This book attempts to unterline the livelihoods perspective of participatory or joint forest management initiatives in NWFP. The main aim is to understand the linkages between rural livelihoods, the role forests play in the livelihoods and the impact of (changing) forest governance on these livelihoods.
The analysis revealed that in the NWFP model of joint forest management, the provincial Forest Department maintains the priorities of forest conservation, while local people's top priorities are to secure the financial means they require for living and related basic needs. The book shows that this divergence of expectations was not taken into consideration during the reform process. Mistrust and lack of effective communication between main stakeholders are identified as another factor hindering the effectiveness of the participatory approach. Likewise the interventions had not taken care to include the poor and marginalised sections of the community.
To order this publication, please contact Regina Kohler at the Division of Human Geography, Department of Geography, University of Zurich.
Donor-driven participatory forest management and 'Local Social Realities': Insights from Pakistan.
This paper analyses a participatory forest management initiative in the milieu of local social realities (such as customary forest use, power relations and livelihood concerns) and the actors who are part of these realities. The paper shows that the donor-driven decentralisation of forest management did not consider traditional practices of forest use, nor did it attempt to engage customary institutions and local civil society in the process. Though new institutions (joint forest management and Village Development Committees) have been established for implementation of participatory forest management and land use plans at the village level, the paper shows that responsibility delegated by the state to these institutions concerns protection of the forests rather than management. A mismatch between local livelihood concerns and the institutional change process is also revealed.
In: Geiser U, Rist S, editors. Decentralisation Meets Local Complexity: Local Struggles, State Decentralisation and Access to Natural Resources in South Asia and Latin America. Bern: Geographica Bernensia, pp 249-273.
In short, the general perception among the Nepalese is that foreign aid made life more pleasant and rewarding for a limited few and that it has done little to promote the production of wealth, or to breed political responsibility, or to encourage people to help themselves. By doing so it has allowed successive governments to avoid correcting their mistakes.
In order to transform this nation into a 'New Nepal', all the stakeholders need to reform themselves, starting from the political parties to the donor community. The stubborn and un-reforming attitude of the political parties is being assisted by the 'business as usual' attitude of the other stakeholders. AID cannot be blamed for all the mistakes made in the projects it bankrolls. However, by providing a seemingly endless credit line to governments regardless of their policies, AID effectively discourages governments from learning from and correcting their mistakes.
Why is rural Kyrgyzstan experiencing widespread poverty and a considerable divide between the wealthy and the poor – despite twenty years of independence and sustained efforts to reform the rural economy? Drawing on an innovative livelihoods perspective with a focus on institutions, the author illustrates how the Kyrgyz agrarian reforms of the 1990s have fundamentally altered rural property relations. Not only have the reforms redefined the economic value and social significance of land and other resources, they have redefined the livelihood prospects of the rural population. Existing disparities between the asset-rich and the asset-poor have been reinforced, and their social relations have increasingly become embedded in a poorly regulated economic system.
The book provides a vivid example of the long-term effects of an agrarian “shock therapy” and shows how the introduction of seemingly “robust” institutions runs the risk of widening the existing gap between the rich and the poor.
Since the beginning of the 1990s, the Indian natural rubber sector has been affected by trends towards trade liberalisation, a reduced role of the State, and organisational reforms. Rubber cultivators in Kerala - around 1 million holders cultivating an average 0.5 ha of rubber plantation - have been affected by these processes in different ways. It is hypothesised that growers - especially the ones located in agro-ecologically marginal rubber areas - are coping with these changes with diversified income-generating strategies. The book shows that the different types of holdings have specific management strategies and ways of dealing with risks. Furthermore, there is evidence that specific local institutions and organisations can hinder and/or support the income generation of the different types of holdings.
For poverty reduction interventions to be effective, it is important to understand the multiple livelihood assets, livelihood activities and multiple sources of vulnerability faced by the poor. In addition to recognizing these activities, using livelihood approaches requires an attempt to understand the processes that underlie poverty, and the social, cultural, political, and institutional contexts in which poor people live. Although the individual, household, and community are the primary levels of analysis, livelihood approaches seek out the relevant interactions at micro, meso, and macro levels. In this backdrop, the main objective of this “Livelihood Assets Atlas” is to provide a comparative depiction of the indicators of livelihood assets which are assumed as poverty reducing factors.