The need for pluralism to implement sustainability policies is consistent with the trend from top-down government to multi-level governance including private, public and civil sectors. The state-centric governance concept representing the political and institutional capacity of the state has been challenged by the new governance concept linked to the deepening of the globalisation process.

The reduced role of states has made room for increased decentralisation, participation and empowerment of actors and stakeholders. The multi-level governance approach has clear relevance for negotiating policies and implementation tools for sustained yield of natural resources, biodiversity conservation and rural development. To encourage both horizontal and vertical interconnections among actors and stakeholders as well as institutions and sectors a variety of local and regional governance arrangements have been developed.