Land use strategies can be powerful tools for reducing poverty, but policy failures pose huge challenges to implementing new technologies and practices. A research report identifies the need for institutional innovation to encourage different land uses, empower farmers, and facilitate knowledge sharing.
Government officials and donors alike increasingly recognize that further reductions in rural poverty may require the adoption of more environmentally sustainable land- and water-use practices. Important measures from the governments in this area included: Land reform; Greater reliance on integrated land-use planning and management techniques in public investment projects and housing construction; Reforestation efforts; More and better human capital; More protected areas; Including the private sector and NGOs; More funding.
In CA, more than anywhere else, land degradation and rural poverty are driven not merely by technical failings, but more so by institutional and policy failings.
The increasing level of organization allows for the better distribution of new knowledge and technologies to the individual farmer. Institutional analysis is needed to either assign new roles for existing institutions or establish new institutions to enhance adoption of SLM and to combat land degradation.
The ability of local producers to compete in both domestic and international markets has important implications for the sustainable use of natural resources and poverty reduction.
To deal with the problems of land degradation, using many technologies such as SLM, GIS, crop rotation, etc. can be a solution. However, SLM is not only technologies, but more than that, a set of policy, institutional and market framework that may promote or prevent the use of SLM practice. This is not unique to Central Asian countries but applicable anywhere. The Research document in focus has rightly pointed this out. Sometime weak state capacity to address the problems has caused more than just inadequate technologies. As such, natural resources management is the least technological issue, but more a social, economic and even political issue. Without this mindset, it would be difficult for many societies in Asia and elsewhere to face the problems effectively.
NISTPASS Science and Technology Scanning: Asia Pacific, Dec 2010, pg 3-4:
Vladimir Mikhalev and Ajiniyaz Reimov, Land Degradation in Central Asia.
Gupta, R., K. Kienzler, C. Martius, A. Mirzabaev, T. Oweis, E. de Pauw, M. Qadir, K. Shideed, R. Sommer, R. Thomas, K. Sayre, C. Carli, A. Saparov, M. Bekenov, S. Sanginov, M. Nepesov, and R. Ikramov 2009. Research Prospectus: A Vision for Sustainable Land Management Research in Central Asia. ICARDA Central Asia and Caucasus Program. Sustainable Agriculture in Central Asia and the Caucasus Series No.1. CGIAR-PFU, Tashkent, Uzbekistan. 84 pp. http://www.icarda.org/cac/sacac.asp