Natural Resource Management Policies

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The interaction between natural resource management and food production and the role of government are illustrated in the cases prepared for this section. These cases present policy options for the government and civil society to fight soil degradation along with an illustration of how government policy can best be used to deal with the very complex but common situation in which there are strong interactions between human and environmental health in the context of expanded food production. Several policy options for the allocation of scarce water supplies are also presented.


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Now showing 1 - 10 of 11
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    Water and Land Management and Agricultural Policy in Support of Food Security: The Amu Darya Delta in Uzbekistan
    Safarova, Ajsylu; Khasankhanova, Gulchekhra (CUL Initiatives in Publishing (CIP), 2016)
    Like other deltas in the world, the delta of the Amu Darya river is a very dynamic natural system that reflects all the processes and developments that occur in a river basin. Water and terrestrial ecosystems of the Amu Darya delta and the Southern Aral Region provide valuable services derived from natural systems and maintain the welfare of the local population, who are strongly affected by the Aral Sea environmental disaster and land salinization, degradation, and desertification. The importance of the deltaic systems as an additional source of income and a buffer against economic hardships increased after the Aral Sea desiccation and social and economic transformations. This case study contains an analytical review of the issues concerning the restoration of saline soils and agricultural policy in support of food security using the example of the Amu Darya delta in Uzbekistan. The studied area is located in the northern part of the delta between 42°30'N and 44°00'N in North Karakalpakstan (the Pre-Aral region) in Uzbekistan. It includes agricultural land (irrigated land, pastures, and lake systems), which make a major contribution to food security, as well as water ecosystems (wetlands) that provide valuable services derived from natural systems. Cultivated land and water ecosystems in the delta depend entirely on the river water flow and collector/drainage runoff and are extremely susceptible to reduced flow caused by climate change and the increase in the number of climate extremes. This case study focuses on two stakeholder groups: (i) local stakeholders such as water users/consumers, agricultural producers, rural citizens' meetings, fishermen, dehkans (peasants) and other vulnerable groups; and (ii) national and regional stakeholders–for example, key government institutions, ministries and agencies, regional and district authorities (khokimiats), basin administrations of irrigation systems (BAIS) under the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources and their branches, and organizations responsible for the development and implementation of targeted programs, strategies, and environmental management plans. This case study will demonstrate how the productivity of salt-affected irrigated lands can be improved and the services of water ecosystems in the Amu Darya delta in Uzbekistan can be sustained to support food security in the long term in the context of climate challenges. The following two food policy options are recommended [1]: (i) sustaining and maintaining food self-sufficiency and balances between food consumption and production by increasing production output to meet projected food shortages; and (ii) increasing production of food products in subsectors where Uzbekistan possesses a comparative advantage with the aim of substantially increasing of their export. To achieve these targets, it is necessary to implement a range of interventions and measures aimed at further development of reforms and incentives in land and water use, mobilization of resources, and strengthening of institutional capacity along with the implementation of new forms and methods of planning, knowledge management, and awareness- raising among all stakeholders to disseminate innovations and replicate best agrotechnologies on a wider scale. These interventions should be extremely cautious; technically, economically, and environmentally acceptable; and socially relevant in order to achieve sustainable environmental and economic benefits and improve livelihood and food security.
