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Water-Related Environmental Services and Options for their Sustainable Use in the Pangani Basin, East Africa
Notter, Benedikt
The study develops and applies a methodology for quantifying ecosystem services in the water sector in the East African Pangani Basin for the year 2000 and for scenarios for 2025. Special attention is given to the criteria of valuation by stakeholders and accessibility of water resources, which necessitates the use of a high-resolution hydrological process model. Services quantified include domestic water, water for irrigated or rainfed agriculture, hydropower production, and environmental flows. PhD Thesis at Centre for Development and Environment, University of Bern Download
Negotiating Statehood and Humanitarian Assistance in Timor-Leste: an incompatible pair?
Schenk, Christine
In: Christine Cabasset-Semedo, Fréderic Durand, eds. East-Timor. How to build a New Nation in Southeast Asia in the 21st Century; Christine Cabasset-Semedo, Research Institute on Contemporary Southeast Asia, pp. 31-47. Download
An Assessment of Trends in the Extent of Swidden in Southeast Asia
Schmidt-Vogt, Dietrich
In: Human Ecology 37(3):269-280. Download
Who Counts? The Demography of Swidden Cultivators.
Mertz, Ole
Swidden cultivators are often found as a distinct category of farmers in the literature, but rarely appear in population censuses or other national and regional classifications. This has led to a worldwide confusion on how many people are dependent on this form of agriculture. The most often cited number of 200–300 million dates back to the early 1970s, but the source is obscure. We assess available, published data from nine countries in Southeast Asia and conclude that on this basis it is not possible to provide a firm estimate of the number of swidden cultivators in the region. A conservative range of 14–34 million people engaged in swidden cultivation in the region is suggested, however. We argue that along with improved knowledge of swidden livelihoods, there is an urgent need to develop techniques that will allow for better estimates of swidden populations in order to secure appropriate rural development and poverty reduction in swidden areas. Human Ecology 37:281-289. doi:10.1007/s10745-009-9249-y. Download
Modeling the contribution of point sources and non-point sources to Thachin River water pollution
Schaffner, Monika
Paper available at: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969709004628
Land Degradation and Sustainable Land Management in the Highlands of Ethiopia
Hurni, Hans
The Ethiopian Highlands cover over 50% of the country and are home to more than 90% of Ethiopia's population of over 80 million people (estimate for 2010); 60% of the livestock and 90% of the area suited for agriculture are also located here. Although more than 90% of the Highlands was once forested, today a mere 20% of this area is covered by trees, and the percentage of forest cover is less than 4%. This is evidence of a high incidence of degradation of vegetation in the past, which has continued to the present. Land-use and land-cover changes have been particularly dynamic in the 20th century, during which climate change also began to have effects; wildlife in natural habitats have been restricted to those few areas that were preserved naturally due to rugged topography or natural aridity. Soil erosion has been severe throughout the Highlands, but mainly on agricultural land; the current severity and extent of soil degradation seriously threaten food security. [...] In: Hurni H, Wiesmann U, editors; with an international group of co-editors. Global Change and Sustainable Development: A Synthesis of Regional Experiences from Research Partnerships. Perspectives of the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) North-South, University of Bern, Vol. 5. Bern, Switzerland: Geographica Bernensia, pp 187-207. Download
Managing water resources in dynamic settings: A multi-level, multi-stakeholder perspective.
