This paper challenges ideas that it is possible to "get the institutions right" in the management of natural resources. It engages with the literature and policy specifying "design principles" for robust institutions and uses data from a river basin management project in Usangu, Tanzania, to illustrate the complexity of institutional evolution.
The paper draws on emerging "post-institutionalist" perspectives to reject over-formalized managerial approaches in favor of those that accept the dynamic nature of institutional formation, and accommodate a variety of partial and contingent solutions. Data from Usangu suggests that external "crafting" is inevitably problematic because, to a certain extent, institutions elude design.
Renewable energy (RE) and energy efficiency (EE) development is an integral part of the World Bank Group (WBG) energy strategy as it strives to support sustainable economic development in its partner countries. Energy affects all aspects of development – social, economic, and environmental – including livelihoods, access to water, agricultural productivity, health, population levels, education, and gender-related issues. None of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) can be met without major improvement in the quality and quantity of energy services in developing countries. Renewable energy and energy efficiency are vital to meeting this development challenge.
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Research suggests that cash-cropping is associated with deforestation. This paper uses three-year data (2000-2002) from 493 households in the Bolivian Amazon to estimate the association between cash-cropping rice and deforestation.
Doubling the area sown with rice is associated with a 26-30% increase of the area of forest cleared next cropping season. The authors simulate the changes required to reach 1US$/person/day income with cash from rice. They find that within 10 years 1) deforestation would triple, 2) work requirements would exceed household’s labor availability, and 3) fallows duration would decrease two-fold. Avoiding growing deforestation due to cash-cropping by smallholders requires increasing productivity, diversification of income sources, or both.
Agriculture is a key part of DFID’s efforts to reduce global poverty and achieve the Millennium Development Goals. It extends into many other areas of development policy and complements current work on issues such as fisheries, forestry, food security, social protection, governance and trade.
Building on DFID's understanding of livelihoods, this paper shows why agriculture should be placed at the heart of efforts to reduce poverty. It proposes principles and priorities to guide DFID's work, and to help decision-makers to weigh up the potential growth and poverty impact of agriculture compared with other competing demands on resources.
The crisis in agricultural commodities is closely linked to issues of poverty and environmental degradation. Dealing with entrenched rural poverty and major impacts from agriculture on ecosystem viability requires a new look at how commodity markets succeed or fail. There is a need for better understanding of how commodity markets work and how policy makers and businesses can intervene to introduce fairness, justice and sustainability into these markets. This challenging context provides the background for this book, which brings together an edited selection of papers prepared for two strategic dialogues on commodities, trade and sustainable development, jointly convened by IIED and the ICTSD.
Environmental Mainstreaming: Applications in the Context of Modernization of the State, Social Development...Posted on: 22 July 2008 - 9:02am
Full title: Environmental Mainstreaming: Applications in the Context of Modernization of the State, Social Development, Competitiveness, and Regional Integration
The Inter-American Development Bank’s current work and mission is guided by the objectives stated in the recent Bank’s Institutional Strategy, which has two overarching objectives: reducing poverty and inequity, and fostering sustainable economic growth.
To achieve these objectives, the Bank has articulated operational strategies to address four identified pillars for development in the region: modernization of the State, social development, competitiveness, and regional integration. In addition, the Bank has defined an environment strategy which seeks to mainstream environment across the four priority pillars. The purpose of this document is to provide a conceptual framework and practical orientation to mainstream environmental sustainability into those four pillars.
Effects of climate change on the sustainability of capture and enhancement fisheries important to the poorPosted on: 11 December 2008 - 11:24am
A recent report commissioned by DFID's Fisheries Management Science Programme reveals that African fisheries and fishing communities are among the most vulnerable in the world to climate change. Not only are most of these countries heavily reliant on fisheries as contributions to national economies, food security and employment (over 90% of fish in Africa comes from capture fisheries), but also climate change is predicted to be particularly significant in this region.
Fisheries around the globe are directly threatened by climate change. The main threats in the marine sector include changes to up welling patterns and associated distribution of fish stocks as a result of rising water temperature, sea-level rise and increased storminess. Inland fisheries will be affected by changes to water levels and productivity of lake fisheries and changes to water flows affecting river fisheries.
