Posted tagged ‘livelihood’

FORESTRY SECTOR & SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY: GHANA CASE

October 18, 2008

Erle Frayne Argonza

 

Magandang umaga! Good morning!

 

It is interesting to examine how state players can somehow enable the social responsibility field by enforcing rules on certain market players to recognize the social responsibility criterion in their areas of operations. One such appropriate case is the country of Ghana, where logging firms must follow the same criterion through an instrument called ‘Social Responsibility Agreement.’

 

A summary of the report about the country case is shown below.

 

[07 October 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila. Thanks to Eldis database reports.]


 

 

Social responsibility agreements in Ghana’s forestry sector

Authors: Ayine,D.M.
Produced by: International Institute for Environment and Development (2008)

In Ghana, legislation requires logging firms to commit a portion of their financial resources towards the provision of social amenities to local forest communities. Logging firms must perform this legal obligation by signing and implementing “Social Responsibility Agreements” (SRAs) with forest communities. This report is about legal arrangements for enabling forest communities in Ghana to participate better in the benefits generated by timber activities.

The document considers whether SRAs serve as effective vehicles for the sharing of benefits between local forest communities and investors. It reviews experience with Social Responsibility Agreements, and looks at what difference they have made to forest communities. In addition the author assesses the design, implementation and outcomes of Social Responsibility Agreements in the forestry industry in Ghana, drawing on a number of SRAs concluded between timber firms and local communities. Conclusions include:

  • Ghana’s experience may provide interesting lessons for other countries that are looking into developing arrangements to promote benefit sharing in forestry or in other sectors
  • the positive features of SRAs include clearly laid out minimum standards, explicit legal backing, and consideration for the conditions laid out in SRAs in the selection process for competitive TUC bids
  • wthe legal framework provides an enabling environment for the negotiation of SRAs, the actual practice of negotiating and implementing these agreements leaves much to be desired
  • Social Responsibility Agreements may become a more effective tool if local groups are better equipped to negotiate them. This requires establishing mechanisms to broaden community representation, so as to minimise local elite capture of SRA benefits. 
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INDIA’S RURAL SALVATION COULD BE SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE

August 26, 2008

Erle Frayne Argonza

 

Good morning from Manila!

 

India’s rural poor is very high in frequency as its overall rural population is still at an all-time high of 80%. No matter how heated the industrialization efforts are at the moment, it will take time before the benefits of industrialization will permeate the rural folks.

 

It is no wise action to force rural areas to commercial urbanization as an option to alleviate urban poverty.

 

[15 August 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila. Thanks to eldis.org database news.]

 

 

Sustainable agriculture: a pathway out of poverty for India’s rural poor

Produced by: Deutsche Gessellschaft fur Technische Zusammenarbeit (2008)

Millions of farmers in remote rural areas of India struggle to feed themselves and their families, while the resources on which they depend are deteriorating daily. This book shows how sustainable agriculture can help India’s farmers – especially those in poor, remote areas – pull themselves out of poverty.

The book details 14 examples of how development initiatives have helped farmers in some of the remotest parts of the country break out of the cycle of poverty, debt and environmental degradation, and improve their lives and livelihoods through agriculture that is economically, ecologically and socially sustainable.

The examples fall into three areas:

  • organic agriculture
  • land and water management
  • improving market access for small-scale farmers.

These examples were selected not only due to their success, but also because they have the potential to be replicated on a large scale. The analysis and lessons are intended to be applied to a wide variety of situations, not just in India, but also throughout the world. The authors argue that such large-scale application is vital if the Millennium Development Goals of eradicating extreme poverty and hunger and ensuring environmental sustainability are to be met.

Available online at: http://www.eldis.org/cf/rdr/?doc=38679&em=310708&sub=agric

MAPPING OUT CHANGING ENVIRONMENT

August 24, 2008

Erle Frayne Argonza

Mapping out changing environment to constitute an atlas is a new, exciting area in geo- mapping.

Below is a recently launched atlas on Africa concerning changing environment, by the United Nations Environment Program.

[10 August 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila. Thanks to eldis.org database news.]