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    Suggested Actions to Reduce Irrigation Erosion in the Kyrgyz Republic
    Mavlyanova, Nadira; Kulov, Kubanichbek; Jo?shov, Payaziddin (CUL Initiatives in Publishing (CIP), 2016)
    Intensive development of virgin lands in Central Asia in the 20th century was driven by the continuous growth of the population, a demand for higher agricultural output, and a need to develop amelioration technologies. In the Kyrgyz Republic, where mountain systems occupy more than 90 percent of the area, most agricultural lands are located in piedmont and mountainous areas with rugged terrain. That is why the most dangerous types of degradation, from the environmental and economic point of view, are water erosion and irrigation-induced erosion on irrigated lands. In the Kyrgyz Republic 700,000 out of 1 million hectares are affected by irrigation-induced erosion, which leads to a reduction in crop yields on eroded soils by 20 to 60 percent and, as a consequence, an increase in the poverty rate to 70 percent of the rural population. Fertile land is a national asset of the country that is a prerequisite for its food security. The aim of this case study is to define key causes of irrigation-induced erosion in the Kyrgyz Republic and offer various approaches and technologies for the sensible use of irrigated lands to decision makers. To this end, the case study: reviews causes for irrigation-induced erosion in the Kyrgyz Republic and identifies key factors contributing to this process; analyzes laws and resolutions adopted by the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic from 1991 to 2016 to reduce land degradation; identifies stakeholder groups such as government authorities, research and education institutes, local authorities, and farms; and proposes specific recommendations for each stakeholder group so that decisions are made at their own level to preserve soil fertility and increase their crop yield. For the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic, conservation of soil fertility is a key policy target, which is confirmed by the adoption of numerous laws and national programs on food security of the country since 1991. However, detailed analysis of the current situation in the Republic, which shows how issues of irrigation-induced erosion are addressed today, demonstrates that these laws and programs do not work. This is mainly because of the lack of an integrated approach to resolving this issue–which is why small financial funds allocated for this purpose do not result in major achievements. Responsibility for the enforcement of the government's adopted laws and resolutions and its finances is allocated among several ministries and agencies. There is no link between programs and action plans implemented by different ministries and agencies in terms of substance and implementation timelines. In the Soviet Union (until 1991) this was the responsibility of the State Planning Committee of the Kyrgyz Republic, which relied on thorough research of specific issues. Today programs are prepared using a silo approach: scientific validity and the environmental security of programs implemented in parallel in one region or area are not analyzed, which is why the effect expected by decision makers is not achieved. Executive agencies responsible for environmental protection do not have sufficient human resources that would have good knowledge of existing issues related to land degradation, its causes, and modern technologies for land improvement. They only acknowledge that the quality of environment has been deteriorating. It is proposed that a single coordinator–that is, the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development–be set up on the basis of the existing State Agency of Environmental Protection of the Kyrgyz Republic that, in close cooperation with research institutions and local authorities, will study ongoing natural processes, conduct monitoring, offer recommendations, supervise their implementation and provide funding at the local level. Decisions made by this ministry must be based on research conducted by research and educational institutes, because such institutes: have multi-year databases and relevant methodologies, and are able to evaluate ongoing processes of land degradation and propose rational technologies for land irrigation and cultivation; and have the capacity to define land and water management policy, including integrated policy, in contrast to public officials and parliamentarians who work in their offices and who are often replaced, and when they are removed from their positions, persons responsible for authoritative disastrous decisions cannot be found. Farmers have to improve their agrarian education and apply recommended land irrigation and cultivation technologies to preserve land fertility. Numerous reports of international programs, concepts, and laws adopted by the government are based on research conducted 30 to 40 years ago or have been borrowed from other countries where natural and climatic, geological and geographical, and social and economic conditions are absolutely different. For example, the last quantitative evaluation of the land erosion rate in the Kyrgyz Republic was conducted in the 1980s. Today, without having scientifically validated information about the conditions of irrigated lands, it is not possible to develop activities aimed at preserving land fertility. A principally new unified system of agricultural land monitoring needs to be put in place with the use of geographic information system (GIS) technologies, which can provide reliable information on land conditions in real time and can help conduct studies on quantitative evaluation of erosion hazards.