Climate change represents yet another threat to the already overstretched fisheries in many parts of the developing world. Policy responses should therefore focus on building institutions that are able to respond to this threat along with other pressures such as overfishing, pollution and changing hydrology - that is to manage the resource, ensuring maximum benefits are still able to contribute effectively to national economies and livelihoods.
Adaptation planning has to take an "ecosystem approach" whereby the impacts and consequences of adaptation are understood across natural resource sectors. There is also a need to enhance resilience of fishing communities to deal with the threat of climate change along side other threats that result in high levels of poverty for example HIV & AIDS, political marginalization, inequity and poor governance.
Environmental security is the current and future availability of goods and services from a healthy environment for humankind and nature. The availability is reduced when there is environmental destruction. Environmental destruction leads to scarcity and scarcity triggers conflict which can develop into violence.
The target area of this study lies in the northernmost region of the Colombian Amazon. It is the Matavén Forest which is partly inhabited by indigenous communities while the larger portion is left in its pristine state. The ecosystem in this area is in such a natural state as it has little to no infrastructure and absence of the state.
Such conditions in Colombia, however, are sought out by coca farmers and armed forces for their illegal activities. Colombia is world renowned for the conflicts generated from the armed forces -- guerrilla and paramilitary. They are involved in illegal drug production and trafficking to other countries as well as the import of weapons and ammunition to fuel their internal conflicts and power struggles. The threat in the study area of the Matavén is now the advancing coca frontier, now existing up until the western border of this area but without mitigations will penetrate the indigenous territory.
If the coca growers are successful in their attempt to enter the region the result will be the same as has been observed in other regions. There will be accompanying deforestation, possible soil erosion and water sedimentation, conflicts over resources, people displacement, loss of traditional knowledge, poverty, chemical pollution of the environment from fertilizers and pesticides used in coca cultivation; chemicals used in processing the coca into cocaine; and, from herbicides used in aerial fumigation once plantations are located.
This case study attempts to describe the problems in the area and identify causal relationships among them in order to generate a comprehensive understanding of the situation. Before recommendations are made stakeholders are identified and an analysis of areas for mitigation is carried out.
Searching for triple dividends in South Africa: Fighting CO2 pollution and poverty while promoting growthPosted on: 4 August 2008 - 2:57pm
A CGE model of South Africa is used to find the potential for a double or triple dividend if the revenues raised from an energy-related environmental tax are recycled to households and industry through lowering existing taxes.
Four environmental taxes and three revenue-recycling schemes are compared. The environmental taxes are (i) a tax on greenhouse gas emissions, (ii) a fuel tax, (iii) a tax on electricity use, and (iv) an energy tax.
The four taxes are constructed such that they have a comparable effect on emissions. The revenue is recycled through either (i) a direct tax break on both labour and capital, (ii) an indirect tax break to all households, or (iii) a reduction in the price of food. A triple dividend is found – decreasing emissions, increasing GDP, and decreasing poverty – when any one of the environmental taxes is recycled through a reduction in food prices.
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Natural disaster risk management in the Philippines: Enhancing poverty alleviation through disaster reductionPosted on: 4 November 2010 - 11:35am
The Philippines by virtue of its geographic circumstances is highly prone to natural disasters, such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tropical cyclones and floods, making it one of the most disaster prone countries in the world. This report seeks to document the impacts of natural disasters on the social and economic development of the Philippines; assess the country's current capacity to reduce and manage disaster risk; and identify options for more effective management of that risk.
Environmental security is the availability of environmental services for man and nature. The availability is reduced when there is environmental destruction. Environmental destruction leads to scarcity and scarcity triggers conflict which can develop into violence. Thus, environmental security is vital to human security and well being. Conflict or violence can also be caused by the availability of abundant rather than scarce environmental goods or natural resources. The situation could also be reversed in that, for reasons other than scarcity or abundance of environmental services and goods there is conflict or violence. This conflict or violence can then lead to environmental destruction - as wars often do - and as a result there is scarcity which results in conflict and the cycle continues.
