natural resources management
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.
The Chhotanagpur Plateau in eastern India lies on the so-called “tribal belt” and is one of the poorest regions of India. In 1998, the Indian Statistical Institute in Kolkata and the International Rice Research Institute began research to examine the biophysical and socioeconomic factors constraining agricultural activity and household income in the region.
This report provides an initial descriptive and quantitative analysis of the integrated biophysical and socioeconomic database constructed from this research. The report begins with a brief overview of the geography and history of the study area, followed by descriptions of the main biophysical characteristics of the area, such as climate, topography, soil, water availability, and the typology of land types in the area. The main cropping systems associated with each land type are identified. This research highlighted the importance of low-scale variations in topography in explaining cropping systems. The report then reviews the socioeconomic characteristics of the villages and the surveyed households. Key characteristics include the high incidence of poverty, the diversity of economic activities, and the small share of imputed household income derived from rice cultivation. The report concludes with a brief discussion of policy implications and avenues for future research.
Leaders from the United States, Europe and developing nations have
already agreed that reducing poverty must be a central element of the
plan. But the question of how to do that and to ensure the survival of
the globe's natural resources has left rich and poor nations bitterly
divided. The dispute is likely to dominate the political negotiations
here. In this continent of immense natural beauty and desperate
poverty, the debate could hardly be more relevant.
A report that challenges conventional approaches is released today at a critical moment in the battle against poverty. The report, World Resources 2005: The Wealth of the Poor: Managing Ecosystems to Fight Poverty, stresses the urgent need to look beyond aid projects, debt relief and trade reform and focus on local natural resources to address the crisis of poverty in all parts of the globe.
"Traditional assumptions about addressing poverty treat the environment almost as an afterthought," said Jonathan Lash, president, World Resources Institute (WRI). "This report addresses the stark reality of the poor: three-fourths of them live in rural areas; their environment is all they can depend on. Environmental resources are absolutely essential, rather than incidental, if we are to have any hope of meeting our goals of poverty reduction."
Unlike many parts of the world with water shortages, the small Southeast Asian nation of Laos has hundreds of rivers draining the highlands along its border with Vietnam. The challenge facing Laos is how to use its water to alleviate poverty without damaging the environment.
Correspondent Scott Bobb visited central Laos and reports on a dam project the government says will boost economic growth, but that some environmentalists fear will endanger a forest conservation zone in the region.
The Project is a sector loan within the Framework of the Government of Maldives' 6th National Development Plan (NDP). It is set within the context of the NDPs overarching theme of regional development and is focused on poverty reduction, community development and improvements in sanitation, solid waste management and land use planning. The Project has three components: (i) environmental management; (ii) land use planning and development; and (iii) capacity building.
The Project includes proposals to provide settled sewerage systems to three Focus Islands (Naifaru – Lhaviyani Atoll, Mahibadhoo – Alif Dhaal Atoll and Fonadhoo – Laamu Atoll) and at least 2 other Regional Growth Centres. It also includes a waste management strategy study and pilot project for introducing a sustainable approach to solid waste management based on re-use/recycling, to be implemented in Laamu Atoll Fonadhoo/Gan.
The watershed development program of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and consortium of partners is reaching out to the world as a model of integrated genetic and natural resource management (IGNRM). After India, China, Vietnam and Thailand, ICRISAT's watershed development model has recently reached East Africa.
According to Dr. William Dar, Director General of ICRISAT, the Institute's watershed model has become popular since it brings together as a package for rural development the best of expertise available with ICRISAT and all the consortium partners. "While using the micro watershed as a geographical unit for soil and water conservation and management, the impact is strengthened with improved agronomical practices and diversified income generation activities," adds Dr. Dar.
Located in the Condorcanqui province, region of Amazonas, this project aims to contribute to the reduction of the poverty levels of indigenous populations in the districts of Río Santiago and Cenepa, through the sustainable management of natural resources. Project activities will benefit 600 families belonging to 20 indigenous communities of the Awajún and Wambís groups by contributing to the implementation of territorial use plans as well as the integral management of their natural resources which will result in an improvement of their social organization and an increase of income.
Over the last few decades, the isolated villages of Tanzania’s northern coast have been transformed into a highly competitive market economy based on the marine fish trade. Many young men have been lured to the region by the prospect of seasonal employment.
The arrival of a highly mobile male population – ill-informed about condom use and HIV-AIDS generally – in a region, where poverty is chronic and women enjoy very low status, has generated a culture of high-risk sexual behaviour and soaring HIV prevalence rates. Indeed AIDS is now an important part of poverty, natural resource degradation, and ill health in these communities.
This paper considers the impact of political economy factors on
decentralized natural resource management in India. It is drawing on a two-year study of decentralization processes at state, district and village levels in Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka. The authors asses the constrains and potentials for decentralisation that are posed by the current political economy.
It is argued that centralizing political forces constrain both the political and ecological scope of the decentralization agenda. The decentralization of natural resource management so far has not significantly increased the access by the rural poor to natural resources nor challenged the access rights to natural resources which have been created during the colonial period and later been reinforced in the post-independence period. Decentralization Programs have however created space for political negotiations at the district level, allowing more strategic local political mobilization.
The suggested way forward for decentralized natural resource management programs is a more strategic approach in concept and
practice. Programs should be more aware of their political and ecological limitations and more strategic in resolving these.