Center for Development Research

Bonn, Germany

Center for Development Research

Bonn, Germany
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Baumert S.,Center for Development Research | Khamzina A.,Center for Development Research | Vlek P.L.G.,Center for Development Research
Land Degradation and Development | Year: 2016

The cultivation of the biofuel crop Jatropha curcas L. in Burkina Faso may contribute to ameliorating the soil fertility of severely declining cropland through increased organic matter input and erosion control. This study addresses the potential for the soil organic carbon (SOC) sequestration in traditional and newly introduced J. curcas production systems. Five prevailing systems included interplanting with annual crops, intensely managed monoculture plantations, afforestation of abandoned cropland, plantings along contour stone walls, and traditional living fences. The SOC was analyzed in 20 paired sites of 1- to 4-year-old J. curcas plantings and adjacent cropland. Paired sites with living fences involved a longer chronosequence with 15- and 20-year-old plantings. Additionally, the contribution of J. curcas to SOC sequestration was investigated by comparing the 13C signature of the C inputs in four J. curcas sites with that of sorghum cropping. Linear regression analysis did not reveal a clear trend of SOC dynamics over time for the short-term chronosequences, nor could the isotopic tracer technique prove a contribution of 4-year-old J. curcas trees to the SOC stock. The 20-year chronosequence of J. curcas living fences exhibited a significant SOC increase of 62 ± 23 g m−2 y−1. Considering soil coverage of 1,200 m2 ha−1 by living fences (400-m hedge with a width of 3 m), 1.5 Mg SOC was sequestered. Also, changes in δ13C values indicated a contribution of C3-derived C to the SOC stock. These findings on traditional J. curcas systems indicate the potential of this biofuel crop for improving cropland soil fertility in the long run. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Rudenko I.,Urgench State University | Bekchanov M.,Center for Development Research | Djanibekov U.,Center for Development Research | Lamers J.P.A.,Center for Development Research
Global and Planetary Change | Year: 2013

Since independence from the former Soviet Union in 1991, Uzbekistan is challenged to consolidate its efforts and identify and introduce suitable agricultural policies to ease the threat of advancing land, water and ecosystem deterioration. On the one hand, irrigated cotton production provides income, food and energy sources for a large part of the rural households, which accounts for about 70% of the total population. On the other hand, this sector is considered a major driver of the on-going environmental degradation. Due to this dual nature, an integrated approach is needed that allows the analyses of the cotton sector at different stages and, consequently, deriving comprehensive options for action. The findings of the economic based value chain analysis and ecologically-oriented water footprint analysis on regional level were complemented with the findings of an input-output model on national level. This combination gave an added value for better-informed decision-making to reach land, water and ecosystem sustainability, compared to the individual results of each approach. The synergy of approaches pointed at various options for actions, such as to (i) promote the shift of water use from the high water consuming agricultural sector to a less water consuming cotton processing sector, (ii) increase overall water use efficiency by expanding the highly water productive industrial sectors and concurrently decreasing sectors with inefficient water use, and (iii) reduce agricultural water use by improving irrigation and conveyance efficiencies. The findings showed that increasing water use efficiency, manufacturing products with higher value added and raising water users' awareness of the real value of water are essential for providing water security in Uzbekistan. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

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.

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.

Rapp J.,Center for Development Research
Proceedings of the 2015 IEEE/ACM International Conference on Advances in Social Networks Analysis and Mining, ASONAM 2015 | Year: 2015

Practitioners and researchers studying Natural Resource Governance (NRG) increasingly pay attention to Social Network Analysis (SNA). Recent research shows that social networks can be an important determinant when conflicting interests deteriorate natural resource dilemmas. Although SNA research nowadays provides various theoretical concepts, statistical programs and sophisticated modeling opportunities, there is surprisingly little literature on how to (not) generate an own set of SNA data. Thus, the main objective of this paper is to provide insights in the extraction of valued, reciprocal SNA ties by means of a semi-structured questionnaire. The data were gained among actors in the petroleum sector in Ghana. The paper will further discuss major challenges during the data gathering process and resulting implications for future research. © 2015 ACM.

Feuer H.N.,Center for Development Research
East Asian Science, Technology and Society | Year: 2011

This essay explores the ways in which the materiality of rice is encountered by agents along the production-consumption chain, from farmers to processors to urban consumers. Each agent, whether it is a farmer, miller, trader, consumer, or agronomic research agency, defines what is material (i.e., both tangible and discursively relevant) with respect to his or her relationship to rice. Materiality of rice is informally constituted by each actor in ideological standards that guide and configure how different aspects of rice, such as cultivation, milling, and variety, equate with quality and desirability. Technical standards, which originate from ideological standards and discursive norms, crystallize certain combinations of quality characteristics in space and time. Although technical standards initially exist as points of reference within more comprehensive ideological standards, they can multiply and increasingly dominate the material encounter with rice. Local actors, however, can contest this process by trying to bring technical standards more into line with ideological intentions. More specifically, I explore how a technical organic standard is situated within an ideological standard for natural in Cambodia, a country with strong historical and contemporary sympathies for ecological agriculture. I find that organic/natural is an important platform for promoting popular control over standardization and, more generally, over commoditization of food. © National Science Council, Taiwan 2011.

Ehlers E.,Center for Development Research
Erde | Year: 2010

The birthday of a good friend and companion of many years at the Department of Geography in Tübingen (1963-1970) is a welcome opportunity fora look at both the past and future of geography as an academic discipline. In the course of such an endeavour it is inevitable that traditional and - from todays perspective - maybe even out-of-date perceptions collide with the new and "fashionable" understandings of the present generations of geographers. Such an experience is probably a phenomenon which repeats itself again and again. The years shared by Hartmut Leser and the author of this article as "Wissenschaftliche Assistenten" fall into that period which was characterised by the events of 1968, when academic institutions and the content of disciplines were among the things questioned and criticised. To German geographers - and especially to those who now belong to the older generation, but who were young at the time - the Kiel Geographentag in 1969, legendary today, marked a deep incision into academic geography - and we were part of it. More than four decades have passed since Kiel. However, discussions about the state of geography and its future have never ceased. It is against this background that the following considerations are to be understood as an expression of concern about the discipline's future, especially in a German context. It is to be hoped that they will be taken seriously, also by the representatives of present-day geography in Germany.

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.

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.

Moser-Norgaard P.M.,Center for Development Research | Denich M.,Center for Development Research
Journal of Arid Environments | Year: 2011

Faidherbia albida and Acacia erioloba (Mimosoideae) are important fodder trees for livestock and wildlife along the westward flowing ephemeral rivers of the Namib Desert. Together with other, mainly woody vegetation, F. albida and A. erioloba line these rivers and present a linear oasis in a resource poor environment. For centuries nomadic to semi-nomadic inhabitants seasonally utilised the resources of these ephemeral rivers to survive in the otherwise harsh desert environment. In the past decades, more permanent settlements were established along these rivers, with small stock subsistence farmers making a living from the available resources. Livestock (mainly goats) usually moves freely around, feeding on the available vegetation. This study investigated the influence of free moving animals on the regeneration and recruitment of F. albida and A. erioloba along the Kuiseb ephemeral river. It was found that a large numbers of recently emerged seedlings were removed soon after germination. In addition, tree densities of adult versus juvenile individuals differed in areas with large numbers of livestock. The overall height increase and health of juvenile plants were influenced negatively by browsing livestock. In general, browsing pressure differed spatially and was higher close to the main water channel. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

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