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    Rehabilitation of Saline Soils in Tajikistan: The Example of Saline Soils in Vakhsh Valley
    Demidov, Valery; Akhmadov, Hukmatullo (CUL Initiatives in Publishing (CIP), 2016)
    Over the past 25 years, since Tajikistan's independence, economic crisis and various social and natural disasters (the result of failure to carry out the bulk of reclamation activities) have led to secondary soil salinization in some areas. Secondary salinization results from anthropogenic impact on natural factors affecting the development of soils and landscape in general. It is caused by the intake of soluble salts that result from irrigation-related agrogenic contamination or from changes in the direction of natural processes. The immediate causes of salinization are improper irrigation, untimely clean-up of irrigation systems, irrigation erosion, and other factors. As a result, the groundwater level rises; its vaporization increases; and, consequently, an additional amount of salt is released into soil. Furthermore, an increasing land area affected by secondary soil salinization is being observed in the soils of Vakhsh Valley, which have been irrigated for a long time. Currently Tajikistan is an agrarian country with about 60 percent of its population residing in rural areas. Agriculture is an important sector of the economy. As a result of economic reforms, about 20 percent of irrigated land has been transferred to private farmers' ownership (dehkan farms). When saline soils are being developed, two periods are distinguished: the reclamation (transient) period and the operational (constant) period, which lasts as long as an irrigation system exists. This study focuses on the development of recommendations and actions (using the example of the saline soils in the Vakhsh area) aimed at the restoration and the involvement of saline soils in agricultural land use and the dissemination of lessons learned from this experience to other territories. The analysis of the modern condition of irrigated lands and the remediation of salted soils with the aim of increasing their productivity revealed the following issues that require decisions at different administrative levels: the reconstruction of infrastructure and economic and institutional reforms in irrigation; the increase in the operating cost of the cleaning, repair, and rehabilitation of existing irrigation and drainage-collector systems; the further deepening of land reform designed to transfer the selected dehkan land into private property or rent it on a long-term basis; the necessity of adopting measures for the mandatory transfer of responsibility for repair and maintenance of drainage and irrigation channels located on both state and farmers' land; the implementation of advanced agricultural techniques and salt-tolerant varieties of crops on saline lands and the observance of irrigation regimes; the resolution of questions of pricing policy for electricity (including the timing of its supply to consumers) and irrigation water, and so on. To resolve these issues, the Government of Tajikistan and Parliament (Majlisi Namoyandagon) are expected to adopt legislative acts mandating state and local (hukumats) authorities to carry out reclamation works on both state and farmers' irrigated lands. Funding of soil desalinization reclamation is possible with the financial support of the National Bank of Tajikistan, nongovernmental organizations, local hukumats, dehkan farms, and private investors. Your task is to present policy options that address the problem of the salinization of irrigated soils in the environment of changing market relations and to focus the solution to this problem on poverty reduction and the increased food security of the country.
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    Intensive Fish Farming as a Contributor to the Depletion of Underground and Surface Water Resources in the Ararat Valley
    Trifonova, Tatiana (CUL Initiatives in Publishing (CIP), 2016)
    The Ararat Valley is situated at an altitude of 800-950 meters above sea level. It stretches from northwest to southeast for 120 kilometers, it is 10=30 kilometers wide, and is a significant groundwater reservoir. Since the old days, the Ararat Valley has been regarded as a breadbasket of Armenia, and today it remains a major agricultural region in the country. Its climate is favorable for the cultivation of various crops, ranging from horticultural crops (peach, apricot, apple, pear, prune, cherry orchards) to cereals and root crops. Currently, in the Ararat Valley, land uses are linked with the enhanced development of fish farming, which requires artesian water in great amounts. Monitoring data show that groundwater storage has dropped by almost 60 percent while the artesian water withdrawal rate increased from 34.7 cubic meters per second (m3 per sec) to 80 m3 per sec. As a result of unsustainable management of the natural resources, the water level of the artesian basin has declined by 8-15 meters, and the groundwater level has gone down by more than 3 meters. This has brought about a number of adverse processes: the drainage of agricultural soils, increased irrigation depth, losses of soil organic matter, and so on. It should be noted that the artesian basin of the valley is the main and strategically important storage of potable water for the City of Yerevan as well; and the groundwater resources are a major regulating factor for irrigated agriculture and also for soil humidity conditions, which define soil fertility. The change in the soil moisture regime has led to soil aridization in some areas of the Ararat Valley (as of today, over 30 communities are left without water for