Browsing by Subject "rural development"

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  • Hassan, Badal A; Glover, Edinam K.; Luukkanen, Olavi; Kanninen, Markku; Jamnadass, Ramni (2019)
    The dryland vegetation and particularly the Acacia-Commiphora woodlands support the livelihoods of approximately 52 million rural households in the Horn of Africa. Aromatic resins are valuable non-wood forest products (NWFPs) derived from Boswellia and Commiphora species in the drylands of this region. The study seeks to answer the following main questions: “What are the ecological and livelihood roles of resin producing species, and the role that people have in either degrading or restoring these ecosystems?” “Who are the participants in frankincense and myrrh production, processing, and trade, and how do these people interact?” “What is the current and potential future economic impact of frankincense and myrrh production and trade at the household level?” “What are the barriers to enhanced economic outcomes?” The study involves the use of PRISMA method—a systematic methodology to identify, select and analyze the recent literature on aromatic resins in relation to such factors as socio-economic situation, livelihood security, value chain, climate change adaptation, ecology and sustainable development in the Horn of Africa. Systematic identification of publications was conducted using several sources, including but not limited to electronic databases for literature search. Web of Science, Social Science Citation Index and Google Scholar and various scientific journals were investigated using search terms and restrictions. A total of 991 references were retrieved, but literature only published between 2003 to 2017 was selected, which led to the use of 51 works for full-text assessment. The results indicate that of the 51 selected studies, 45% focused on ecology and sustainable management, 31% on economic contribution and livelihood security, 20% on production and value chain development, and 4% on climate change adaptation and mitigation. It could be concluded that farmers’ adoption of Boswellia and Commiphora species as economic tree crops in the Horn of Africa has a distinct role in biodiversity conservation and climate change adaptation by contributing to the sustainability of ecosystem functioning as well as improving household incomes and the rural livelihood security in general, and thereby facilitating poverty alleviation.
  • Lappalainen, Anu (Helsingfors universitet, 2002)
    Madagascar is one of the megadiversity countries of the world and its highly endemic flora and fauna is under threat from a rapidly growing population. Over the past few years many conservation projects have combined development goals with conservation, thus supporting the conservation goal by attempting to ease human pressure on the protected area. The objective of this study is to investigate the views and opinions of local people with regard to Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar. This study examines the changes the park has brought to peoples’ lives, general attitudes towards the environment and conservation as well as opinions about the park management. The main information presented in this study was obtained from 121 interviews completed in six villages. Three of them are situated close to the park and they have received intentional development interventions from the authorities. Another three lie further away and have no official connections with the park. The study will investigate how distance and interventions affect peoples views and opinions. The information obtained represents independent opinions from a random sample of the resident population. All the schools of each village were visited and over 400 pupils responded to a questionnaire about the environment. In addition to this the NGO's, local authorities, health centres, churches and a family planning clinic, were consulted in order to gain a thorough picture of the communities views. People in the villages closest to the park have obtained employment through tourism and research. Other positive effects include assistance with new farming methods, the introduction of alternative livelihoods and environmental education. Villagers further away from the park mentioned the slowing down of environmental degradation as the major achievement of the park. The major negative effect is restrictions on usage of the natural resources people depend on. Adequate alternatives are not available and direct compensation for economic losses has not been offered. This study presents people’s suggestions on improving education, management of the park, livelihoods and environment. More efficient development projects that geographically reach further would help the park to achieve its development goals and through that the conservation objectives. The results of this study emphasise the importance of education, which increases people’s awareness of the environmental processes. This enables them to understand the consequences of human activities and gives them an awareness of the consequences of continuing unsustainable use of resources. Decreasing poverty near protected areas is also essential in order to reduce pressure on the environment. A third important issue is the slowing down of population growth. Successful combination of conservation and development requires constant reassessment and responses to changing situations. The survival of Madagascar’s rain forests is a global concern so responsibility and costs must be borne globally, too.
  • Haapala, Juho; White, Pamela (2018)
    This article considers the little studied role of local implementation staff and their institutional operational environment at the grassroots of a rural development intervention in Nepal. The study describes the challenges the implementing staff encounters in relation to the steering policies, project modalities, local communities, partners in government administration, and their personal motivations. It observes the ways in which the implementing individuals must collaborate with their partners and facilitate the planned changes in local institutions and individual behaviours. The findings indicate that much of the actual implementation process at the grassroots is determined by informal, improvised, and fuzzy institutional surroundings, quite different to designed or regulated governance environs. The ability to operate in these less-regulated environs determines many of the implementation outcomes at the grassroots. Researchers, managers and decision-makers would benefit from incorporating institutional bricolage to the analyses of development interventions.
