Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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The interaction triangle as a tool for understanding stakeholder interactions in marine ecosystem based management
Rockmann, C. ; Leeuwen, J. van; Goldsborough, D.G. ; Kraan, M.L. ; Piet, G.J. - \ 2015
Marine Policy 52 (2015). - ISSN 0308-597X - p. 155 - 162.
traditional ecological knowledge - fisheries management - environmental assessment - citizen participation - resource-management - risk communication - uncertainty - governance - framework - science
Expectations about ecosystem based management (EBM) differ due to diverging perspectives about what EBM should be and how it should work. While EBM by its nature requires trade-offs to be made between ecological, economic and social sustainability criteria, the diversity of cross-sectoral perspectives, values, stakes, and the specificity of each individual situation determine the outcome of these trade-offs. The authors strive to raise awareness of the importance of interaction between three stakeholder groups (decision makers, scientists, and other actors) and argue that choosing appropriate degrees of interaction between them in a transparent way can make EBM more effective in terms of the three effectiveness criteria salience, legitimacy, and credibility. This article therefore presents an interaction triangle in which three crucial dimensions of stakeholder interactions are discussed: (A) between decision makers and scientists, who engage in framing to foster salience of scientific input to decision making, (B) between decision makers and other actors, to shape participation processes to foster legitimacy of EBM processes, and (C) between scientists and other actors, who collaborate to foster credibility of knowledge production. Due to the complexity of EBM, there is not one optimal interaction approach; rather, finding the optimal degrees of interaction for each dimension depends on the context in which EBM is implemented, i.e. the EBM objectives, the EBM initiator’s willingness for transparency and interaction, and other context-specific factors, such as resources, trust, and state of knowledge.
Punishment and compliance: Exploring scenarios to improve the legitimacy of small-scale fisheries management rules on the Brazilian coast
Karper, M.A.M. ; Lopes, P.P.M. - \ 2014
Marine Policy 44 (2014). - ISSN 0308-597X - p. 457 - 464.
marine protected areas - resource-management - crime - enforcement - regulations - impacts - ocean - age
This study investigated the effects of legal and societal punishment on fishermen's compliance behaviour, according to fishermen's age and level of dependency on fisheries, through the use of interviews and scenarios. Ninety-five fishermen living in a coastal park (Ponta do Tubardo Sustainable Development Reserve) in the Brazilian northeast, where controlled exploitation of natural resources is allowed, took part in this study. The results showed that age alone would not affect compliance, regardless of the level of enforcement. However, it was noticed that the fishermen who claimed to depend on the money provided by fisheries, regardless of their age, were more likely to say that they would not comply, even if enforcement were stricter. The scenario analysis showed that increased monitoring and punishment (including societal pressure) could enhance compliance, especially among younger fishermen, who claimed not to depend solely on fisheries. Therefore, fisheries management should also consider differences in social groups, and not focus solely on the enforcement and punishment mechanisms, assuring that livelihood options that consider different social needs are provided. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
The Methodologies of Empowerment? A Systematic Review of the Deployment of Participation in the Coastal Zone Management Literature
Puente Rodriguez, D. - \ 2014
Coastal Management 42 (2014)5. - ISSN 0892-0753 - p. 426 - 446.
marine protected areas - integrated coastal - wadden sea - resource-management - ocean management - decision-making - climate-change - governance - knowledge - policy
Participation (e.g., stakeholder involvement) has become a central concept in the practice of environmental and coastal zone management. Research has shown that the integration of participation in coastal zone management has positive ecological and social outcomes. In the literature, however, participation is often reported in an unstructured and uncritical manner. Therefore, to find out whether and how there is a useful way to structure and characterize the way the coastal zone management literature deals with participation, we have conducted a literature review. The review was conducted and the literature structured through three central dimensions of participation, namely: power, knowledge, and (visions of) nature. The article concludes that this structured approach to participation enables us to study more systematically the role of participation and might facilitate the governance and learning processes of coastal networks.
