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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Grassroots scalar politics: Insights from peasant water struggles in the Ecuadorian and Peruvian Andes
Hoogesteger van Dijk, J.D. ; Verzijl, A. - \ 2015
Geoforum 62 (2015). - ISSN 0016-7185 - p. 13 - 23.
irrigation system - user organizations - latin-america - governance - ecology - bolivia - justice - rights - construction - reflections
Based on insights from peasant and indigenous communities’ struggles for water in Andean Peru and Ecuador, in this article we argue that the defense of grassroots interests -and with it the advancement of more equitable governance- greatly hinges on the capacity of these groups to engage in grassroots scalar politics. With increasing pressure on water resources in the Andes, the access to water of many rural peasant and indigenous communities is being threatened. The growing realization that their access to water and related interests are embedded in broader regional and national politics, legal frameworks and water policies, has led many communities and peasant water user associations to engage in networks and create alliances with other water users, governmental institutions and non-governmental actors. To better understand these (and other) grassroots struggles and strategies, in this contribution we develop the concept of grassroots scalar politics, which we use as a lens to analyze two case studies. In Ecuador we present how water users of the province of Chimborazo have defended their interests through the consolidation of the Provincial Water Users Associations’ Federation Interjuntas-Chimborazo and its networks. Then we focus on how with the support of Interjuntas-Chimborazo the Water Users Association of the Chambo irrigation system defended their historical water allocation. In Peru we analyze the conformation and achievements of the federative Water Users Association of Ayacucho (JUDRA) and present how the community of Ccharhuancho in the region of Huancavelica, managed to defend its waters and territory against the coastal irrigation sector of Ica
Building up active membership in cooperatives
Verhees, F.J.H.M. ; Sergaki, P. ; Dijk, G. van - \ 2015
New Medit 14 (2015)1. - ISSN 1594-5685 - p. 42 - 52.
agricultural cooperatives - organizational commitment - economic-performance - governance - participation - rights - trust
Abstract Active membership is crucial for agricultural cooperatives as it engenders better performance. It even is the key for cooperative competitiveness. Active membership, however, decreases in many cooperatives. Thus, it is important to know what galvanizes members to become active members. The cooperative’s value and the cooperative’s offers motivate some members to become active members, but certainly not all of them. Therefore, more work needs to be done to understand the social attributes that transform members into active members. In this paper the incentives that sustain members’ participation over time and the contribution of members’ active participation in the cooperative’s competitive advantage are studied. Empirical evidence is provided via a questionnaire completed by 241 cooperative members of a Dutch feed supply cooperative and interviews with cooperative experts. Results show that active membership builds on social attributes, such as cooperative culture, open communication, trust, involvement, and the willingness to be active. It is explained that these social attributes create benefits for both the cooperative and its members. Finally, suggestions are presented to stimulate active cooperative membership. Key-words: agricultural cooperatives, participation, social indicators.
Composition properties in the river claims problem
Ansink, E.J.H. ; Weikard, H.P. - \ 2015
Social Choice and Welfare 44 (2015)4. - ISSN 0176-1714 - p. 807 - 831.
international water law - climate-change - game-theory - rights - rules - allocation - resources - networks - stability
In a river claims problem, agents are ordered linearly, and they hve both an initial water endowment as well as a claim to the total water resou8rce. We provide characterizations of two solutions to this problem, using Composition properties which have particularly relevant interpretations for the river claims problem. Specifically, these properties relate to situations where river flow is uncertain or highly variable, possibly due to climate change impacts. The only solution that satisfies all says that agents are free to use any water available on their teerritory, without concern for downstream impacts. The other solution that we assess is the "No-harm rule", an extreme interpretation of the "no-harm" principle from international water law, which implies that water is allocated with priority to downstream needs. In addition to characerizing both solutions, we show their relation to priority rules and to sequential sharing rules, and we extend our analysis to general river systems.
