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Saravanan V.S.,Center for Development Research
Agricultural Water Management | Year: 2010

Participatory irrigation management (PIM) reforms are implemented in India to facilitate farmers' participation in irrigation management, through water user groups. Although thousands of user groups have been formed, a closer examination reveals inefficient water use, social power capture by rural elites in the name of participation, inadequate support from government institutions and government's inability to alleviate poverty. Currently, there is inadequate understanding of the linkage between socio-cultural, institutional and ecological factors affecting the outcome of the PIM reforms in India. Drawing from a case study village in the Shiwalik region of the Indian Himalayas, the paper identifies the role of diverse actors to exploit historic and ecological factors to derail the PIM reforms to frame water management problems. Using a combination of research methods and with application of a Bayesian network, the paper explores the inter-linkages between socio-cultural, institutional and ecological factors in derailing the PIM reforms. The paper reveals that PIM policies are never implemented, but integrated through the negotiation with other diverse policies and socio-cultural settings in (re)shaping water resources management. The analysis demonstrates that water is managed by multifaceted governance arrangements. In this governance arrangement state-centric or market-oriented or community-centered institutional arrangements are not superior to each other, rather they incrementally and cumulatively superimpose to (re)shape water resources management. In this process, integration represents a complex blend of statutory and socially embedded actors bringing with them diverse rules to negotiate, along with contextual factors. The findings call for laying out broad principles/ideologies in the policy statements of the statutory public actors that allow other actors to integrate, adapt and make policy processes dynamic. To facilitate this processes, the paper calls for statutory public actors to regulate water distribution, build capacity of actors and offer diverse forums for actors share and debate on the available information to take informed water-related decisions for a sustainable future. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. Source

Baumert S.,Eduardo Mondlane University | Khamzina A.,Center for Development Research
Journal of Arid Environments | Year: 2015

Our study addressed biomass dynamics in traditional and newly introduced Jatropha curcas production systems in Burkina Faso, West Africa. Five prevailing J.curcas systems included interplanting with annual crops, intensely managed plantations, afforestation of abandoned land, plantings along contour stone walls, and traditional living fences. Measurements of stem diameter, tree height (n=670) and above- and below-ground biomass (n=157) enabled the development of generic allometric models relating shoot and root biomass with stem diameter. The relations showed very good fits (R2>0.9) for all studied systems, except afforestation sites which largely perished. Considering system-specific height-diameter (HD) relationship improved the model performance for living fences where trees allocated more biomass in the height rather than diameter growth. Self-propagation in living fences results in variable stand density, tree age, and consequently shifting HD relations. Therefore these models would benefit from local calibrations should they be applied elsewhere. We argue that for the other systems the developed generic equations are applicable subject to accounting for the tree ontogenetic stages deduced from HD relations. In this respect, the allometric models for juvenile trees are most robust whereas overall validity range of the equations can be improved with more observations of large-size trees. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Gatzweiler F.W.,Center for Development Research
Environmental Values | Year: 2014

The importance of the economic valuation of nature is frequently emphasised in the argument that more and better economic valuation will prevent the undervaluation and thereby the degradation of nature. The proponents of this 'economic' approach assume that rationality, human interaction and the nature of the good remain unchanged. However, the relationship between humans and nature necessarily undergoes change, and the biological and neurophysiological aspects of human nature must be considered to ensure the well-being and survival of humankind. In this paper, I discuss the shortcomings of economic valuation with reference to the above objections, and present scenarios that illustrate the changing relationships between socio-ecological interconnectedness and the integrative capacity of institutions. © 2014 The White Horse Press. Source

Mollinga P.P.,Center for Development Research
Journal of Agrarian Change | Year: 2010

This paper attempts to understand why debates and controversies on agricultural water use in India have taken a bipolar form, characterized by clamours and silences, and in which, paradoxically, Indian agricultural water governance and policy has shifted very little in response to the extremely vibrant and intensive public debate and action on water resources. The paper identifies the technical features of water control systems and the institutional features of the Indian (water) governance structure as the material conditions of that polarization and the source of the deadlock. I argue that the form and content of agricultural water use debates and struggles reflect and help to reproduce their material conditions of existence rather than to transform them. The analysis presented here may help to resolve the paradox and suggest new avenues and emphases for critical analysis and public action. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Source

Mollinga P.P.,Center for Development Research
Crop Science | Year: 2010

This paper discusses how research on natural resources management systems can address the complexity of such systems. Three different types of complexity are identified: ontological, societal, and analytical. Significant ideas for “dealing with complexity” are extracted from U.S., Swiss, and U.K. literature on inter-and transdisciplinary research. Based on this, the “boundary work” framework is presented to systematically think through complexity challenges. The framework suggests that inter-and transdisciplinary research on natural research management requires three types of work: (i) the development of suitable boundary concepts that allow thinking of the multidimensionality of NRM issues; (ii) the configuration of adequate boundary objects as devices and methods that allow acting in situations of incomplete knowledge, nonlinearity, and divergent interests; and (iii) the shaping of conducive boundary settings in which these concepts, devices, and methods can be fruitfully developed and effectively put to work. The ideas presented are illustrated with an example of a research program on sustainable land and water management in Uzbekistan. The concluding section highlights three issues important for increasing the effectiveness of inter-and transdisciplinary research on natural resources management. © Crop Science Society of America. Source

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