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 fatal flaws of compassionate conservation
Oommen, Meera Anna ; Cooney, Rosie ; Ramesh, Madhuri ; Archer, Michael ; Brockington, Daniel ; Buscher, Bram ; Fletcher, Robert ; Natusch, Daniel J.D. ; Vanak, Abi T. ; Webb, Grahame ; Shanker, Kartik - \ 2019
Conservation Biology 33 (2019)4. - ISSN 0888-8892 - p. 784 - 787.
Re-introducing politics in African farmer-led irrigation development : Introduction to a special issue
Veldwisch, Gert Jan ; Venot, Jean Philippe ; Woodhouse, Philip ; Komakech, Hans C. ; Brockington, Dan - \ 2019
Water Alternatives 12 (2019)1. - ISSN 1965-0175 - p. 1 - 12.
Expert knowledges - Farmer-led irrigation development - Irrigation - Irrigation policies - State planning - Sub-Saharan Africa

This introduction is a reflexive piece on the notion of farmer-led irrigation development and its politics. It highlights the way the varied contributions to the Special Issue support a shared perspective on farmer-led irrigation development as a process whereby farmers drive the establishment, improvement, and/or expansion of irrigated agriculture, often in interaction with other actors. We analyse how the terminology is used and reproduced, and what it means for our understanding of irrigation policy and practices in sub-Saharan Africa. A central tenet of our argument is that farmer-led irrigation development is inherently political, as it questions the primacy of engineering and other expert knowledges regarding the development of agricultural water use practices in Africa as well as the privileging of formal state planning or technical solutions. We show how mainstream understanding of farmers' engagement focuses on (1) regulation and control, (2) profitability, and (3) technical efficiency. We demonstrate how these three perspectives have contributed to depoliticised readings of farmer-led irrigation (development), which has been essential to the ability of the terminology to travel and find global allies. Second, we explore the paradox of the invisibility of farmer-led irrigation development in national policies and practices. We discuss practical and political reasons underlying this silence and point out that there are important advantages for irrigators in not being visible. In conclusion we highlight what can be gained from adopting an explicitly political analysis of the processes through which farmers engage in irrigation on their own terms.

Working governance for working land
Brockington, Dan ; Adams, William M. ; Agarwal, Bina ; Agrawal, Arun ; Büscher, Bram ; Chhatre, Ashwini ; Duffy, Rosaleen ; Fletcher, Robert ; Oldekop, Johan A. - \ 2018
Science 362 (2018)6420. - ISSN 0036-8075 - p. 1257 - 1257.
Building bridges through dialogue for the Brahmaputra River Basin
Gulati, Vishaka ; Deka, Arundhati ; Fanaian, Safa ; Vij, Sumit ; Barua, Anamika - \ 2017
In: China and Transboundary Water Politics in Asia Taylor and Francis Inc. - ISBN 9781138060654 - p. 177 - 196.
Management of the freshwater resources has been a global challenge, especially for transboundary river waters (TBW). Management of such communal goods or common resources becomes difficult as the interests of the diverse stakeholders involved will always vary. The assumption that the basin actors will share a common understanding and sympathy towards the issues associated with the basin, cannot be held as true. Only rarely there will be common characteristics present among the knowledge and information shared with the stakeholders regarding the crisis associated with TBW basins. In fact, the various case studies conducted on this discourse show that different regions along the boundary will have diverse level of interplay in the political dimension as well as during the stage of actual resource management (Adams, Brockington, Dyson, & Vira, 2003). The final consequence of water sharing amongst the riparian nations and the level of management success will rely on the dynamics of the level of influence that are at play at the national, regional, and international positions in the region. Therefore, the management of TBW that cut across national, political, social, economic, and sectoral boundaries is regarded as one of the supreme security challenges of the decade (Wouters & Ziganshina, 2011). This is because as rivers cross borders, their flows are diverted, dammed, or stored by national governments for multiple purposes.
Doing Whole Earth justice : a reply to Cafaro et al.
Büscher, Bram ; Fletcher, Robert ; Brockington, Dan ; Sandbrook, Chris ; Adams, Bill ; Campbell, Lisa ; Corson, Catherine ; Dressler, Wolfram ; Duffy, Rosaleen ; Gray, Noella ; Holmes, George ; Kelly, Alice ; Lunstrum, Elizabeth ; Ramutsindela, Maano ; Shanker, Kartik - \ 2017
Oryx 51 (2017)3. - ISSN 0030-6053 - p. 401 - 401.
African farmer-led irrigation development: reframing agricultural policy and investment?
Woodhouse, Philip ; Veldwisch, G.J.A. ; Venot, J.P.J.N. ; Brockington, Dan ; Komakech, Hans Charles ; Manjichi, Angela - \ 2017
The Journal of Peasant Studies 44 (2017)1. - ISSN 0306-6150 - p. 213 - 233.
The past decade has witnessed an intensifying focus on the development of irrigation in sub-Saharan Africa. It follows a 20-year hiatus in the wake of disappointing irrigation performance during the 1970s and 1980s. Persistent low productivity in African agriculture and vulnerability of African food supplies to increasing instability in international commodity markets are driving pan-African agricultural investment initiatives, such as the Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP), that identify as a priority the improvement in reliability of water control for agriculture. The paper argues that, for such initiatives to be effective, there needs to be a re-appraisal of current dynamics of irrigation development in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly with respect to the role of small-scale producers’ initiatives in expanding irrigation. The paper reviews the principal forms such initiatives take and argues that official narratives and statistics on African irrigation often underestimate the extent of such activities. The paper identifies five key characteristics which, it argues, contradict widely held assumptions that inform irrigation policy in Africa. The paper concludes by offering a definition of ‘farmer-led irrigation’ that embraces a range of interaction between producers and commercial, government and non-government agencies, and identifies priority areas for research on the growth potential and impact of such interactions and strategies for their future development.
Half-Earth or Whole Earth? Radical ideas for conservation, and their implications
Büscher, Bram ; Fletcher, Robert ; Brockington, Dan ; Sandbrook, Chris ; Adams, William M. ; Campbell, Lisa ; Corson, Catherine ; Dressler, Wolfram ; Duffy, Rosaleen ; Gray, Noella ; Holmes, George ; Kelly, Alice ; Lunstrum, Elizabeth ; Ramutsindela, Maano ; Shanker, Kartik - \ 2017
Oryx 51 (2017)3. - ISSN 0030-6053 - p. 407 - 410.
Biodiversity - economy - Half-Earth - inequality - protected area