Ngana, James
The aim of the present article is to contribute to the debate on the role of research in sustainable management of water and related resources, based on experiences in the Upper Ewaso Ng’iro and Pangani river basins in East Africa. Both basins are characterised by humid, resource-rich highlands and extensive semi-arid lowlands, by growing demand for water and related resources, and by numerous conflicting stakeholder interests. Issues of scale and level, on the one hand, and the normative dimension of sustainability, on the other hand, are identified as key challenges for research that seeks to produce relevant and applicable results for informed decision-making. A multi-level and multi-stakeholder perspective, defined on the basis of three minimal principles, is proposed here as an approach to research for informed decision-making. Key lessons learnt from applying these principles in the two river basins are presented and iscussed in the light of current debate. In: Hurni H, Wiesmann U, editors; with an international group of co-editors. Global Change and Sustainable Development: A Synthesis of Regional Experiences from Research Partnerships. Perspectives of the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) North-South, University of Bern, Vol. 5. Bern, Switzerland: Geographica Bernensia, pp 91-106. Download
Managing Water in a Dynamic Setting: The Challenges of Change in Central Asia
Maselli, Daniel
This paper summarises research activities related to water and water management carried out mainly in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan between 2002 and 2008, and anchors them in a broader regional water management context. Results show that climate change and socio-political transformation processes have heavy impacts on the condition of natural resources as well as on people's livelihoods. While rapid glacier retreat is providing more water for agriculture, river flow modelling suggests a forward shift of the main water discharge from the end of July to June. This may lead to more acute water shortages in the lowlands towards the end of the summer period. Dilapidated irrigation infrastructure, institutional failures, and inappropriate use of water by inexperienced farmers are the main reasons why less than 30% of the water reaches its final destination. [...] In: Hurni H, Wiesmann U, editors; with an international group of co-editors. Global Change and Sustainable Development: A Synthesis of Regional Experiences from Research Partnerships. Perspectives of the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) North-South, University of Bern, Vol. 5. Bern, Switzerland: Geographica Bernensia, pp 223-239. Download
Modeling non-point source pollution from rice farming in the Thachin River Basin
Schaffner, Monika
With the worldwide intensification of agriculture, non-point source pollution of surface waters has become a pressing issue. Conventional river water quality models consider non-point sources as accumulated entries into the rivers and do not investigate into the processes generating the pollution at its source, thus preventing the determination of effective mitigation measures. The models require extensive data inputs, which is a deficiency in many developing and emerging countries with limited data availability. The current study applies a Material Flow Model as a complementary approach to quantify non-point source pollution from agricultural areas. Rice farming in the Thachin River Basin is presented as a case study, with a focus on nutrients. The total nitrogen and phosphorus flows from rice farming to the river system are quantified, the key parameters influencing these flows are determined and potential mitigation measures are discussed. The results show that rice contributes considerable nutrient loads to the Thachin River Basin. Scenario simulations demonstrate that a significant nutrient load reduction could be achieved by following the official recommendations for fertilizer application, thus confirming the local efforts to introduce best management practice. Our results underline the importance of non-point source pollution control in intensive agricultural areas, particularly of tropical lowland delta areas such as the Central Plains of Thailand. The specific benefit of applying a Material Flow Model in this context is that with limited data availability, one can reach an understanding of the system and gain a first overview over its key pollution problems. This can serve as supportive basis for determining consecutive in-depth research requirements. Paper available at: http://www.springerlink.com/content/2630616v30q61506/?MUD=MP
Modeling the contribution of pig farming to pollution of the Thachin River
Schaffner, Monika
Rapid growth of the livestock production sector in South-East Asia during recent decades has led to a widespread degradation of ground and surface waters. The Thachin River Basin in Central Thailand serves as a case study for investigating the origins and pathways of nutrient loads produced by intensive pig farming. A mathematical material flow analysis is used to identify key nitrogen flows and the main parameters determining them. Scenarios of the potential for reducing these flows and achieving compliance with current discharge regulations are investigated. The results show that liquid waste discharged from large pig farms and directly discharged waste from small farms are the key nitrogen flows to the river system. The key driving forces are not only the treatment coverage and efficiencies but also the rate of reuse and recycling of the treated product. Paper available at: http://www.springerlink.com/content/l72t1878k2075942 Year of Publication: 2009
On the road through the Bolivian Amazon: A multi-level land governance analysis of deforestation
Bottazzi, Patrick
Studies show that collective property rights are more flexible than individual rights and improve sustainable forest management. Our case study in Bolivia (Beni department) confirms this, but shows that collective rights were granted in areas unfavourable to intensive land use. Collectively held land in Andean settlements appears less affected by deforestation than individually held land. Historical analysis of the region shows that the distribution of property rights results from political processes based on economic, spatial, and environmental strategies defined by multiple stakeholders. Collective titles were distributed to remote communities with less productive potential. Land rights are thus a secondary factor in local forest cover change and result from political compromises based on population, accessibility, environmental perceptions, and expected production/extraction incomes. Bottazzi P, Dao H. Accepted. On the road through the Bolivian Amazon: A multi-level land governance analysis of deforestation. Land Use Policy 30(1):137–146. Available at: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0264837712000440