irrigation), and emerging waterlogging in other areas, which are exposed to water discharges from fish ponds at lower altitudes. Thus the Ararat Valley faces a broad range of interrelated environmental challenges; and the most serious of these arise from poor water management. Such a conflicting situation brings together several stakeholders. The first is government entities, alarmed with the tangible threat of the depletion of the artesian basin, which is a strategically important source of potable water for almost half of the country. The second stakeholder is comprised of arable farmers in the Ararat Valley: they adhere to ancestral traditions of vegetable, fruit, and grain growing, but now they are losing their fields and orchards as a result of their draining and impaired fertility. The third stakeholder group consists of fish farmers: the valley alone harbors over 300 operating fish farms. This is a fairly successful and profitable sector. Owing to the high quality of the fish they produce, it is in great demand in the Russian Federation and other countries; therefore, about 20-30 percent of the output is exported abroad. It is quite natural that fish farmers are keen to expand their operations. The fourth stakeholder group is nature conservation organizations, warning that the entire ecosystem, generated by nature and man, is entering a stage of degradation in the Ararat Valley, and unless this process is stopped, desertification will deprive the country of its once-abundant breadbasket and food security stronghold. How to arrest the process and attain sustainability? There seems to be no one clear-cut solution, but rather a broad range of coherent actions. First, it is necessary to: (i) cause the water withdrawal from the artesian basin to be drastically reduced, (ii) forbid (at least temporarily) the drawing of water from artesian wells that are not flowing any longer (as a result of dropped internal pressure); (iii) revise the quotas and rates of respective financial taxes payable by fish farmers; (iv) equip fish farms with water purification systems as soon as possible in order to introduce closed or semi-closed water consumption cycles; (v) retrofit or upgrade the interception and drainage systems to prevent waterlogging; (vi) consider an opportunity to use discharged water for irrigation purposes; (vii) introduce up-to-date water-saving drip irrigation practices in crop farming; (viii) forbid landowners to use their fields and orchards for purposes other than those for which they are designated to avoid rapid soil fertility losses; (ix) explore whether it would be appropriate to revive the Soviet practice of quite effective alternate uses of the same land areas for crop cultivation and fish ponds (two to three years for each use); cause nature conservation groups to consider the opportunity of giving the Ararat Valley ecosystem a status that would enable regulation of its land uses in a more purposeful and strict manner; and (x) advise the country's government to develop and adopt a targeted government program aimed at optimizing the environmental and economic situation in the Ararat Valley. The main objective of this case study is to highlight the problem of the underground water storage decline in the Ararat artesian basin, arising chiefly from the intensified fish farming; and use the available information to propose and analyze possible policy and economic options of addressing the problem in a fully participatory manner, in order to ensure food security.
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    Managing Soil Salinity in the Lower Reaches of the Amudarya Delta: How to Break the Vicious Circle
    Akramkhanov, Akmal; Ibrakhimov, Mirzakhayot; Lamers, John P. A. (CUL Initiatives in Publishing (CIP), 2010)
    Soil salinity is one of the critical factors responsible for the ongoing land degradation in the irrigated lowlands of Central Asia, including in the lower reaches of the Amudarya Delta. This land degradation hinders sustainable development and presents a major challenge for the area's rural population, whose livelihood security depends on irrigated agriculture. The factors causing soil salinity are multifaceted and interlinked; recent studies and interventions confirm that no one action alone will deliver a sustainable solution. Recommendations for alleviating soil salinity should take into account the complex interactions and can be formulated only once the interlinked factors causing soil salinity are understood. In the past, little attention was paid to creeping land degradation, which has resulted from soil salinization and waterlogging across huge agricultural and even nonagricultural areas. This case study focuses on the vicious circle of soil salinization: agriculture's consumption of large amounts of water contributes to shallow groundwater, leading to recurring soil salinity, which in turn demands more water for leaching (flushing the salts out of the rooting zone). The situation is exacerbated when water is not available in sufficient amounts in time and in space. The seemingly stable present water flows in the major water source (the Amudarya River) since the major drought in 2000–01 is caused by increased glacier melting in upstream countries. This water supply in turn diverts attention from the strong need for improved irrigation and cropping practices. Efforts aimed at reducing the amounts of irrigation water use face the problem of the devilish vicious circle, which has not only technical but also financial and political dimensions. Your assignment is to present policy options for managing soil salinity in a more sustainable way. Focus on incentives and instruments to solve the artificial water shortage problem.
