What we do…
The PANRUSA Project
There are three principal objectives:
1) To identify and compare the effects of current policies on natural resource use, specifically:
2) Identification and analysis of the modus operandi of different policies, specifically:
3) Development of guidelines for natural resource/community-sensitive policies stemming from results of objectives 1 and 2.
These will advise the UK Department for International Development and other development agencies, governments and NGOs on best-practices and routes to sustainable natural resource management and efficient use of productive capacity in southern African drylands.
Convention to Combat Desertification (CCD): Desertification is a complex and sometimes controversial issue. The UN CCD provides a framework for tackling desertification that embodies current thinking on the environmental and societal components of the issue. These include the need to understand the impact of national and international policies on people's behaviour towards the environment, awareness of the links between poverty, natural resource use and degradation, and the importance of recognising indigenous people's knowledge, environmental sensitivity and rights.
Poverty and Sustainable Livelihoods: Underpinning new policy initiatives to eradicate poverty is the concept of sustainable livelihoods which are livelihoods that can 'cope with and recover from stresses and shocks, maintain or enhance ... capabilities and assets both now and in the future, while not undermining the natural resource base'. By introducing the concept of sustainability, 'sustainable livelihoods' addresses the linkages between poverty, the environment and empowerment/participation remedying some of the shortfalls that have characterised poverty analyses to date.
Policies, Poverty and Natural Resource Use: Increasingly, attention is being given to the complexity and diversity of societal-environment relationships, and the ways in which local practices are shaped and influenced by, and in return feed back into, global policies and international agendas. Overall this leads to a greater appreciation of indigenous practices and local natural resource management initiatives, and illustrates that people play an important role in flexible resource use and management practices in marginal and variable environments.