Pesticides and the Patent Bargain
Timmermann, C.A. - \ 2015
Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 28 (2015)1. - ISSN 1187-7863 - p. 1 - 19.
intellectual property - crop protection - productivity - resistance - innovation - issues - rights - policy - pests
In order to enlarge the pool of knowledge available in the public domain, temporary exclusive rights (i.e. patents) are granted to innovators who are willing to fully disclose the information needed to reproduce their invention. After the 20-year patent protection period elapses, society should be able to make free use of the publicly available knowledge described in the patent document, which is deemed useful. Resistance to pesticides destroys however the usefulness of information listed in patent documents over time. The invention, here pesticides, will have a decreased effectiveness once it enters the public domain. In some cases pesticides lose most of their efficacy shortly after temporary exclusive rights expire. Society’s share of the patent bargain—having new useful knowledge available in the public domain—is lost. Resistance can be slowed down, if pesticide use is limited by optimal compliance. Stimulating proper use is generally not compatible with existing market incentives for patent holders, since these have to be able to maximize profits in order to recoup research and development costs and satisfy obligations to the company’s stakeholders. Another incentive system is needed to ensure longevity of pesticides, which at the same time does not hamper future research.
Water reform governmentality in Ecuador: Neoliberalism, centralization, and the restraining of polycentric authority and community rule-making
Boelens, R.A. ; Hoogesteger van Dijk, J.D. ; Baud, M. - \ 2015
Geoforum 64 (2015). - ISSN 0016-7185 - p. 281 - 291.
rights - governance - politics - irrigation - andes - field
In most Latin American countries, issues concerning water governance and control also reflect broader conflicts over authority and legitimacy between the state and civil society. What lies behind the diverse water policy reforms is not simply a question of governing water affairs but also a drive to control or co-opt water user groups. This paper examines the efforts by the present Ecuadorian government to ‘control water users’ through new forms of ‘governmentality’ (Foucault, 1991). We use the ‘cathedral and bazaar’ metaphor (Lankford and Hepworth, 2010) to illustrate government rationale and practices in water governance shifts in the last decades. We analyze how Rafael Correa’s government sets out to reshape the relations between state, market and society. In its ‘Twenty-first Century Socialism’ project, based on a proclaimed ‘Citizen Revolution’, actual policy reform does not reverse but rather transforms the process of neoliberalizing water governance – creating a hybrid bazaar-cathedral model. We argue that the current water govermentality project implements reforms that do not challenge established market-based water governance foundations. Rather it aims to contain and undermine communities’ autonomy and ‘unruly’ polycentric rule-making, which are the result of both historical and present-day processes of change. Interestingly, water user federations that emerged during the neoliberal wave of the last two decades now claim water control space and search for new forms of democratizing water governance. They act as agents who fiercely – yet selectively and strategically – oppose both elements of the State-centered (cathedral) and market-based (bazaar) water governance models
“My body breaks. I take solution.” Inhalant use in Delhi as pleasure seeking at a cost
Gigengack, R.A. - \ 2014
International Journal of Drug policy 25 (2014)4. - ISSN 0955-3959 - p. 810 - 818.