Evaluating the role of ecosystem serivces in participatory land use planning: proposing a balanced score card
Fürst, C. ; Opdam, P. ; Inostroza, L. ; Luque, S. - \ 2014
Landscape Ecology 29 (2014)8. - ISSN 0921-2973 - p. 1435 - 1446.
landscape metrics - resource-management - sustainability - perspectives - indicators - provision - ecology
The application of the ecosystem services (ES) concept in land use planning has great potential to enhance the awareness of planning actors on their interactions. At the same time it can contribute to improve the linkage between the role of land use patterns and the understanding of land system functioning and its contribution to human well-being. The concept should be developed in a way that can be applicable in socio-ecological systems where nature and society are capable of enhancing their roles mutually. The objective of this paper is to suggest a standardized scheme and generalizable criteria to assess how successful the application of the ES concept contributed to facilitate participatory planning. We consider three potential advantages and three critical aspects for how to improve the applicability and relevance of the ES concept in planning. Hereon based, we present a balanced score card tool for which we broke down to advantages and risks into concrete questions. We illustrate the application of this approach with two case studies, representatives of two major governance schemes in relation to land use planning. We demonstrate that the balanced score card approach helps to reveal potential imbalances regarding the consideration of different ES groups. It supports testing the potential of the ES concept to enhance or not interactions of local and regional actors. We conclude that the framework should be reconsidered after a set of case studies to be developed into a monitoring tool for supporting planning practices.
Repeated Experimentation to Learn About a Flow-Pollutant Threshold
Groeneveld, R.A. ; Springborn, M. ; Costello, C. - \ 2014
Environmental and Resource Economics 58 (2014)4. - ISSN 0924-6460 - p. 627 - 647.
resource-management - lakes - environment - safety - shifts - quotas - taxes
We examine in discrete time the management of a flow pollutant that causes damage when it crosses a fixed but unknown threshold. The manager sequentially chooses a pollution level that allows learning about the threshold, thereby improving future decisions. If crossed, damage can be reversed at some cost. We analyze the conditions under which experimentation is optimal, and explore how experimentation depends on restoration costs, information about the threshold, and the discount rate. Our results suggest that the level of experimentation, defined as the difference between the optimal activity with and without learning, is non-monotonic in costs and decreasing in the discount rate. We identify two stopping boundaries for the experiment, depending on cost levels compared to the lower bound of the threshold’s interval. We show that when costs are high the stopping boundary under an infinite number of decisions is the same as when there are only two decision moments. A computational extension to more than two decisions suggests that an optimal sequence of experiments can cross the same threshold several times before experimentation ceases. These results shed light on a large class of environmental decision problems that has not been examined in the literature.
Governing the ice. Ice fishing villages on Lake Mille Lacs and the creation of environmental governance institutions
Assche, K. van; Biesebroeck, J. ; Holm, J. - \ 2014
Journal of Environmental Planning and Management 57 (2014)8. - ISSN 0964-0568 - p. 1122 - 1144.
social-ecological systems - resource-management - networks - knowledge - organizations - comanagement - communities - resilience - economics
We identify four choice dimensions that determine the configuration and evolution of governance: formal-informal institutions, network-central steering, local-scientific knowledge and representation-participation. Choices on one dimension affect choices on the other dimensions, which naturally leads to historical dependency. We integrate these insights in a model of governance evolution that revolves around actor/institution configurations and power/knowledge configurations. In a case study of ice fishing villages on Minnesota's Lake Mille Lacs, we investigate one specific set of couplings between the choice dimensions. As we can study the local ice fishing tradition from its very beginning, the evolutionary paths of technology and institutions provide insights into how choices were made along the different dimensions and how they interacted. The case study illustrates how to apply the model, but also contributes to its further development as it draws attention to possible extensions: concepts of scale and identity.