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    The Aral Sea: An Ecological Disaster
    Rudenko, I.; Lamers, J. P. A. (CUL Initiatives in Publishing (CIP), 2010)
    The dimension of the human-induced ecological disaster in Central Asia is probably best illustrated in the desiccation of the Aral Sea. In 1960 this water body had a surface area of more than 68,000 square kilometers) and was the fourth-largest freshwater lake in the world. In 2009 only the Small Aral, the western part of the Large Aral, and a little pond from the eastern part of the Large Aral remained. Much has been written and said on the causes and consequences of the vanishing Aral Sea. Numerous donors and international organizations have implemented more than 20 large-scale projects worth about US$500 million in the Aral Sea Basin (ASB). Concurrently, much research has focused on how to reverse the negative trend or mitigate its negative impact on the environment, economy, and health of the people. Nonetheless, the Aral Sea has not been restored. Worse, in the past decade the remnants of the Aral Sea have desiccated even faster than calculations and model simulations predicted. The complete loss of the economical use of the Aral Sea threatens the livelihood and health of the population. The disastrous degradation of the ecosystems has led to the virtual extinction of unique flora and fauna and to a dramatic increase in human illnesses such as respiratory diseases, hepatitis, and anemia. Have all of the research and the efforts to save the Aral Sea been in vain? Can the Aral Sea, or at least part of it, still be saved? Or must the local and global communities focus merely on mitigating the severe environmental and human consequences of the sea's desiccation? And if so, how? Your assignment is to formulate policy recommendations for the riparian states in Central Asia to deal with the problems identified in this case.
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    Allocating Irrigation Water in Egypt
    Gersfelt, Birgitte (CUL Initiatives in Publishing (CIP), 2007)
    Agricultural production in Egypt is virtually fully dependent on irrigation. Egypt gets more than 95 percent of its annual renewable water resources from the Nile, and the construction of the High Aswan Dam, which was completed in 1971, has allowed Egypt to take full advantage of its share of Nile flows and increase both cropping intensity and size of the cultivated area. Egypt may face significant water scarcity within the foreseeable future, however, because of the combination of a more or less fixed supply of fresh water and increasing demands for water owing to population growth and reclamation of desert land for agricultural production. Because agriculture is the major water user in the Egyptian economy, it will be important to ensure efficient allocation of irrigation water across users and uses. In situations characterized by water scarcity, irrigation activities may be associated with several types of externalities, which in turn have implications for water use efficiency. A classic externality is when some farmers are able to appropriate as much water as they like while the other farmers receive only what is left over, resulting in possible drought damage to their crops. Another type of externality arises because not all water applied to the fields ends up being consumed (that is, evapotranspired) by the crops. Parts or all of the excess water may subsequently be returned to the basin water system and become available for another diversion cycle. Thus, even if individual farmers use inefficient irrigation technologies, this need not result in large water losses at the river basin level. Both of these externalities are present in various regions in Egypt and should be considered when designing policies for efficient allocation of irrigation water. Using water in a socially efficient manner is not merely a question of physical efficiency in water use. Whereas improving physical efficiency is about conserving water by increasing the share of water applied that is beneficially used, increasing economic efficiency is about maximizing the economic value of water use through physical measures and allocation of water between water uses and users (Cai et al. 2001). Within the cropping sector, economic efficiency may be improved by reallocating water from low- to high-value cropping activities or in some cases by adjusting the choice of production technique and using deficit irrigation (that is, applying less than the full crop water requirement). Many