volatile substance misuse - street children - india - intoxication - addiction - science - rights - city
Background: Inhalant use has existed in India since the 1970s and has increased significantly over the last decades, especially among street-oriented young people. The latter constitute a heterogeneous category: children from street families, children 'of' the street, rag pickers, and part-time street children. There are also inhalant-using schoolchildren and young people in slums. Methods: Fieldwork was conducted for 1 year. Team ethnography, multi-sited and comparative research, flexibility of methods and writing field notes were explicit parts of the research design. Most research was undertaken with six groups in four areas of Delhi, exemplifying six generic categories of inhalant-using street-oriented young people. Results: Inhalants in India are branded: Eraz-Ex diluter and whitener, manufactured by Kores, are used throughout Delhi; Omni glue in one specific area. There is a general lack of awareness and societal indifference towards inhalant use, with the exception of the inhalant users themselves, who possess practical knowledge. They conceive of inhalants as nasha, encapsulating the materiality of the substances and the experiential aspects of intoxication and addiction. Fragments of group interviews narrate the sensory appeal of inhalants, and an ethnographic vignette the dynamics of a sniffing session. These inhalant-using street children seek intoxication in a pursuit of pleasure, despite the harm that befalls them as a result. Some find nasha beautiful, notwithstanding the stigmatization, violence and bodily deterioration; others experience it as an overpowering force. Conclusion: A source of attraction and pleasure, inhalants ravage street children's lives. In this mysterious space of lived experience, their self-organization evolves. Distinguishing between hedonic and side effects, addiction helps to understand inhalant use as at once neurobiological, cultural, and involving agency. The implications are that India needs to develop a policy of treatment and employment to deal with the addiction. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Payment for Environmental Services and Power in the Chamachán Watershed, Ecuador
Rodriguez de Francisco, J.C. ; Boelens, R.A. - \ 2014
Human Organization 73 (2014)4. - ISSN 0018-7259 - p. 351 - 362.
ecosystem services - neoliberalism - governance - pimampiro - security - issues - rights - andes - chile - state
Payment for Environmental Services (PES) is a globally expanding concept used to address environmental degradation. PES advocates argue that conservation of ecosystems can and should be enhanced by voluntary transactions among environmental service providers and buyers. PES policy and interventions instruments, however, are not neutral development tools entering voids. Apart from being manufactured by scientific, policy and development networks with particular market-environmentalist visions, values and interests, PES also deeply interacts with the contradictions and unequal power structures of those local societies where the policy tool is introduced. This paper shows how comprehending the historic and current struggles over natural resources among stakeholders who provide and demand ‘environmental services’ is fundamental to understanding PES workings and outcomes. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork in the Chamachán watershed, Northern Ecuadorian Highlands, we analyze the dynamics and entwining of ‘visible’, ‘hidden’ and ‘invisible’ power mechanisms in shaping PES and natural resource control. Our findings show how power asymmetries among stakeholders pervaded negotiations and agreements. The paper highlights the political character of market-based conservation efforts and the power plays that surround PES interventions.
Delivering planning objectives through regional-based land-use planning and land policy instruments: an assessment of recent experiences in the Dutch provincies
Straalen, F.M. van; Janssen-Jansen, L.B. ; Brink, A. van den - \ 2014
Environment and Planning C. Government and Policy 32 (2014)3. - ISSN 0263-774X - p. 567 - 584.
governance - institutions - netherlands - performance - devolution - patterns - rights - city
This paper evaluates the extent to which the introduction of four new regional planning and land policy instruments in the Netherlands improves the delivery of regional planning objectives. On the basis of case-study research, we identify why and to what extent the Dutch regional authorities—the provinces—have adopted these new instruments and assess whether or not the instruments offer opportunities for improving the delivery of regional planning objectives. The study shows that regional policies and plans are often implemented without consideration of their consequences for national or local planning objectives. As a result, the instruments may not address current policy delivery needs, and may even compound local policy failures. We conclude that the use of such instruments should be accompanied by a more thorough discussion of regional planning tasks and objectives, and a debate on the role of regional authorities within the multilevel governance setting.
Does output market development affect irrigation water institutions? Insights from a case study in northern China
Zhang, L. ; Zhu, X. ; Heerink, N. ; Shi, X. - \ 2014
Agricultural Water Management 131 (2014). - ISSN 0378-3774 - p. 70 - 78.
heihe river-basin - northwest china - governance - management - efficiency - economics - policies - rights
The main aim of this paper is to examine the impact of changing external conditions on irrigation water institutions in northern China. To this end, we perform a case study analysis of the impact of output market development on irrigation water transactions, using survey data collected among 315 households in Minle County, Zhangye City, Gansu Province, covering the year 2009. Households in this region possess tradable water use rights. Moreover, a major agro-processing company has recently been established and the local government intervenes in the allocation of water to stimulate farmers to grow a cash crop for that company. Despite these favourable enabling and driving factors, we find that market water trade is virtually absent. Instead, we observe that reciprocal water use arrangements (water swaps) have emerged at a limited scale. We argue that factors other than an improvement in the output market (such as producer ignorance, centrally set prices, trust) need to be considered, if improvement in the market for irrigation water is to occur.