Making the distinction between water scarcity and drought using an observation-modeling framework
Loon, A.F. van; Lanen, H.A.J. van - \ 2013
Water Resources Research 49 (2013)3. - ISSN 0043-1397 - p. 1483 - 1502.
decision-support-system - climate-change - hydrological drought - resource-management - central spain - runoff model - forcing data - groundwater - river - basin
Drought and water scarcity are keywords for river basin management in water-stressed regions. “Drought” is a natural hazard, caused by large-scale climatic variability, and cannot be prevented by local water management. “Water scarcity” refers to the long-term unsustainable use of water resources, which water managers can influence. Making the distinction between drought and water scarcity is not trivial, because they often occur simultaneously. In this paper, we propose an observation-modeling framework to separate natural (drought) and human (water scarcity) effects on the hydrological system. The basis of the framework is simulation of the situation that would have occurred without human influence, the “naturalized” situation, using a hydrological model. The resulting time series of naturalized state variables and fluxes are then compared to observed time series. As second, more important and novel step, anomalies (i.e., deviations from a threshold) are determined from both time series and compared. We demonstrate the use of the proposed observation-modeling framework in the Upper-Guadiana catchment in Spain. Application of the framework to the period 1980–2000 shows that the impact of groundwater abstraction on the hydrological system was, on average, four times as high as the impact of drought. Water scarcity resulted in disappearance of the winter high-flow period, even in relatively wet years, and a nonlinear response of groundwater. The proposed observation-modeling framework helps water managers in water-stressed regions to quantify the relative impact of drought and water scarcity on a transient basis and, consequently, to make decisions regarding adaptation to drought and combating water scarcity.
Data Envelopment Analysis of sustainability indicators of European agricultural systems at regional level
Lemmen-Gerdessen, J.C. van; Pascucci, S. - \ 2013
Agricultural Systems 118 (2013). - ISSN 0308-521X - p. 78 - 90.
resource-management - farm-level - efficiency - attributes - outputs - models - inputs
Assessing the sustainability of a regional agricultural system is complex, because in different decision-making contexts stakeholders can use different criteria and methodologies, thus arriving at different and contrasting judgments. One way of dealing with the complexity of measuring the concept of sustainability is to adopt a multidimensional perspective, which recognizes the presence of an economic dimension which requires feasibility, a social dimension which requires acceptability, and an environmental dimension which requires carrying capacity. Many approaches for measuring sustainability face the difficulty to reconcile this multidimensional perspective with the necessity to come up with a "synthetic" and one-dimensional assessment measure that could be used for both policy-making and methodological purposes. The goal of this paper is to contribute to the development of a methodological approach that can simplify the assessment procedure of sustainability of agricultural systems, while considering the multidimensional perspective. We used the three dimensions of sustainability to define two economic indicators, two social indicators, and four environmental indicators of sustainability. Then we used Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) to partition 252 European agricultural regions into a subset of DEA-efficient regions and a subset of non-efficient regions under five scenarios. The scenarios reflect preferences with respect to the importance of the three dimensions of sustainability. Impact of model choices such as constant versus variable returns to scale, input versus output orientation, and balancing constraints is shown. The combination of multidimensional perspective and DEA allowed to operationalize the complex and sophisticated concept of sustainability. Applying DEA at the EU regional level enabled analysis of the heterogeneity of performances within each EU Member State and among them. This heterogeneity is a fundamental research topic in the domain of assessment of sustainability of agricultural systems. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Social norms, tenure security and soil conservation: Evidence from Burundi
Beekman, G. ; Bulte, E.H. - \ 2012
Agricultural Systems 108 (2012). - ISSN 0308-521X - p. 50 - 63.
investment incentives - resource-management - civil-war - land - institutions - cooperation - uganda - rights
We use a new dataset from war-torn Burundi to explore how various institutional proxies affect investments in soil conservation. We “unbundle” institutions and distinguish between various proxies for tenure security and social norms. While we find significant correlations between certain proxies for tenure and social norms on the one hand, and investments in erosion management on the other, this is not true for all proxies. Using local conflict measures as instruments for institutional quality, we find tentative evidence of a causal effect of tenure security on erosion management, but not on investments improving short-term soil fertility.
