Posted tagged ‘marginal sectors’

RURAL POVERTY ALLEVIATION VIA WATER RESOURCES

August 24, 2008

Erle Frayne Argonza

Good day!

How do water resources alleviate rural poverty? What methods of intervention can be cited, and how did such intervention schemes impact on poverty alleviation? Could corruption have served as a facet of such intervention programs in developing economies?

Below is a study regarding approaches to rural poverty alleviation in Asia.

[11August 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila]

Approaches to rural poverty alleviation in developing Asia: role of water resources

Authors: Lipton,M.
Produced by: Poverty Research Unit, Sussex (2008)

Focusing on water resources and irrigation, this paper documents a talk by Michael Lipton exploring approaches to poverty alleviation in developing Asia. The talk discusses the findings of a recent paper ‘Pro-poor intervention strategies in irrigated agriculture in Asia: poverty in irrigated agriculture – realities, issues, and options with guidelines’. It looks at a number of topical issues such as irrigation in relation to access and global poverty, irrigation corruption, and sustainability.

The study discussed rests upon household surveys in 2001-2 in 26 major and medium canal irrigation systems (and adjoining rainfed areas) in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, China, Indonesia and Vietnam. The surveys showed that in the rainfed areas, crop yields are typically half those in the adjoining irrigated areas, and that the landless in irrigated areas enjoy ‘much higher’ wage-rates and employment. Hence typically poverty incidence is 20-30 per cent higher in rainfed than adjoining canal-irrigated settings.

The speaker notes, however, that there are big differences, among and within systems, in irrigation’s efficiency, equity, and thus poverty impact. He asks, what determines the cost-effectiveness of irrigation as a sustainable remedy for poverty (a) in irrigated areas, (b) by spreading to new areas?

Key points include:

  1.  
    • whether management of water for farming is pro-poor depends on its sustainable impact on growth, stability and distribution of consumption, and of other indicators of well-being
    • the study gives strong evidence that more equal distribution of land and irrigation is not only pro-poor but also efficient
    • changes in incentives and institutions alone can bring rapid progress in solving most major problems of Asian canal irrigation, improving its economic efficiency and poverty impact
    • the main disincentive for aid to irrigation has been the growing doubt about side-effects: on health, on uncompensated land loss from new works (especially among indigenous populations), and on environmental sustainability
    • we need to look at the results of this project to examine the causes of collapse in irrigation investment, and about cost-effective, pro-poor ways to remedy that collapse

Available online at: http://www.eldis.org/cf/rdr/?doc=38021&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

AID FUNDS FOR AFRICA, ANYONE?

August 7, 2008

Erle Frayne Argonza

Magandang araw! Good day!

Aid commitments to the south by the more developed economies of the North have been among the news trends recently. There is, for instance, the commitment of $25 Billion per year for the whole African continent, a commitment that hopefully won’t fly in the air as mere political promise.

A relevant news concerns IMF-World Bank actions about the matter.

[30 July 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila. Thanks to DevEx database news.

 

IMF, World Bank & IFI Round-Up

Leaders of the Group of Eight rich nations are set to backtrack on their landmark pledge at the Gleneagles summit in 2005 to increase development aid to Africa to USD 25 billion a year. A draft communiqué obtained by the Financial Times, due to be issued at the group’s July summit in Hokkaido, Japan, shows leaders will commit to fulfilling “our commitments on [development aid] made at Gleneagles” – but fails to cite the target of USD 25 billion annually by 2010. This goal – which was repeated at last year’s G8 summit in Germany – was seen as an important boost for Africa. The ambitious plan was a cornerstone of former UK prime minister Tony Blair’s G8 presidency and championed by his successor, Gordon Brown.

Warning that rising food and oil prices pose a crisis for the world’s poor, Robert B. Zoellick, the President of the World Bank, is calling on President Bush and other leaders convening in Japan next week for the G8 summit meeting to make new aid commitments to avert starvation and instability in dozens of countries. Zoellick’s letter, obtained by NYT, came with a lengthy study of the impact of rising prices for food, fuel and commodities on the world’s poor. Zoellick said in his letter that the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Food Program (WPF) had short-term needs of USD 10 billion. Zoellick’s letter calculates that, for the world’s 41 poorest countries, the combined impact of high food, fuel and other commodities is a ‘negative shock’ to their economies, reducing GDP by between 3 and 10 percent, causing ‘broken lives and stunted potential’ for millions.

The World Bank gave the go-ahead at a board meeting July 1 for the creation of a pair of global investment funds to back developing nations’ efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the effects of climate change. The Climate Investment Funds, led by Japan, Britain and the US and to be administered by the World Bank, are expected to start with total initial funds of USD 5 billion and become operational by the end of the year, it said. The approval of the Clean Technology Fund and Strategic Climate Fund comes days before a summit of G8 in Hokkaido, Japan, on July 8 where climate change issues are on the agenda. ‘The G8 is likely to broadly support the establishment of the climate investment funds,’ Warren Evans, Director of the World Bank’s environment department, told reporters.

A new IMF study, looking at the impact of soaring oil and food costs, said many poor and developing countries will likely have to change their economic policies in response to soaring commodity prices, AFP reported. The IMF Food and Fuel Prices–Recent Developments, Macroeconomic Impact, and Policy Response report found that poor households are most affected by food price inflation and “warned that the share of undernourished (people) in developing countries could rise rapidly above the current 40 percent of total population.” Energy and food values are still rising and the IMF said its research suggests the “problem is worsening.”

The World Bank’s private sector arm has launched a new fund it hopes will unlock as much as USD 5 billion in infrastructure investment for the world’s poorest countries. As part of its drive to reach deeper into some of the most forbidding markets, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) will use a pot of USD 100 million to cover the initial costs of power, logistics, and transport, ports and communications projects. Once a project is shown to be viable, it will be tendered to other investors, the Financial Times (UK) reported. Working with an initial partner, the IFC fund – known as InfraVentures – will cover start-up costs such as feasibility studies and legal fees. Half of its resources will be devoted to sub-Saharan Africa, with the remainder spread across Latin America and Asia.