different policy instruments can be used to regulate farmers' use of water. The options include volumetric taxes and non-volumetric taxes (like crop-specific land or output taxes), various types of quotas, market-based allocation mechanisms, and user-based allocation mechanisms. The degree of efficiency that can be achieved in water allocation differs across these policy instruments, and so do the costs of implementing the policies. Regulating farmer water use has not only efficiency implications, however, but also distributional implications. Stakeholders in irrigation water allocation issues may be roughly divided into three groups: farmers, agents outside agriculture like industries and households, and agents in other countries. Although efficiency in water allocation policies should be an important matter for everyone in regions with water scarcity, stakeholders are also likely to be highly concerned with the distributional implications, which depend on the choice of policy instrument. All these aspects consequently must be taken into account when choosing what policy mechanisms to use for allocating scarce irrigation water resources in Egypt and elsewhere. Your assignment is to discuss the efficiency and distributional implications of using tax policy instruments versus quota policy instruments to regulate farmers' use of irrigation water. Then, based on the features of the Egyptian economy and irrigation system, design a policy strategy for regulating farmers' use of irrigation water in Egypt, considering economic efficiency aspects, implementation costs, and stakeholder issues.
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    The Economic Benefits of Fisheries Management: The Case of Western Channel Sole
    Bjørndal, Trond (CUL Initiatives in Publishing (CIP), 2009)
    Sole (Solea Solea) is a valuable flatfish species that lives partly buried in sandy bottoms in the western part of the English Channel. Because of fairly high catch levels, stock size has fallen substantially since the late 1970s. Between 1979 and 2007, the spawning stock biomass (SSB) fell by about 40 percent, from 5,400 tonnes to 2,300 tonnes. This decline represents a substantial disinvestment in the stock. There are also indications that the stock is being harvested unsustainably. A dynamic bioeconomic analysis showing optimal net returns or rents from the fishery points to the need for a substantial investment in the stock, with the exact magnitude depending on the discount rate. For a discount rate of 3.5 percent, as recommended by the UK Treasury for public investments, the optimal stock level is 5,114 tonnes. Essentially, then, this recommendation involves rebuilding the stock to its level before the start of the depletion process at the end of the 1970s. How quickly the optimal stock level is reached depends on how much is harvested during the rebuilding period and how productive the stock is. This case study considers four policy options for the sole fishery. One option is to allow the situation prior to the implementation of the European Commission's management plan to continue. In this case, the stock may be driven to near extinction over the next few years. Three alternatives for stock recovery are also considered. One alternative is based on the European Commission's recently adopted management plan for sole. The next alternative involves an annual total allowable catch of 500 tonnes until the optimal stock level is reached. Finally, the fastest approach involves a moratorium on the harvest until the optimal stock level is achieved. Depending on which alternative is chosen, the optimal stock level will be reached between 2011 and 2020, when higher annual catches will be possible on a sustainable basis. The sole stock is harvested by fishers from the United Kingdom, Belgium, and France, with the United Kingdom having a 59 percent share. The most important fleet segment consists of beam trawlers. As part of a rebuilding program for the stock, this fleet will need to be restructured. Given the different options for a management plan, which one would you choose, taking into account both the different values of the resource rent and the social costs of reducing fishing effort in the implementation phase? Imagine now that the fishery was in a least-developed country, that the data on the fish stock were highly incomplete, and that the government would have great difficulty in actually reducing the fishing effort. How would this influence your policy choice? What alternative or complementary measures would you suggest?