Tenure and participation in local REDD+ projects: Insights from southern Cameroon
Awono, A. ; Somorin, O.A. ; Atyi, R.E. ; Levang, P. - \ 2014
Environmental Science & Policy 35 (2014). - ISSN 1462-9011 - p. 76 - 86.
forest tenure - governance - benefits - regimes - rights
The new climate change mitigation scheme for developing countries known as Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) has been proposed as a way of reducing carbon emissions in the forest sector, whilst also protecting and improving the livelihoods and wellbeing of communities. This paper argues that it is important to resolve tenure ambiguity and ensure that communities participate in the REDD+ process by engaging them in project development and implementation. Drawing on data collected in six villages under two REDD+ projects targeted in Cameroon, this paper addresses four questions: (1) What are the tenure conditions at the two study sites? (2) How have the project proponents perceived the tenure and other challenges and how do they plan to address those challenges? (3) What have the proponents done to engage communities in the process of establishing REDD+? (4) Are communities informed about and satisfied with the process of establishing REDD+? The paper shows that while the proponents have worked to resolve tenure issues and engage communities, there is still frustration among project participants because of a lack of progress toward implementing compensation and benefit sharing system. The paper concludes that it is crucial to safeguard the rights, access and participation of local communities, and benefits to them, throughout the design and implementation of REDD+ projects.
Social capital in water user organizations of the Ecuadorian Highlands
Hoogesteger van Dijk, J.D. - \ 2013
Human Organization 72 (2013)4. - ISSN 0018-7259 - p. 347 - 357.
irrigation systems - collective action - governance - management - mexico - rights - india - modernization - cooperation - chimborazo
In this article, I explore how new water user organizations have developed in formerly state managed irrigation systems in the Ecuadorian highlands since the 1990s. The article is based on an in-depth case study of the Pillaro irrigation system and illustrations of other cases. These water user organizations have become responsible for irrigation system management and maintenance, which has been carried out based on the mobilization of collective action. I argue that the support of external agents was important in their formation by facilitating internal looking social capital through the development of a shared normative framework and by fostering outward-looking social capital through the creation of networks and networking skills for the defense of collective rights and interests.
Community Irrigation Supplies and Regional Water Transfers in the Colca Valley, Peru
Vera Delgado, J.R. ; Vincent, L.F. - \ 2013
Mountain Research and Development 33 (2013)3. - ISSN 0276-4741 - p. 195 - 206.
highlands - commons - rights
Water governance of Andean river valleys that are the site of large-scale water transfers and the home to highland communities with their own irrigation practices has been the subject of research and debate since the large water transfers began. In Peru, local and regional water governance has been shaped by changing national water laws that remain controversial regarding their effects on highland water users. This article presents findings from the Colca Valley, where water has been transferred to the Majes Irrigation Project since 1983, while many highland communities still struggle to access sufficient irrigation water. It summarizes the attempts by Colca Valley communities to protect their water rights and water management institutions under a system oriented to regional and national rather than local water resources management, with a detailed discussion of the community of Coporaque. It also presents data on the area's highly variable water allowances and water use patterns, which demonstrate the need for more transparency and agro-ecological understanding of local irrigation needs and efforts to support them. Processes of representation, participation, and water redistribution are discussed as critical issues in improved regional water governance in the Colca Valley
All-in-Auctions for water
Zetland, D.J. - \ 2013
Journal of Environmental Management 115 (2013). - ISSN 0301-4797 - p. 78 - 86.
experimental economics - laboratory experiments - multiunit demand - prospect-theory - market - design - institutions - payments - rights - rules
This paper proposes a novel mechanism for reallocating temporary water flows or permanent water rights. The All-in-Auction (AiA) increases efficiency and social welfare by reallocating water without harming water rights holders. AiAs can be used to allocate variable or diminished flows among traditional or new uses. AiAs are appropriate for use within larger organizations that distribute water among members, e.g., irrigation districts or wholesale water agencies. Members would decide when and how to use AiAs, i.e., when transaction costs are high, environmental constraints are binding, or allocation to outsiders is desired. Experimental sessions show that an AiA reallocates more units with no less efficiency that traditional two-sided auctions.