Africa: atlas of our changing environment

Produced by: United Nations [UN] Environment Programme (2008)

This African atlas is the first publication to use satellite photos to depict environmental change in each and every African country during the last thirty years. Through an array of satellite images, graphs, maps, and photographs, this Atlas presents a powerful testament to the adverse changes taking place on the African landscape as a result of intensified natural and human impacts.

The atlas is composed of three parts:

  1.  
    • the first part provides a comprehensive overview of Africa’s geographical attributes, highlighting issues such as land degradation and desertification, water stress, declining biodiversity, deforestation, increasing dust storms, rising pollution and rapid urbanisation
    • part two presents examples of transboundary environmental issues related to shared lands and waters, migrating animals and people, and pollutants that drift over borders of neighbouring countries. It highlights both emerging challenges and success stories in addressing these issues
    • part three contains brief profiles of every African country, their important environmental issues, and a description of how each is faring in terms of progress towards the targets under the UN’s Millennium Development Goal 7, which is to ensure environmental sustainability. “Before and after” satellite images from every country highlight specific places where change is particularly evident.

Observations and measurements of environmental change illustrated in this Atlas help gauge the extent of progress made by African countries towards reaching the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals. It is argued that this book contributes to the knowledge and understanding that are essential for adaptation and remediation.

Available online at: http://www.eldis.org/cf/rdr/?doc=38210&em=310708&sub=enviro

ENERGY & ECOSYSTEM RESILIENCE

August 20, 2008

Erle Frayne Argonza

 

Climate change is reshaping human engagements the world over. In Africa, observations have already been made before regarding vulnerabilities to climate change and related attendant ecological concerns.

 

Below is a report regarding energy interventions that could re-adjust the livelihood/economic engagements of peoples of Africa.

 

[09 August 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila. Thanks to eldis.org database news.]

 

 

 

A preliminary assessment of energy and ecosystem resilience in ten African countries

Authors: Connor,H.; Mqadi,L.; Mukheibir,P.
Produced by: HELIO International (2007)

Africa is vulnerable to climate change on two fronts: firstly, because of existing vulnerabilities and secondly, due to capacity limitations for disaster mitigation and inability to adapt to climate change. There is an urgent need to ensure that activities centring on adaptation to climate change and sustainable energy development are increased and maintained so as to generate sustainable livelihoods.

This paper is a preliminary attempt to identify points of vulnerability as they relate to climate change-related events and sketch out what changes are needed – both politically and programmatically – to increase resilience. It explores the current state of vulnerability and details potential for adaptation. Results are presented summarising the key vulnerabilities for eight sub-Saharan countries: Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda.

It is argued that energy development for Africa in a changing climate will require greater emphasis on small-scale, decentralised and diversified supply and increased distribution to households and enterprises alike. A diversified and distributed energy mix is identified as the best insurance policy against climate change. However, it is argued that adaptation of energy policies and systems is only part of the solution; building up the resiliency of local populations and energy systems is equally important.

Key priorities identified for policy are:

  1.  
    • harness the value of indigenous knowledge to plan and achieve resilience
    • mobilise adequate and stable financial resources
    • mainstream adaptation and resilience in the development process
    • develop policies to institutionalise and mobilise “social capital”

The authors conclude that, despite the obstacles facing Africa, hope is not lost. They identify a number of positive characteristics upon which successful programmes can and should be built, including:

  1.  
    • culturally, Africa has strong social networks, which serve an important function in educating communities, disseminating information and serving as substitutes for collateral in micro-loans
    • as primary collectors and users of biomass and water, women are well-placed to monitor and manage resources, spur innovation on adaptive techniques and experiment with new management approaches
    • Africa’s decades-long experience coping with poverty that may be its strongest resource. By its collective survival, the region has shown itself to be adaptive and resilient despite enormous obstacles.

Available online at: http://www.eldis.org/cf/rdr/?doc=38442&em=310708&sub=enviro

PEOPLE, PROTECTED AREAS, GLOBAL CHANGE

August 19, 2008

 

Erle Frayne Argonza

 

There were so many areas across countries that were declared as ‘protected areas’ in the past years. In my own country, the Philippines, no less than a separate bureau was created to focus on the matter of protected areas.

 

It is now time to evaluate the impact of the various intervention efforts focusing on protected areas and how they mitigate ecological problems for people.