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    Environment and Health in Rural Kazakhstan: Linking Agricultural Policy and Natural Resource Management to Rural Welfare
    Jones, Andrews (CUL Initiatives in Publishing (CIP), 2007)
    Oil revenues and foreign investment in the Caspian Sea's burgeoning petroleum industry have brought Kazakhstan to the attention of governments and businesses worldwide. While Kazakhstan has made considerable economic strides in the past decade, an increasing urban-rural divide has placed poverty and ill health disproportionately on the shoulders of rural residents. The country's bleak state of rural welfare in the past 15 years is largely explained by its inheritance of degraded natural resources from its Soviet forebears, the economic and social turmoil following the collapse of the Soviet Union, and inequitable, poorly implemented land reform and agricultural policies. Throughout the 20th century, short-sighted environmental policies aimed at enhancing industry and manufacturing helped transform the Soviet Union into an industrial behemoth and world superpower. But this industrial growth transformed the landscape, notably in Kazakhstan, at the expense of the region's rich underlying natural resources. Fragile rangelands and pasturelands were plowed under to grow wheat, arid steppes were deluged with irrigation water to sustain a cotton monoculture, and rivers, seas, and lakes were drained of their vitality and poisoned with industrial effluents. Myopic policies led to a deterioration of air, water, and land; not surprisingly public health in these regions began to plummet as well. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Kazakhstan emerged as an independent state caught in a social upheaval, characterized by mass-scale corruption and power struggles, reshuffling of landownership patterns, and an economic downturn that affected agricultural productivity. With the development of its fossil fuel reserves, Kazakhstan has improved its economy, but not to the benefit of all. Although individual farms (that is, family and household farms) are increasing in number and showing superior productivity compared with corporate farms, legislative, financial, and technological impediments prevent smallholder operations from prospering. Local governments lack the authority and funding to carry out state mandates, resulting in ineffective development programs, poor implementation and enforcement of state policies, and escalation of wealth consolidation by powerful private citizens. In short, Kazakhstan lacks a cohesive infrastructure to support rural development and agriculture. A declining fodder base from prior rangeland mismanagement, shifting grazing patterns, antiquated irrigation systems, and imperiled watersheds threaten the viability of natural resources. Thus, future polices must seek to overcome a severely degraded environment in addition to inefficiencies in government and infrastructure. Although efforts are underway to diversify the economy, agriculture is still not a high priority for the government of Kazakhstan. The poor health and welfare of Kazakhstan's millions of agriculturedependent rural residents highlights the paramount importance of immediately addressing issues of agriculture and rural development. Rural families cannot afford to wait for the Kazakhstan of 2030, the country's ubiquitous propaganda slogan, to fulfill their simple hopes of health and social stability. Your assignment is to advise the government of Kazakhstan on how best to reform and integrate its policies on land tenure and agriculture with proper stewardship of natural resources to improve rural health and welfare.
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    Incentives for Soil Conservation in Peru
    Posthumus, Helena (CUL Initiatives in Publishing (CIP), 2007)
    Soil erosion poses a serious threat to agricultural production in developing countries, especially in regions such as the Andes, where soil erosion is widespread and affects the livelihoods of farm households. Despite considerable program efforts to promote soil conservation practices among farm households, the uptake is often disappointing. Often these practices are not cost-efficient for the farm households. To counteract the lack of benefits, natural resource management programs intervene by providing households with direct incentives to promote soil conservation practices. The use of direct incentives is criticized, however, because farm households tend to abandon soil conservation practices once the program withdraws its assistance. The situation in the Andes is further complicated by the limited productivity of agriculture and by market failures. As a result, farm households have little interest in investing in agriculture. Although soil conservation practices have the potential to increase agricultural productivity, farm households cannot convert these benefits into income, and this situation explains farm households' resistance to these practices. In this case study, the main stakeholders are the users of the land—that is, the farm households— and the society (represented by the government). Two government programs, PRONAMACHCS and MARENASS, are promoting soil conservation practices throughout the Andes. These programs are not sufficient, however, to guarantee sustainable natural resource management, and they should be supported with agricultural or development policies. Several policy options are being considered to improve rural livelihoods and promote natural resource protection. Your assignment is to design a policy for natural resource protection in the Peruvian Andes, focusing on soil conservation in particular, within a rural development strategy.