Land-use and biodiversity in unprotected landscapes : the case of non-cultivated plant use and management by rural communities in Benin and Togo
Rodenburg, J. ; Both, J. ; Koppen, C.S.A. van; Heitkonig, I.M.A. ; Kiepe, P. - \ 2012
Society & Natural Resources 25 (2012)12. - ISSN 0894-1920 - p. 1221 - 1240.
tropical forest conservation - resource-management - indigenous knowledge - medicinal-plants - burkina-faso - west-africa - vegetation - perceptions - areas - cultivation
To contribute to the development of strategies for sustainable agricultural land use and biodiversity conservation in landscapes without formal protection status, we investigated the local use and management of noncultivated plants as important ecosystem functions of inland valleys in south Benin and Togo, and local perceptions on changes in plant biodiversity and causes for these changes. Local users of noncultivated plants perceived agriculture and construction as major factors contributing to the reduction of (noncultivated) plant biodiversity. However, they also collect many useful species from agricultural fields and the village. A small community forest reserve and a 2-ha community garden were the only organized forms of conservation management. Observed ad hoc conservation initiatives were selective harvesting of plant parts, preserving trees during land clearing, and allowing useful weed species in the field. Future development and conservation efforts in unprotected landscapes with multiple ecosystem functions should acknowledge knowledge, interests, and needs of local communities.
Do scale frames matter? Scale frame mismatches in the decision making process of a 'mega farm' in a small Dutch village
Lieshout, M. van; Dewulf, A. ; Aarts, M.N.C. ; Termeer, C.J.A.M. - \ 2011
Ecology and Society 16 (2011)1. - ISSN 1708-3087 - p. 38 - 38.
resource-management - governance - construction - multilevel - conflict - systems
Scale issues are an increasingly important feature of complex sustainability issues, but they are mostly taken for granted in policy processes. However, the scale at which a problem is defined as well as the scale at which it should be solved are potentially contentious issues. The framing of a problem as a local, regional, or global problem is not without consequences and influences processes of inclusion and exclusion. Little is known about the ways actors frame scales and the effect of different scale frames on decision making processes. This paper addresses the questions that different scale frames actors use and what the implications of scale frames are for policy processes. It does so by analyzing the scale frames deployed by different actors on the establishment of a so-called new mixed company or mega farm and the related decision making process in a Dutch municipality. We find that actors deploy different and conflicting scale frames, leading to scale frame mismatches. We conclude that scale frame mismatches play an important role in the stagnation of the decision making process
How, when, and for what reasons does land use modelling contribute to societal problem solving?
Sterk, B. ; Ittersum, M.K. van; Leeuwis, C. - \ 2011
Environmental Modelling & Software 26 (2011)3. - ISSN 1364-8152 - p. 310 - 316.
decision-support - sustainable development - resource-management - systems - options - netherlands - policy - farms - tools - scale
This paper reports and reflects on the contributions of land use models to societal problem solving. Its purpose is to inform model development and application and thus to increase chances for societal benefit of the modelling work. The key question is: How, when, and for what reasons does land use modelling contribute to societal problem solving? Addressing this question, we rely on a synthesis of three studies, reported more extensively elsewhere. Our research experience, as demonstrated by the three studies used as examples, implies that the impacts of using land use models are diverse. These impacts are not limited to learning about a land system, but extend to learning about the views, norms and values of other actors. Also, land use modelling work may enhance mediation of conflicts between stakeholders and contribute to community-building. The synthesis suggests that we need to anticipate the relatively fluid and fuzzy features of social contexts and problem solving processes to harness land use modelling for societal problem solving. To capture these features, we developed a conceptual framework that links five important factors for understanding the contribution of modelling to societal change. Four contextual factors are distinguished and a set of processes that are important for these four factors to become fruitfully matched. The four contextual factors are: problem solving dynamics; model types; boundary arrangements; roles of models. The matching consists of contextualization and network building. In view of these findings we conclude that in designing a modelling strategy equal attention should be paid to the requirements for model development and the embedding of the work in a given/intended societal context. For those who pursue the use of science-based land use models, a number of activities seem particularly relevant: 1. Exploration of the possible and desired impacts of the land use model; 2. Network building of modellers, potential users and stakeholders; 3. Model contextualization, i.e. the explication of values and aspirations underlying the modelling work, fitting the model to a social and biophysical context and interpretation of modelling results in relation to other knowledge sources such as expert knowledge; 4. Fostering feelings of interdependency between the participants in the problem solving process.
