پایداری محیط تجارت پایاپای فعال برای توانمندسازی و درآمد: تفویض اختیارات وودلاتس در شمال اتیوپی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|5373||2005||20 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : World Development, Volume 33, Issue 9, September 2005, Pages 1491–1510
This paper explores local empowerment, income generation opportunities, and environmental sustainability under varying scales of woodlot management in Ethiopia. We find that more devolved woodlot management empowers resource users, providing greater decision-making autonomy regarding harvesting and management. Our economic analysis indicates that there has been limited harvesting of high value products such as poles and fuelwood. Labor inputs declined, tree survival rates increased, and average annual net benefits improved as woodlot management was devolved, indicating improved efficiency with more localized management. Environmental sustainability was associated with less devolved woodlot management. This study highlights the trade-offs inherent in devolution reforms.
Policy reforms aimed at decentralizing and devolving natural resource management are currently underway throughout the developing world (Agrawal, 2001, Edmunds et al., 2003 and WRI, 2003).1 This trend is observed in sub-Saharan Africa where many central government agencies are engaged in decentralizing and devolving responsibility for managing natural resources to local administrations, user groups, and individuals (Lind & Cappon, 2001). The potential for devolved natural resource management to enhance participation in decision making at the community level is purported to lead to greater responsiveness to the needs of the poor (Crook & Sverrisson, 2001). Underlying this assumption of the poverty alleviation benefits of devolved resource management are expectations about improved efficiency, more equitable control over procedural rights and the distribution of benefits, and improved environmental management leading to the more sustainable use of natural resources over time (Ribot, 2002 and WRI, 2003). This paper explores a case of multiple scales of devolved woodlot management in the highlands of Tigray in northern Ethiopia, and the potential for these varying scales of management to raise smallholders out of poverty. We consider the potential for devolved woodlot management to influence three factors central to poverty alleviation: the empowerment of local woodlot user groups, income generation opportunities for the groups managing the woodlots, and the influence of devolved woodlot management on environmental sustainability. Each of these factors is considered for woodlots managed by communities (groups of two or three villages), villages, subvillage groups, and households. These four categories of user groups represent varying scales of collective organization that range from the least localized level of devolved woodlot management (community), to the most localized level of collective organization (subvillage), and the quasi-privatization of degraded hillsides for woodlot management (household). Of particular interest is whether or not the outcomes of increased empowerment, better income generation opportunities, and more sustainable management of woodlots can be simultaneously achieved. We hypothesize that contrary to the devolution theory, there are significant trade-offs associated with more devolved natural resource management. Understanding the nature and magnitude of these trade-offs is important for policy makers and other key actors involved in designing and implementing decentralization and devolution reforms. The paper is organized as follows: The next section provides background information, and a theoretical framework for our hypotheses about the empowerment, income, and environmental sustainability effects of woodlot devolution. We then describe the study area and survey, as well as the methods used in our analysis. We explore the degree of empowerment over decision making for woodlots managed collectively and by households, the benefits and costs of woodlot management, and the determinants of changes in environmental conditions under varying degrees of woodlot devolution using both descriptive and econometric analyses. We conclude with a summary and discussion of policy implications emanating from the study.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Our study indicates that there are trade-offs between the goals of empowering local communities, generating income diversification opportunities, and environmental sustainability when considering the devolution of woodlot management in Tigray. In general, devolution favors the objectives of empowerment and income generation, while environmental sustainability is more favored by community management of woodlots. We hypothesized that community managed woodlots would promote the most equitable distribution of benefits and empower the greatest number of people, whereas household managed woodlots would empower a select number of people. We found that most collectively managed woodlots, and about half of household woodlots require permission from either the BoANRD or local administrations to harvest woodlot products. This finding confirms growing evidence in the literature that devolutions that do not grant full decision-making powers to woodlot managers will have a limited impact on poverty alleviation (Dachang & Edmunds, 2003). That household managed woodlots have more control over decisions about the harvest of woodlot products indicates a greater degree of decision-making power at more devolved levels of woodlot management. Our hypothesis that a select number of people will have a greater decision-making power over woodlot resources is confirmed by our findings. We also hypothesized that community woodlots would be a more effective mechanism for promoting sustainable land management and biodiversity preservation, whereas household managed woodlots are more appropriate for improving smallholder incomes. Our analysis of the benefits, costs, and average net annual returns per hectare per year indicates that woodlots in Tigray were not profitable during 1997–2000.17 Although average annual net benefits were negative for all categories of woodlots, more devolved woodlots were more efficient. Two factors are limiting the potential for woodlots to yield positive returns in Tigray. First, restrictions on the harvesting of high value woodlot products, especially poles, are a significant barrier to income generation. A strong emphasis on the land reclamation and biodiversity benefits of woodlots by the BoANRD, which maintains control over the allocation of harvesting rights for most collectively managed woodlots, is limiting the economic potential of woodlots. This finding is consistent with cases observed in the Sahelian region where fear of deforestation is cited as the rational for limiting use rights (Ribot, 1999 and Ribot, 2001). Second, labor investments, particularly those associated with mass mobilization, are far from efficient. More devolved woodlots have far fewer labor days devoted to various woodlot management activities, yet maintain higher survival rates for trees. With respect to environmental sustainability, we found that more devolved woodlots are less likely to have contributed to reducing land degradation and improving biodiversity. Several factors contribute to the fact that community managed woodlots are better suited to sustainability, including longer periods since community woodlots were established, and the wider range of tree species present in community woodlots. Our findings confirm our hypothesis that income diversification and environmental sustainability are competing management goals for woodlots in Tigray. Strategies for income generation and poverty alleviation in Tigray are extremely limited. We have shown that more devolved woodlots have a greater potential for empowering local peoples as well as providing a source of income. However, significant barriers exist with respect to realizing the income generation potential of these woodlots. The potential economic benefits of allowing the sustainable harvest of woodlots in the region are large, particularly in the context of the very limited supply of woody biomass in the region. Our finding that community management of woodlots favors environmental sustainability and biodiversity should be considered in the broader context of the short to medium term poverty alleviation and development goals of the region. Helping smallholders move out of poverty by promoting new sources of income empowerment may better enable them to invest in improved resource management in the medium to long term.