  • Salmivaara, Maikki (Helsingfors universitet, 2013)
    Food has featured in the global development agenda for several decades. However, increasing food prices and the global food crisis of 2007-2008, fuelled the debate around food security, which was also one the main thematic priorities of Finn Church Aid's strategy in 2009-2012. This thesis was commissioned by FCA in order to examine food security in the context of their development cooperation project in Cambodia. The purpose of the study is to support FCA and their local partner organization, the Lutheran World Federation Cambodia’s work on food security. The study has two objectives: to contribute to the understanding of the intertwined issues of rural development and food security, and to the understanding of the food security approach and intervention logics. Firstly, food reality is scrutinized in a Cambodian rural village. The focus is on the functioning of the food system at the local level, and as part of a wider food system reaching beyond the village boundaries and even the national level. In addition, the household level food security is analysed from the perspective of livelihoods - means of gaining a living - and different ways of commanding or accessing food. This level allows scrutinizing how village level changes in the food system affect different kinds of families. Secondly, the study analyses the food security approach of LWF, with regard to the village food reality and in the light of politicised international discourses on food security. The thesis is a contextual case study of the village of Chrokhlong, based on one month’s field work period in November and December 2010, as well as LWF Cambodia’s program documents and interviews with the staff. The field work material consists of 43 interviews with the villagers, 76 informal discussions and personal observation. Food security and general development themes in Cambodia are explored through literature and personal interviews. The study found that the local food security is affected by important changes of the wider food system. Population growth and economic liberalization increase pressures on land and natural resources in the village context. Accumulation and fragmentation of land and degradation of common resources are related to the increasing commoditization of the village food system. Food security has become an issue of purchasing power. Land for rice cultivation appears as the most important factor contributing to household food security. The most food insecure families lack land and means of generating incomes in order to purchase food, such as family members in working age and good health. The poorest families are the most affected by the depletion of common resources and the increasing food prices. At a strategic level, LWF has adopted a holistic approach to food security and defines their objective as 'right to food' in line with a rights based approach to development. However, at the practical level the approach seems narrower, and the work on food security focuses on enhancing food production. This focus risks not taking into account the food insecurity of the land-poor families who do not benefit from increasing productivity. The centrality of the land issue and the specific situation of the most food insecure families is no considered sufficiently. Based on this case study, an integrated and holistic rural development approach would seem to provide relatively more benefits to households that are able to produce to markets, while the food security of the poorest families can be even further threatened by a greater dependence of markets. While LWF’s ideals seem to reflect a 'food justice' discourse, their practical work is more in line with the hegemonic discourse labelled as 'food security', that does not aim at affecting the structural causes of food insecurity at different levels.
  • Järveläinen, Veli-Pekka; Riihinen, Päiviö (Suomen metsätieteellinen seura, 1979)
  • Elovirta, Pertti (Suomen metsätieteellinen seura, 1979)
  • Cole, Robert; Brockhaus, Maria; Wong, Grace Yee; Kallio, Maarit Helena; Moeliono, Moira (2019)
    Themes of inclusion, empowerment, and participation are recurrent in development discourse and interventions, implying enablement of agency on the part of communities and individuals to inform and influence how policies that affect them are enacted. This article aims to contribute to debates on participation in rural development and environmental conservation, by applying a structure-agency lens to examine experiences of marginal farm households in three distinct systems of resource allocation in Lao PDR’s northern uplands—in other words, three institutional or (in)formal structures. These comprise livelihood development and poverty reduction projects, maize contract farming, and a national protected area. Drawing on qualitative data from focus group discussions and household surveys, the article explores the degree to which farmers may shape their engagement with the different systems, and ways in which agency may be enabled or disabled by this engagement. Our findings show that although some development interventions provide consultative channels for expressing needs, these are often within limited options set from afar. The market-based maize system, while in some ways agency-enabling, also entailed narrow choices and heavy dependence on external actors. The direct regulation of the protected area system meanwhile risked separating policy decisions from existing local knowledge. Our analytical approach moves beyond notions of agency commonly focused on decision-making and/or resistance, and instead revisits the structure-agency dichotomy to build a nuanced understanding of people’s lived experiences of interventions. This allows for fresh perspectives on the everyday enablement or disablement of agency, aiming to support policy that is better grounded in local realities. Keywords: agency, participation, rural development, forests, conservation, Lao PDR
  • Rautio, Suvi (2021)
    Ethnic minority villages across Southwest China have recently experienced a dramatic increase in cultural heritage projects. Following new policies of rural development and the growth of tourism, villages are being converted into heritage sites to preserve the aesthetics of rurality and ethnicity. This article describes how architect scholars plan to create a ‘Chinese Traditional Village’ in a Dong autonomous district of Guizhou province, focusing in particular on the constraints of those plans and the negotiations. Rather than looking at plans as the end product, this article sheds light on the social dynamics of planning to reconsider the capacity for compromise between the interests and perspectives of planners, officials, and local inhabitants. Lasting compromises appear specifically in the materiality of buildings, pathways, and public space.
