Watershed management involves the integrated management of a multitude of common and privately owned resources such as crop land, pastures, forests and water. Each resource has an associated complex of often conflicting interests held by 'stakeholders' inside and outside the watershed. Identifying and negotiating these interests is therefore an important element in watershed management.
This paper draws on the experience of the Río Cabuyal watershed in southern Colombia, to discuss the role of local organisations in watershed management and certain principles which should underlie such management. It lays particular emphasis on the importance of monitoring and of the development of new skills by local level management organisations. It also discusses relationships between 'within' watershed and external users of resources and between external support agencies and watershed residents.