Urban green commons: Insights on urban common property systems
Colding, J. ; Barthel, S. ; Bendt, P. ; Snep, R.P.H. ; Knaap, W.G.M. van der; Ernstson, H. - \ 2013
Global environmental change : human and policy dimensions 23 (2013)5. - ISSN 0959-3780 - p. 1039 - 1051.
ecosystem services - community gardens - conservation - management - biodiversity - values - rights - resilience - resources - strategy
The aim of this paper is to shed new light on urban common property systems. We deal with urban commons in relation to urban green-space management, referring to them as urban green commons. Applying a property-rights analytic perspective, we synthesize information on urban green commons from three case-study regions in Sweden, Germany, and South Africa, and elaborate on their role for biodiversity conservation in urban settings, with a focus on business sites. Cases cover both formally established types of urban green commons and bottom-up emerged community-managed habitats. As our review demonstrates, the right to actively manage urban green space is a key characteristic of urban green commons whether ownership to land is in the private, public, the club realm domain, or constitutes a hybrid of these. We discuss the important linkages among urban common property systems, social–ecological learning, and management of ecosystem services and biodiversity. Several benefits can be associated with urban green commons, such as a reduction of costs for ecosystem management and as designs for reconnecting city-inhabitants to the biosphere. The emergence of urban green commons appears closely linked to dealing with societal crises and for reorganizing cities; hence, they play a key role in transforming cities toward more socially and ecologically benign environments. While a range of political questions circumscribe the feasibility of urban green commons, we discuss their usefulness in management of different types of urban habitats, their political justification and limitation, their potential for improved biodiversity conservation, and conditions for their emergence. We conclude by postulating some general policy advice
Social Movements and Risk Perception: Unions, Churches, Pesticides and Bananas in Costa Rica
Barraza-Ruiz, D.A. ; Jansen, K. ; Wendel de Joode, B. van; Wesseling, C. - \ 2013
International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health 19 (2013)1. - ISSN 1077-3525 - p. 11 - 21.
governance - politics - workers - africa - rights - state
Background: Between 1992 and 2010 in the Costa Rican Caribbean, a social movement coalition called Foro Emaús sought to change people’s view on problems of high pesticide use in banana production. Objective: To understand the formation and membership of Foro Emaús, its success period, and its decline. Methods: Semi-structured interviews of 28 key actors; a questionnaire survey among school personnel (n = 475) in Siquirres, Matina, and Talamanca counties; and secondary data from newspapers, leaflets, and movement documents were used. Results: Foro Emaús developed activism around pesticide issues and put pressure on governmental agencies and banana companies and shaped people’s perception of pesticide risks. The success of the Foro Emaús movement led to the reinforcement of a counteracting social movement (Solidarismo) by conservative sectors of the Catholic Church and the banana companies. We found that the participation of unions in Foro Emaús is an early example of social movement unionism. Conclusions: Scientific pesticide risk analysis is not the only force that shapes emerging societal perceptions of pesticide risk. Social movements influence the priority given to particular risks and can be crucial in putting health and environmental risk issues on the political and research agenda.
Towards a regime change in the organization of the seed supply system in China
Li, J. ; Jiggins, J.L.S. ; Lammerts Van Bueren, E. ; Leeuwis, C. - \ 2013
Experimental Agriculture 49 (2013)01. - ISSN 0014-4797 - p. 114 - 133.