The study area lies in the Albertine Rift in the countries of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda and Uganda. The focus is on the four protected areas, Virunga National Park (ViNP); Volcanoes National Park (VNP); and, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park (MGNP) and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park (BINP), respectively, as well as the surrounding areas. Together this area including the four parks is often referred to as the Virunga-Bwindi region. This study area was selected because it is an ecologically unique and globally important ecosystem. It has high levels of floral and faunal endemism, biodiversity and species richness. It is mountainous and acts as one of the headwater catchment systems for the overlapping Great Lakes region.
The study attempts to describe the problems in the area and identify causal relationships among them in order to generate a comprehensive understanding of the situation. Before recommendations are made stakeholders are identified and an analysis of areas for mitigation is carried out.
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Promoting Environmental Security and Poverty Alleviation in the Peat Swamps of Central Kalimantan, IndonesiaPosted on: 4 August 2008 - 2:28pm
Environmental security is the current and future availability of goods and services from a healthy environment for humankind and nature. The availability is reduced when there is environmental destruction. Environmental destruction leads to scarcity and scarcity triggers conflict which can develop into violence. Conflict or violence can also be caused by the availability of abundant rather than scarce environmental goods or natural resources. The situation could also be reversed in that, for reasons other than scarcity or abundance of environmental services and goods there is conflict or violence. This conflict or violence can then lead to environmental destruction - as wars often do - and as a result there is scarcity which results in conflict and the cycle continues.
The study area lies on the Indonesian side of the island of Borneo. The focus is on two peat swamp forest areas in Central Kalimantan, namely Mawas and Sebangau. These areas were selected because the Borneo peat swamp forest ecoregion is considered to be one of the most species rich in the region. This study area demonstrates the situation of having abundant environmental goods and services that are abused. This abuse includes not only the overexploitation of natural resources but also the unequal access to, or distribution of these natural resources by the authorities.
This case study attempts to describe the problems in the area and identify causal relationships among them in order to generate a comprehensive understanding of the situation. Before recommendations are made stakeholders are identified and an analysis of areas for mitigation is carried out.
This policy brief outlines the dynamic conceptualization and measurement of poverty as vulnerability. It examines how vulnerability is operationalized, and how it differs from the standard $1-a-day measure of income poverty. It also analyzes whether this change in measurement and conceptualization has the potential to significantly alter the choice of policies and strategies for maximizing poverty reduction.
Disasters and the cycle of poverty: understanding urban, rural, and gender aspects of social vulnerabilityPosted on: 5 August 2008 - 2:01pm
Poverty is almost always a cycle of one sort or another. If you are low-income and have little to save, then you have little to invest. Low investment means low productivity, and low productivity leads to continued low-income. A poor society may lack the capital to invest in order to become more productive over time. A poor society may suffer from poor health, which decreases income and thereby makes it difficult or impossible to access resources to achieve health goals. Similarly, a poor society is often vulnerable to natural disasters that contribute to keeping it poor over time. As a practitioner in the area of social capacity building, the author offers a few examples examining the cycles of poverty in relationship to natural disaster risk.
International development programs intended to meet the needs of the poor are challenged by the ongoing consequences from disasters. Significant loss of life, damage to infrastructure and housing, and disease following disasters further increase the needs of the poor and reduce their capacity to recover. While disasters affect all populations, poor and underserved communities and citizens generally lack the resources to take pro-active steps to reduce their risk, and do not have resources to recover or rebuild in a safely. Catastrophic losses from disasters illustrate that they are a symptom; a microcosm of the cycle of poverty that increases the vulnerability of a population to losses.
This paper examines the impacts natural disasters have on poor communities all over the world, and the ways in which poverty and social vulnerability exacerbate disaster risk. In which ways are poor and underserved communities more at risk to natural disasters than high capacity communities and wealthier nations? What factors need to be considered in order to target appropriate assistance to socially vulnerable communities at risk from natural disasters?
The availability and functioning of freshwater ecosystems have a significant impact on the livelihoods, health and security of the poor. Freshwater services include food, drinking water, building materials, nutrient recycling and flood control.