 

Below is an example of a cross-national study that focuses precisely on protected areas.

 

[10 August 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila. Thanks to eldis.org database news.]

 

 

 

People, protected areas and global change: participatory conservation in Latin America, Africa, Asia and Europe

Authors: Galvin,M.; Haller,T.
Produced by: NCCR North South (2008)

This document compares findings from in-depth research on protected area (PA) management in Latin America Africa, Asia and Europe. It describes how PAs have been managed over the last 50-100 years and considers the ecological, social and economic benefits brought by enhanced participation. The case studies presented in the book are from Bolivia, Argentina, Peru, Tanzania, Madagascar, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Switzerland, Indonesia, Nepal, and Vietnam.

These individual studies look at the problems people face and at environmental issues from a variety of angles, including governance and institutions, different actors’ interests and strategies, livelihoods and natural resources, and economic and political contexts. The authors highlight lessons learnt, best practices, and potentials for mitigation of negative impacts with respect to conservation of landscapes and biodiversity.

It is argued that relations between PAs and local people are difficult because perspectives on nature, natural resources and conservation are closely interlinked with restrictions and competition in land and resource use, as well as other rights. The case studies highlight that the understanding of participation also varies greatly in all cases, as does the role of development.

The basic lessons learnt from the literature and case studies are summarised as follows:

  1.  
    • although most of the PAs studied are participatory in their formal structure, this does not translate into economic benefits for local people
    • power issues and issues of ideology are used strategically by all actors in order to structure governance and the underlying institutions for their own gain
    • for local actors political gains may be an incentive to strategically subscribe to conservation goals, especially if they have ownership of the decision-making process

Available online at: http://www.eldis.org/cf/rdr/?doc=38428&em=310708&sub=enviro

ENERGY & ECOSYSTEM RESILIENCE

August 18, 2008

Erle Frayne Argonza

 

Climate change is reshaping human engagements the world over. In Africa, observations have already been made before regarding vulnerabilities to climate change and related attendant ecological concerns.

 

Below is a report regarding energy interventions that could re-adjust the livelihood/economic engagements of peoples of Africa.

 

[09 August 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila. Thanks to eldis.org database news.]

 

 

 

A preliminary assessment of energy and ecosystem resilience in ten African countries

Authors: Connor,H.; Mqadi,L.; Mukheibir,P.
Produced by: HELIO International (2007)

Africa is vulnerable to climate change on two fronts: firstly, because of existing vulnerabilities and secondly, due to capacity limitations for disaster mitigation and inability to adapt to climate change. There is an urgent need to ensure that activities centring on adaptation to climate change and sustainable energy development are increased and maintained so as to generate sustainable livelihoods.

This paper is a preliminary attempt to identify points of vulnerability as they relate to climate change-related events and sketch out what changes are needed – both politically and programmatically – to increase resilience. It explores the current state of vulnerability and details potential for adaptation. Results are presented summarising the key vulnerabilities for eight sub-Saharan countries: Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda.

It is argued that energy development for Africa in a changing climate will require greater emphasis on small-scale, decentralised and diversified supply and increased distribution to households and enterprises alike. A diversified and distributed energy mix is identified as the best insurance policy against climate change. However, it is argued that adaptation of energy policies and systems is only part of the solution; building up the resiliency of local populations and energy systems is equally important.

Key priorities identified for policy are:

  1.  
    • harness the value of indigenous knowledge to plan and achieve resilience
    • mobilise adequate and stable financial resources
    • mainstream adaptation and resilience in the development process
    • develop policies to institutionalise and mobilise “social capital”

The authors conclude that, despite the obstacles facing Africa, hope is not lost. They identify a number of positive characteristics upon which successful programmes can and should be built, including:

  1.  
    • culturally, Africa has strong social networks, which serve an important function in educating communities, disseminating information and serving as substitutes for collateral in micro-loans
    • as primary collectors and users of biomass and water, women are well-placed to monitor and manage resources, spur innovation on adaptive techniques and experiment with new management approaches
    • Africa’s decades-long experience coping with poverty that may be its strongest resource. By its collective survival, the region has shown itself to be adaptive and resilient despite enormous obstacles.

Available online at: http://www.eldis.org/cf/rdr/?doc=38442&em=310708&sub=enviro