We question whether the increasingly popular, radical idea of turning half the Earth into a network of protected areas is either feasible or just. We argue that this Half-Earth plan would have widespread negative consequences for human populations and would not meet its conservation objectives. It offers no agenda for managing biodiversity within a human half of Earth. We call instead for alternative radical action that is both more effective and more equitable, focused directly on the main drivers of biodiversity loss by shifting the global economy from its current foundation in growth while simultaneously redressing inequality.

Toward a new understanding of the links between poverty and illegal wildlife hunting
Duffy, Rosaleen ; St John, Freya A.V. ; Büscher, Bram ; Brockington, Dan - \ 2016
Conservation Biology 30 (2016)1. - ISSN 0888-8892 - p. 14 - 22.
Ivory - Poaching - Rhino horn - Rural development - Wildlife trade

Conservation organizations have increasingly raised concerns about escalating rates of illegal hunting and trade in wildlife. Previous studies have concluded that people hunt illegally because they are financially poor or lack alternative livelihood strategies. However, there has been little attempt to develop a richer understanding of the motivations behind contemporary illegal wildlife hunting. As a first step, we reviewed the academic and policy literatures on poaching and illegal wildlife use and considered the meanings of poverty and the relative importance of structure and individual agency. We placed motivations for illegal wildlife hunting within the context of the complex history of how wildlife laws were initially designed and enforced to indicate how hunting practices by specific communities were criminalized. We also considered the nature of poverty and the reasons for economic deprivation in particular communities to indicate how particular understandings of poverty as material deprivation ultimately shape approaches to illegal wildlife hunting. We found there is a need for a much better understanding of what poverty is and what motivates people to hunt illegally.

The militarization of anti-poaching: undermining long term goals?
Duffy, Rosaleen ; St John, Freya A.V. ; Büscher, Bram ; Brockington, Dan - \ 2015
Environmental Conservation 42 (2015)4. - ISSN 0376-8929 - p. 345 - 348.
Conservation is at a critical juncture because of the increase in poaching which threatens key species. Poaching is a major public concern, as indicated by the rises in rhino and elephant poaching, the United for Wildlife Initiative and the London Declaration, signed by 46 countries in February 2014. This is accompanied by an increasing calls for a more forceful response, especially to tackle the involvement of organized crime in wildlife trafficking. However, there is a risk that this will be counter-productive. Further, such calls are based on a series of assumptions which are worthy of greater scrutiny. First, calls for militarization are based on the idea that poverty drives poaching. Yet, poaching and trafficking are changing because of the shifting dynamics of poverty in supply countries, coupled with changing patterns of wealth in consumer markets. Second, the ways increases in poaching are being linked to global security threats, notably from Al Shabaab are poorly evidenced and yet circulate in powerful policy circles. There is a risk that militarization will place more heavily armed rangers in the centre of some of the most complex regional conflicts in the world (such as the Horn of Africa and Central Africa/Sahel region).
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