Furthermore, the harmful effects of ecosystem service degradation are often being borne disproportionately by the poor, and are in many cases the principal drivers of poverty and social conflict. It is therefore essential to recognize and integrate the links between freshwater resources management and livelihoods into freshwater conservation work.
This report presents four cases where the work of WWF and its partner organizations has not only successfully led to improved management of freshwater resources, but also significantly contributed to the improvement of livelihoods of poor local communities. The four cases are:
(1) the Working for Wetlands Project in South Africa; (2) the Dongting Lake Floodplain Restoration Project in China; (3) the Várzea Project in Brazil; and (4) the La Cocha Project in Colombia.
This study examines the consequences of a) a domestic carbon tax policy, and, b) participation in a global tradable emission permits regime on carbon emissions, Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and poverty, in India.
The results, based a computable general equilibrium model of the Indian economy, show that a carbon tax policy that simply recycles carbon tax revenues to households imposes heavy costs in terms of lower economic growth and higher poverty. However, the fall in GDP and rise in poverty can be minimized or even prevented if the emission restriction target is a very mild one and tax revenues are transferred to the poor.
A soft emission reduction target is all that India needs to set for itself, given that even a ten percent annual reduction in aggregate emissions will bring down its per capita emissions to a level far below global per capita emissions. On the other hand, participation in the tradable emission permits regime opens up an opportunity for India to sell surplus permits. India would then be able to use the revenues from permits to speed up GDP growth and poverty reduction and keep its per capita emission below the 1990 per capita global emissions level.
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Two approaches to transformation of the South African fishery industry were adopted after the advent of democracy: the broadening of access rights to new rights holders (individuals and companies) through state intervention (external transformation); and market-led change within state black economic empowerment policy (internal transformation). The government has largely missed its opportunity to ensure the restructuring of the industry was managed in such a way as to achieve broader societal goals such as the alleviation of poverty and uplifting of fishing communities.
While some progress has been made in terms of the reallocation of quotas to previously disadvantaged individuals and groups, real problems remain. Much ‘transformation’ within established fishing companies in terms of advancing historically disadvantaged individuals and groups is cosmetic. Not all bona fide fishers were able to secure quotas. Many quota allocations were too small to be financially viable. New entrants to the industry do not have sufficient access to capital, infrastructure, equipment and technical know-how to establish viable businesses. Certain rights holders are quota holders on paper only.
According to this publication, the state should intervene more vigorously to support new entrants by providing access to capital, business and management skills, providing institutional support, protecting bona fide fishing communities, and setting up an effective watchdog to monitor real progress towards transformation of the industry linked to granting long-term fishing rights.
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The poor devote much of their time to energy-related activities: gathering fuelwood and cooking, for example, when modern energy services are available to ease their burden. This publication gives a primer on the relationship between energy and development, and discusses how energy is an issue for all Millennium Development Goals.
Desertification is a principle natural resource issue in China. Grasslands cover 400 million hectares or 40 percent of China’s total land area and are the largest ecosystem threatened by desertification. Of these grasslands, 90 percent have been degraded to some extent. Grassland degradation results in ecosystem instability and threatens economic development.
A series of land reforms, beginning in 1947, have led to a rapid shift in land tenure and stewardship practices on grasslands. These changes have led to continual decline in productivity. Overgrazing and conversion of grassland to cropland are the primary causes of grassland declines. Protection and restoration of grasslands are a key component of China’s fight against desertification. Extensive efforts to reverse grassland degradation have had partial success.
Current strategies in Inner Mongolia demonstrate the potential of an integrated approach to combating desertification. The Xilinguole League pilot study site provides an illustration of integrated desertification combating activities, which includes programs that address both the causes and effects of desertification. The following programs observed on-site will be described and evaluated: tree planting, grassland closures, resettlement of displaced herders and farmers, and demonstration households and agro-pastoral feeding activities. Recommendations will address the continual need for off-farm jobs, improved rangeland management practices, and the promotion of range grazing with a standardized adaptive stocking rate.
The major sources of air pollution in India are industries (toxic gases), thermal power plants (fly ash and sulfur dioxide) and motor vehicles (carbon monoxide, lead, and particulate matter).