Examining the assumptions of integrated coastal management: Stakeholder agendas and elite cooption in Babuyan Islands, Philippines
Larsen, R.K. ; Acebes, J.M. ; Belen, A. - \ 2011
Ocean & Coastal Management 54 (2011)1. - ISSN 0964-5691 - p. 10 - 18.
marine protected areas - resource-management - sustainable management - conservation - policy - science - forest - water
In the Philippines, Integrated Coastal Management (ICM) represents the dominant response to narratives of ecosystem decline. However, there are persistent challenges to implementation, manifested in continued resource degradation, questioning of the exercise of stakeholder involvement and rising resource conflicts. This paper examines the implementation process and how the assumptions embodied in the ICM regime meet the local reality in one group of islands in the Philippine archipelago. The evidence shows how the transformation towards a supposed equilibrium state of coastal ecosystems is undermined in the face of diverging stakeholder agendas. Expected actors are disempowered by the incoherence between the policy owners’ worldview and reality, paving the way for unethical influence from elite alliances. This is coupled with a deepening of the dominance of state, international development banks, foreign aid agencies, and NGOs in promoting their respective interests. In localities such as the Babuyan Islands, when assumptions of ICM collapse it has destructive consequences for fisherfolk and the coastal environment. We conclude that if ICM is to foster an effective and equitable correction of current unsustainable exploitation patterns, then there is a need to institute improved accountability mechanisms in the devolved governance system as well as taking seriously the espoused commitment to stakeholder involvement in determining the goals and assumptions of ICM
Critical Systems Thinking for the Facilitation of Conservation Planning in Philippine Coastal Management
Larsen, R.K. - \ 2011
Systems Research and Behavioral Science 28 (2011)1. - ISSN 1092-7026 - p. 63 - 76.
marine protected areas - resource-management - water - sustainability - policy
In Critical Systems Thinking, the notion of boundary judgements represents a constructionist view on knowing as the bounding of components of reality into knowable objects. Cognitive boundary judgements determine observations (facts) and evaluations (values), which knowers appreciate and act in relation to. Werner Ulrich’s method of dialogical boundary critique and the framework of Critical Systems Heuristics (CSH) are intended to enable citizen participation in Western democracies through acknowledgement of legitimate competencies in public and corporate dialogues. This paper investigates the application of this methodology in Philippine coastal resource management. The conclusions are based on stakeholder-based action planning carried out between November 2007 and May 2008 in the Babuyan group of islands, bounded by the Balintang and Babuyan Channels. It argues that dialogical boundary critique requires significant adaptation if it is to provide a liberating language for participants in Philippine resource management dilemmas shaped by multiple and conflicting knowledge claims under conditions of significant controversy
Of Models and Meanings: Cultural Resilience in Social–Ecological Systems
Crane, T.A. - \ 2010
Ecology and Society 15 (2010)4. - ISSN 1708-3087 - p. 19 - 19.
farmer-herder conflicts - climate-change - environmental-change - resource-management - political ecology - rural-development - african sahel - west-africa - drought - livelihoods
Modeling has emerged as a key technology in analysis of social–ecological systems. However, the tendency for modeling to focus on the mechanistic materiality of biophysical systems obscures the diversity of performative social behaviors and normative cultural positions of actors within the modeled system. The fact that changes in the biophysical system can be culturally constructed in different ways means that the perception and pursuit of adaptive pathways can be highly variable. Furthermore, the adoption of biophysically resilient livelihoods can occur under conditions that are subjectively experienced as the radical transformation of cultural systems. The objectives of this work are to: (1) highlight the importance of understanding the place of culture within social–ecological systems, (2) explore the tensions between empirical and normative positions in the analysis of social–ecological resilience, and (3) suggest how empirical modeling of social–ecological systems can synergistically interact with normative aspects of livelihoods and lifeways.
