The role of forums in sustainable development: A case study of Cardigan Bay forum

Alister Scott*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


This paper assesses the development and potential of forums in progressing sustainable development within Britain. The example of Cardigan Bay Forum is used to assess how one Forum's approach has contributed to sustainable management and development outcomes. The proliferation of forums is visible in all organisational activities and initiatives. However, their presence raises certain questions as to their role and overall value in resource management debates. Who should a forum represent? What should forums achieve? How should success of a forum be measured? In many ways these questions have not been fully considered in the literature, and with the increasing proliferation of forums generally, there is an inherent danger that they serve as nothing more than talking shops, duplicating existing statutory organisational networks and information whilst reducing strategic and complex issues to localised interests and problems. Cardigan Bay Forum has endorsed the principles of sustainable development in its activities; moving unsteadily from a talking and information service to an organisation with a more pro-active and potentially management based role. This progression provides important lessons and perhaps a model for wider application in forum evaluation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-137
Number of pages7
JournalSustainable Development
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 1997
Externally publishedYes


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