Incidence of poverty is high in India and about one third of the population is below poverty line. The paper estimates industrial emissions in India, and also examines the sources of change in certain emissions generated by different income groups (especially by the lower income groups).
In order to ensure that JICA's technical cooperation in solid waste management (SWM) is more effective and efficient, this study has identified a wide range of SWM issues facing developing counties and presented them in a systematic manner. In addition, this study has examined the directions and approaches that JICA's assistance could take in SWM.
The main theme throughout this report has been "support for capacity development initiatives taken by the aid recipients." The report suggests that such approaches should be at the center of future development assistance in the solid waste sector. In other words, the report discussed future directions for development assistance in this sector based on the idea that the primary objectives must be to support the recipients in enhancing the SWM capacity of the entire society and in building sustainable SWM systems. The report focuses on how to position capacity development in the context of SWM and on how to provide better assistance. Development assistance provided by donors should focus on the provision of incentives and opportunities while ensuring ownership by the recipients. This report also focuses on the relationship between waste on the one hand and the society and economy on the other in discussing what is going on in developing countries.
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This briefing paper provides a background on the relationship between poverty and the degradation of the environment. This publication explores the cycle of the overexploitation of the environment; loss of cultural, political and economic self-determination; inequity; hunger; and poverty. Cases of communities that are successfully taking charge of their natural resources are also cited.
The organization's approach to redressing poverty and inequity includes providing strong support to local people who are promoting alternative models of development. It is also campaigning for measures to redistribute resources and wealth from the rich to the poor.
This publication presents an intervention approach that is designed to help community organizations, civil society groups, government offices and development agencies in their efforts to change the underlying causes of poverty and ecological disruption. Building on a political economy perspective, this approach seeks to change the interactions among social groups, private economic actors and the state as they compete and seek to accumulate wealth and build political power.
The explicit purpose of this approach is to increase the ability of poor communities to compete and thrive in the emerging economic order and to increase their ability to manage natural resources in a sustainable manner, be they in rural, peri-urban or urban contexts.
The paper summarizes the steps pursued as partners sought to open opportunities for improving living standards and changing natural resource management regimes in rural areas of their respective countries.
Globalization, Poverty Alleviation and the Environmental Governance: The Strategic Policy and Operational Options for South AsiaPosted on: 9 December 2008 - 11:55am
In most countries of the South Asian region, population pressure and heavy national and international demand for agricultural and industrial products has caused alarmingly high levels of environmental degradation. This paper highlights the likely effects of globalization in South Asia, particularly with regard to poverty alleviation and environmental governance (and the interactions therein) as well as macroeconomic linkages and the environment.
Pro-poor and pro-environment, "win-win" policy, and operational options are suggested as paradigm shifts.
South African energy policy priorities have always been closely linked to the prevailing political situation. Pre-democratic energy policy and planning were characterized by energy security priorities, excessive secrecy and racially skewed provision of energy services.
Post-apartheid South Africa witnessed substantial revision and a strong focus on energy for development. In accordance with the Constitution (Act No. 108 of 1996) an inclusive Energy White Paper (1998) was developed.
Major objectives of government’s Energy White Paper are (DME, 1998):
• Increasing access to affordable energy services;
• Stimulating economic development – encouragement of competition within energy markets;
• Managing energy-related environmental and health effects;
• Securing supply through diversity – increased opportunities for energy trade and diversity in both supply sources and primary energy carriers.
Renewable energy becomes one of the areas that the government would want to consider pursuing in managing energy-related environmental impacts and diversifying energy supplies from a coal-dominated system.
In May 2004, the Department of Minerals and Energy (DME) published the White Paper on Renewable Energy Policy. This targets the provision of 10,000 GWh (accumulative over a period of 10 years) of electricity from RE resources (mainly biomass, wind, solar and small-scale hydro projects) by 2013. This is approximately 4% of the country’s estimated electricity demand or equivalent to replacing two 660 MW units of Eskom’s combined coal-fired power stations. At present less than 1% of the 200 000 GWh of electricity generated annually in South Africa originates from RE sources (DME, 2004).
This study outlines the current use of RE, its potential, and discusses barriers and opportunities in alleviating poverty. Furthermore, it examines policy options for promoting access to RE as an affordable, reliable and socially acceptable alternative to grid electricity.