This paper explores changes in the organization of seed supply in China over the last decade by means of a multi-level institutional analysis. At the landscape level, the implications for China of the regulation of plant genetic resources through various international treaties and conventions are reviewed in the light of the evolution of the global seed industry. At the regime level, the transition in the Chinese context to market-based seed supply and the development of commercial and public seed sectors are examined. The study then analyses trends in seed supply at the niche level, with reference to participatory maize (Zea mays L.) breeding in three provinces in southwest China where high rural poverty persists. This work offers radical novelty in variety development and seed provision on behalf of smallholder farmers. However, a series of technical, organizational and market ‘mismatches’ are demonstrated within the existing seed regime. The participatory work emphasizes breeding for diverse cultivars adapted to specific ecosystems but these are prevented from reaching commercial markets by existing varietal testing procedures. Participatory breeding has potential to address farmers’ varietal needs as agriculture modernises and to support the public function of research institutes, but within mainstream intellectual property regimes the public value of participatory breeding cannot be accommodated adequately. Yet, when coupled to institutional innovations for recognising intellectual property and sharing benefit among all those who contribute, participatory breeding may initiate a powerful dynamics for change within seed regimes and a sui generis seed system suited to the Chinese context.
The deep waters of land reform: land, water and conservation area claims in Limpopo Province, Olifants Basin, South Africa
Liebrand, J. ; Zwarteveen, M.Z. ; Wester, P. ; Koppen, B. van - \ 2012
Water International 37 (2012)7. - ISSN 0250-8060 - p. 773 - 787.
property - management - governance - access - market - rights
Through investigating the reactions of commercial farmers to land and water reforms in the Trichardtsdal-Ofcolaco area, Limpopo Province, Olifants Basin, South Africa, from 1997 to 2006, it is shown that water claims are key to land redistribution processes, and that commercial farmers make strategic use of arguments for nature conservation and ecological stewardship to defend their claims to water. Given these observations, caution is warranted with respect to the implementation of land and water reforms as separate policy packages; it may be more effective to design water and conservation policies as an integral part of land reform programmes.
Losing the watershed focus: a look at complex community-managed irrigation systems in Bolivia
Saldías, C. ; Boelens, R.A. ; Wegerich, K. ; Speelman, S. - \ 2012
Water International 37 (2012)7. - ISSN 0250-8060 - p. 744 - 759.
resources management - river-basins - politics - governance - rights
Water policies tend to misrecognize the complexity of community-managed irrigation systems. This paper focuses on water allocation practices in peasant communities of the Bolivian interandean valleys. These communities manage complex irrigation systems, and tap water from several surface sources, many of them located outside the watershed boundaries, resulting in complex hydro-social networks. Historical claims, organizational capacity, resources availability, and geographical position and infrastructure are identified as the main factors influencing current water allocation. Examining the historical background and context-based conceptualizations of space, place and water system development are crucial to understanding local management practices and to improving water policies.
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.
The danger of naturalizing water policy concepts: Water productivity and effiency discourses from field irrigation to virtual water trade
Boelens, R.A. ; Vos, J.M.C. - \ 2012
Agricultural Water Management 108 (2012). - ISSN 0378-3774 - p. 16 - 26.
markets - rights - performance - politics - commons - gender - impact - chile - power - food
Naturalization and universal application of concepts such as ‘efficiency’ and ‘productivity’ by policy makers and water experts in the water sector leads water managers and water users to internalize these norms. As we show in this exploratory paper, the effects could be threefold: first, evidence suggests that ‘efficiency’ discourses may justify policies and projects that deprive smallholders of water use rights; second, expert-driven water policy and project notions of efficiency tend to interfere with existing local water management practices and may harm livelihood and production strategies, and third, water users may come to blame themselves for underachieving according to the norms that are established in the dominant power-knowledge structures. This article deals with three mutually connected water policy arenas where maximization of water productivity and efficiency is fiercely promoted: technical water use efficiency (the engineer's realm), allocation efficiency (the economist's realm) at national levels, and the arena of international trade, where allocation efficiency is sought through virtual water flows embedded in agricultural commodities trade. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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