  • Angelstam, Per; Fedoriak, Mariia; Cruz, Fatima; Muñoz-Rojas, José; Yamelynets, Taras; Manton, Michael; Washbourne, Carla-Leanne; Dobrynin, Denis; Izakovičova, Zita; Jansson, Nicklas; Jaroszewicz, Bogdan; Kanka, Robert; Kavtarishvili, Marika; Kopperoinen, Leena; Lazdinis, Marius; Metzger, Marc J.; Özüt, Deniz; Gjorgjieska, Dori Pavloska; Sijtsma, Frans J.; Stryamets, Nataliya; Tolunay, Ahmet; Turkoglu, Turkay; Moolen, Bert van der; Zagidullina, Asiya; Zhuk, Alina (2021)
    Ecology and Society 26 (1): 11
    Achieving sustainable development as an inclusive societal process in rural landscapes, and sustainability in terms of functional green infrastructures for biodiversity conservation and ecosystem services, are wicked challenges. Competing claims from various sectors call for evidence-based adaptive collaborative governance. Leveraging such approaches requires maintenance of several forms of social interactions and capitals. Focusing on Pan-European regions with different environmental histories and cultures, we estimate the state and trends of two groups of factors underpinning rural landscape stewardship, namely, (1) traditional rural landscape and novel face-to-face as well as virtual fora for social interaction, and (2) bonding, bridging, and linking forms of social capital. We applied horizon scanning to 16 local landscapes located in 18 countries, representing Pan-European social-ecological and cultural gradients. The resulting narratives, and rapid appraisal knowledge, were used to estimate portfolios of different fora for social interactions and forms of social capital supporting landscape stewardship. The portfolios of fora for social interactions were linked to societal cultures across the European continent: “self-expression and secular-rational values” in the northwest, “Catholic” in the south, and “survival and traditional authority values” in the East. This was explained by the role of traditional secular and religious local meeting places. Virtual internet-based fora were most widespread. Bonding social capitals were the strongest across the case study landscapes, and linking social capitals were the weakest. This applied to all three groups of fora. Pan-European social-ecological contexts can be divided into distinct clusters with respect to the portfolios of different fora supporting landscape stewardship, which draw mostly on bonding and bridging forms of social capital. This emphasizes the need for regionally and culturally adapted approaches to landscape stewardship, which are underpinned by evidence-based knowledge about how to sustain green infrastructures based on both forest naturalness and cultural landscape values. Sharing knowledge from comparative studies can strengthen linking social capital.
  • Thorsøe, Martin Hvarregaard; Andersen, Mikael Skou; Brady, Mark V.; Graversgaard, Morten; Kilis, Emils; Pedersen, Anders Branth; Pitzén, Samuli; Valve, Helena (Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, 2021)
    Following decades of international collaboration to restore the Baltic Sea, we provide an assessment of the domestic implementation of measures agreed to limit diffuse agricultural pollution and the patterns of policy instruments applied. Despite the Helsinki Convention being unusually specific in detailing what measures countries should introduce, we find many shortcomings. These are most pronounced in the larger countries (Poland, Germany and Russia), while smaller countries perform better, notably Sweden and Estonia. The patterns of policy instruments applied differ, influenced by domestic politics. The limited use of complementary policy instruments suggests that other priorities overrule full and effective implementation, with engagement mirroring the advantages that a restored Baltic Sea can bring to countries. Using the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development to support farmers in managing nutrients, particularly advisory services and investments in modern manure management technologies, represents a significant opportunity for reducing agricultural pollution in most countries.
  • Valkila, Joni (2004)
    Poverty and environmental degradation are intertwined problems in Madagascar. The need to protect Madagascar's unique nature and alleviate desperate poverty in rural areas has created the need to develop rural livelihoods. Beekeeping is one source of livelihood that can be developed to bring food and income in a way that causes minimal harm to environment. This thesis studies the possibilities and constraints of apicultural development in Ranomafana National Park in Madagascar. Using sustainable livelihoods approach as a theoretical framework the thesis studies the current forms of honey production and the possibilities to improve them. The likely impacts of apicultural development on rural poverty and conservation of biodiversity are studied. Social, cultural, economical and ecological factors affecting apicultural development are identified and discussed. The research is based on field work in Ranomafana National Park in Madagascar and literature review on protected areas, bees and tropical beekeeping and the livelihoods of the rural poor. Several types of interviews were used: semi structured interviews, participant observation and PRA methods. Additionally honey samples were collected and analyzed and statistics on honey and beeswax exportation and importation were analyzed. Honey production is an important source of livelihood in Ranomafana National Park and it has a potential to become significantly more important. Current forms of honey production are profitable and require very little investments in terms of money and time. More advanced methods of beekeeping require higher inputs and would provide higher outputs. New and old methods of beekeeping will likely co-exist in Ranomafana National Park in the future. The major constraints and challenges for beekeeping are lack of infrastructure, poor transport conditions, undeveloped markets for, honey and other bee products and the inability of beekeepers to invest in beekeeping equipment. Some honey is currently imported to Madagascar. Madagascar should enforce its legislation that makes possible the prohibition of bee and honey imports. This would prevent importation of bee diseases and parasites into Madagascar. Additionally this would protect Madagascar's own honey production which at the moment can not compete in international honey markets.