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The purpose of this research is to outline ways of identifying which mechanisms of water governance are high benefit and low cost to the poor. "Mechanisms" are defined as the variety of social/institutional, financial and technical arrangements which shape access to water. It suggests a conceptual framework that could be used as a tool in water research to address key questions about pro-poor impacts of interventions.
The analytical framework draws on perspectives from water governance, institutional theory, environmental governance and drivers of change. It attempts to present the complex interlinkages of factors in water governance; a complexity which must be addressed if interventions are to have positive impacts.
In the framework, the authors suggest four key resources from which the mechanisms of water governance are drawn. These are institutional resources, social structures, rights and entitlements, and financial resources. Additionally three sets of resources critically mediate water access to water by the poor; these being human capabilities (particularly physical embodiment), the natural environment and technology.
Not all social groups are equally vulnerable to flood-related disasters nor are they exposed to the same combinations of involuntary risks. Floods that are a disaster to an urban-based trading firm may even be a bounty for fisher-farming household. While physical geographies and livelihood dependencies matter, formal and informal institutions also help shape differences in risk and vulnerability to floods and climate change as well as more broadly adaptive capacities, and each of these influences is multi- and cross-scale. A good example is insurance, both the formal kinds provided by large firms in industrialized economies, and the various kinds social safety nets that may exist in traditional agricultural societies.
The primary concern in this paper is how institutions concerned with the management of floods and flood-related disaster risks will fare under a changed climate. The approach is first to look at how well they have evolved in the recent past, and then to imagine a future where climate change through altering flood regimes is testing systems of governance. Ultimately, the authors are looking for insights about how the form and arrangement of current institutions concerned with the management of floods and flood-related disaster risks might be transformed in ways that would them more able to learn and adapt to a climate change as, and however, it unfolds.
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Given the link between human wellbeing and ecosystem services, this publication identifies the challenges to development goal delivery (improving governance of natural resources, increasing investment in sustainable management, and employing relative technologies). Also outlined are the steps that must be taken to address each challenge.
Carrying capacity dynamics, livestock commercialisation and land degradation in Mongolia's free market eraPosted on: 16 December 2008 - 4:14pm
The dramatic consequences of the severe winters and droughts between 1999 and 2002 drew world-wide attention to Mongolia’s important livestock sector and its extensive -– and growing -– nomadic pastoralists. Much of the focus in this regard was put on the impacts of the change from communist rule to a free market regime.
A recent research project run by Mongolian and Dutch researchers applied models of carrying capacity dynamics, and caloric terms of trade, to better understand the relationships between the dynamics of nature and the dynamics of the market in this volatile environment. The project applied these models to Mongolia as a whole, and to two case study areas: Ugtaal in the north, and Gurvansaikhan in the south.
The analysis shows the importance of policy attention for livestock commercialization. A large majority of herders simply do not have enough animals to sustain themselves in the traditional way. They are either forced to combine subsistence livestock-keeping with a variety of other jobs, or they can choose to become more market-oriented herders. If they do this wisely, they can increase their incomes, improve their health, and maintain the pastures. However, this depends on renewed forms of land and water management institutions preventing the few rich (and partly absentee) herders from overutilizing the pastures to the detriment of their poorer, and more market-oriented, fellow pastoralists.
This is part of the Poverty Reduction and Environmental Management (PREM) Working Paper series.
Long-term impacts of short-term shocks: poverty traps and environmental disasters in Ethiopia and HondurasPosted on: 15 July 2008 - 5:30pm
A hurricane suddenly devastates a village: livestock are killed, houses ruined, and places of employment lost. A drought works a longer devastation: livestock waste away and crops dwindle to where, at best, they provide bare subsistence for a family.
In a world of well-developed financial markets, some families might draw on insurance to replace lost assets, while others might take out loans, borrowing against future earnings so they are not compelled to sell assets at emergency prices. In regions with deep labor markets, people can redirect or increase work time to replace lost income. Despite the hardship of coping with the shock, access to various markets allows for strategies that sustain household consumption in the short term and also lead to eventual recovery of both assets and income.