An integrated approach for ex-ante evaluation of public policies for sustainable agriculture at landscape level
Parra-López, C. ; Groot, J.C.J. ; Carmona-Torres, C. ; Rossing, W.A.H. - \ 2009
Land Use Policy 26 (2009)4. - ISSN 0264-8377 - p. 1020 - 1030.
dairy farming systems - land-use - multifunctional agriculture - resource-management - nature conservation - consequences - perspectives - biodiversity - netherlands - framework
An integrated methodological framework for ex-ante evaluation and planning of public policies for sustainable agriculture at agro-landscape level is proposed. The components of the framework are to: (1) determine the private, i.e. farmers’, and public benefits associated to agro-landscapes, consisting of an agricultural land-use system, according to its performance for several market and non-market functions. Market forces determine the market benefits and preferences of society the non-market benefits; (2) explore and select potential sustainable agro-landscapes based on the private and public benefits associated with possible land-use alternatives; (3) define efficient public policy mechanisms for improving social net benefit of agro-landscapes. The framework is illustrated with a case study in a small dairy farming dominated agro-landscape in The Netherlands, with gross margin, landscape quality, nature value and environmental health as the analysed ecosystem functions. Alternative landscapes consisting of hedgerow configurations and grassland management practices were explored, yielding a set of alternatives representing the solution space in terms of change in private and public benefits. Policy mechanisms were defined to move from the current to a desired landscape based on changes in social net benefits. Moreover, the necessity of a modification in the current agri-environmental support was analysed for each landscape. The analysis considered all farmers in the agro-landscape jointly. The results for the case study showed potential prototypes of landscapes and their performance compared to the current landscape. Extension was the most efficient policy mechanism to promote the change to the socially optimum landscape alternative
Decision support for participatory wetland decision-making
Goosen, H. ; Janssen, R.H.H. ; Vermaat, J.E. - \ 2007
Ecological Engineering 30 (2007)2. - ISSN 0925-8574 - p. 187 - 199.
veenweiden - landgebruiksplanning - beslissingsondersteunende systemen - peat grasslands - land use planning - decision support systems - water management - resource-management - land-use - netherlands - information - mediation - ecology - systems - tools - gis
Decision support systems can be helpful tools in wetland planning and management. Decision support systems can contribute to efficient exchange of information between experts, stakeholders, decision makers and laypeople. However, the achievements of decision support systems are repeatedly being reported as modest. The objective of this article is to specify the roles and requirements of decision support tools in wetland planning. Why do such tools often fail and how can they be improved? Too often, systems are developed from a technological developers¿ push (supply-driven) rather than through a demand-driven process where the need for certain technologies to effectively support decision processes is being specified. It is questioned whether (often technocratic) tools are still equipped to support the complex planning and management process where different stakeholders interact. Two tools are described, which have been developed to facilitate negotiations in wetland planning and both tend to be less data-driven and more directed to play a role in participatory processes. From experiences with the development of the two decision support efforts we derive suggestions for improvement. The first tool uses spatial multi-criteria analysis techniques, to enable a structured analysis of the diversity of the water management issues. The second tool focuses on interactive design and spatial negotiation. It is concluded that application of this category of tools can be promising in early phases of decision-making. Their main contribution is to help to overcome unnecessary conflicts, to stimulate collaborative planning, to structure the problem and to provide insight in values and preferences of stakeholders involved
A simple mediation and negotiation support tool for water management in the Netherlands
Janssen, R.H.H. ; Goosen, H. ; Omtzigt, N. - \ 2006
Landscape and Urban Planning 78 (2006)1-2. - ISSN 0169-2046 - p. 71 - 84.
decision-support - resource-management - dispute resolution - collective action - gis - systems - information - design
When the stakes of stakeholders are not properly incorporated during early phases of a planning process, it may later give rise to severe conflicts. The issue of how to deal with stakeholders in regional water management has been a subject of ongoing debate in the Netherlands. This paper promotes a `platform¿ approach where stakeholders collectively attempt to develop plans for regional water management. Ideas for this platform approach are based on a review of research on groups governing common-pool resources. We argue that simple negotiation and mediation support tools can offer useful support and can serve to facilitate platform negotiations. We present a simple mediation and negotiation tool to support the early phases of such a land use planning process. The tool translates stakeholder preferences on the use of the landscape into spatially explicit value maps. Proposed plans can be evaluated and potential conflicts can be identified. The use of such a tool enables stakeholders and mediators to formulate explicitly the problems that need to be addressed in the decision-making process
Highlighting the 'Multiple' in MSPs: The Case of Cerro Chapelco, Patagonia, Argentia
Moreyra, A. ; Wegerich, K. - \ 2006
International Journal of Water Resources Development 22 (2006)4. - ISSN 0790-0627 - p. 629 - 642.
