain “softer”, less tangible processes and outcomes.

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