The Barotse floodplain is an ecosystem characterized by a paradox of widespread poverty amidst high ecological and agricultural potential. The CGIAR Research Program on Aquatic Agricultural Systems (AAS) seeks to address this paradox on the assumption that the rural poor have the potential to transform their lives using the aquatic resources in their environment. Understanding the conditions for natural resources use and management is critical for a program that seeks to transform the livelihoods of households dependent on natural resources.
The CGIAR Research Program on Aquatic Agricultural Systems (AAS) supports resource-poor women and men to overcome poverty, malnutrition and food insecurity by bringing science to bear on these challenges. Social and gender issues, which restrict women and men, adversely impact development in the aquatic agricultural systems. AAS has embraced gender-transformative approaches (GTA) to achieve its goals. Broad buy-in is needed to effectively integrate GTA into research programming and organizational processes and practices.
Natural resource management is closely linked to conflict management, prevention and resolution. Managing natural resources involves reconciling diverging interests that often lead to conflict, which can undermine management institutions and lead to exploitation, environmental destruction and deteriorating livelihoods. If conflicts turn violent, they can rip apart the entire fabric of society. Thus, managing conflicts in a peaceful manner is decisive not only for successful and sustainable resource management but for societal stability in general.
The authors discuss how the fisher community and the government shared responsibility over time for regenerating and conserving fishery resources in San Salvador Island, Philippines, and rose above the obstacles associated with a de facto open access fishery. The article highlights the creation, management, and impact on ecosystem health, both natural and human, of a marine reserve and sanctuary. It examines key events and arrangements during three distinct phases: pre-project (before 1989), project phase (1989-1993), and post-project (1994-1998).
This paper synthesises the main findings about the impacts of a wide range of farmer-led research initiatives in terms of food security, ecological sustainability, economic empowerment, gender relations, local capacity to innovate and influence on ARD institutions. It then draws lessons for future partnerships between formal and informal ARD actors who are seeking common goals in serving smallholder communities.
Gender equity refers to the process of being fair to women and men, in order that women and men can equally access opportunities and life choices regardless of their sex. It has been proposed that local and national management policies and practices can be more effective if they are more gender equitable and better consider the differences in how men and women participate in natural resource use and in the community, taking into account their potentially different goals.
International investments in agroindustry present a growing source of tension for local populations who rely on land, forests, water and fisheries for their livelihoods, particularly where local tenure security is put at risk. For governments, civil society organizations and the communities directly affected, engaging the private sector early is critical in order to avoid an escalation of conflict and to build collaboration that can yield dividends for all. Yet care must be taken to address power differences among actors and to avoid manipulation by individuals or interest groups.
Participatory diagnosis is an approach to identify, prioritize and mobilise around factors that constrain or enable effective governance and management in small-scale fisheries. Diagnostic frameworks are mostly designed and used for systematic scientific analysis or impact evaluation. Through participation they also have potential to guide contextually informed improvements to management in practice, including transitions to contemporary forms of governance like the ecosystem approach to fisheries (EAF).
Conflict management is an intrinsic element of natural resource management, and becomes increasingly important amid growing pressure on natural resources from local uses, as well as from external drivers such as climate change and international investment. If policymakers and practitioners aim to truly improve livelihood resilience and reduce vulnerabilities of poor rural households, issues of resource competition and conflict management cannot be ignored.
The crab (swimming crab; Portunus pelagicus) fishery in coastal Cambodia appears to have declined in recent years due to over-fishing and a growth in the number of fishermen, but remains an important source of income for households along the coast. Several initiatives have started since 2007, with support from NGOs, international organizations and the Fisheries Administration (FiA), to test stock enhancement techniques through the release of crab larvae.