resource-management - challenges - boundaries
Mainstream opinions put forward the idea that changes in water policies should be moving toward Integrated Water Resources Management at the level of the river basin (or watersheds). For its implementation, participation by river basin organizations (river basin authorities, river basin committees, communities of users, multi-stakeholder platforms, etc.) and by stakeholders is promoted. Multi-Stakeholder Platforms (MSPs) are presented as neutral spaces for negotiations in order to solve water conflicts among different (multiple) actors, who are all invited to participate in the discussion. Evidence from this case study suggests that even where water is put forward as the main issue to be tackled, in the background there may be far more sensitive issues at stake that shape the arenas of negotiation of policy design and implementation. MSPs can be used to bring to the fore issues that are easy to address, but can also be the background for wider social and political complexities. This is pursued using technical language to justify political definitions of boundaries, stakeholders and processes of participation. The `Watershed as a unit of planning¿ approach is also presented as a neutral way of using a technical definition to set the boundaries for resource management. However, this study shows that the definition of boundaries is not necessarily as natural as it appears but is much more of a political decision that defines which resources are involved and which actors are considered or left out. The `multiple¿ in MSPs is not only about `stakeholders¿, but the different constructions of boundaries, scales and political interests, which include and exclude stakeholders. In the implementation of an MSP, the Multiple is rhetorical and not a representation of realties
Within-farm soil fertility gradients affect response of maize to fertiliser application in western Kenya
Vanlauwe, B. ; Tittonell, P.A. ; Mukalama, J. - \ 2006
Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems 76 (2006)2-3. - ISSN 1385-1314 - p. 171 - 182.
northern guinea savanna - sub-saharan africa - resource-management - highlands - quality - systems - crops
Different fields within a farm have been observed to have different soil fertility status and this may affect the response of a maize crop to applied N, P, and K fertiliser. A limiting nutrient trial was carried out at six farms each, in three districts of Western Kenya. In each of the farms, the following treatments were laid out in three fields with different soil fertility status at different distances from the homestead (close, mid-distance, remote fields): no inputs, application of NPK, NP, NK, or PK fertiliser (urea, triple super phosphate, KCl) to maize. Total soil N decreased at all sites with distance to the homestead (from 1.30 to 1.06 g kg-1), as did Olsen-P (from 10.5 to 2.3 mg kg-1). Grain yields in the no-input control plots reflected this decrease in soil fertility status with distance to the homestead (from 2.59 to 1.59 t ha-1). In the NPK treatments, however, this difference between field types disappeared (from 3.43 to 3.98 t ha-1), indicating that N and P are the major limiting nutrients in the target areas. Response to applied N was related to the soil total N content in Aludeka and Shinyalu, but not in Emuhaia, probably related to the high use of partially decomposed organic inputs with limited N availability. Consequently, response to applied N decreased with distance to the homestead in Aludeka (from 0.95 kg kg-1 relative yield to 0.55 kg kg-1) and Shinyalu (from 0.76 kg kg-1 to 0.47 kg kg-1), but not in Emuhaia (from 0.75 kg kg-1 to 0.68 kg kg-1). Response to applied P was related to the soil Olsen-P content at all sites. While for farms with a relatively high Olsen-P gradient, response to applied P decreased with distance to the homestead (from 0.99 kg kg-1 to 0.68 kg kg-1), large variability in Olsen-P gradients across field types among farms within a specific site often masked clear differences in response to P between field types for a specific site. Clear scope for field-specific fertiliser recommendations exists, provided these are based on local soil knowledge and diagnosis. Scenario analysis, using farm-scale modelling tools, could assist in determining optimum allocation strategies of scarcely available fertiliser for maximum fertiliser use efficiency
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