Currently showing: Climate/natural disasters

01 May 13 13:37

Can decentralisation tackle environmental problems? While most environmental programmes are focused on global action, a lot can be done at local level.

In the early 1990s, inspired by a need to overturn the legacy of apartheid, some Namibian politicans and civil servants decided to do something unusual.

In 1996 they gave effective ownership of wildlife to the people of rural Namibia, rather than the usual model of national control.

This Community Based Natural Resources Management model allowed them to strike deals with tourism operators, and manage their own wildlife, with oversight from the national government. It has been a huge success, with almost half of the "communal areas"? (where most Namibian population lives) under this form of management and substantial growth in wildlife populations.

Category: Climate/natural disasters

Tags: #Policy, #Wildlife.

Location: Namibia


Jennifer - 8 May 2013, 10:07 a.m.

The more I read about locally inspired, created and executed programmes - from socially oriented NGOs to the environmental example you shared about - the more impressed I am with their tendency to be able to create real change on a local level more effectively, quickly and sustainably than big players like centralised government or international NGOs. I've started to bear this in mind when I make donations but I wonder how it might be possible to support a shift towards more grassroots efforts in general - at home and abroad. Do you happen to have any more information about the program in Namibia? It would be interesting to know if there have been any studies measuring the success of this program versus one managed by a larger, non-local organisation.

Alicia Montoya - 15 May 2013, 1:45 p.m.

Absolutely! It has demonstrated time and time again: Development projects only work when the people concerned participate in it. And the sooner they're brought in, the better the success rate. The most successful are those where the concerned parties are brought in at the very beginning and get to contribute to the project design.

And, as a Gen Yer, I have to agree with Jennifer: Our generation is the most engaged in history, probably because of the technology we have but I think also due to the specific circumstances we live in: The myriad of challenges we face is mind-boggling, their complexity and connection unprecedented.

So not only do I agree with the premise that going local is better, I would say go all the way and get personal! Let's find the incentives that will make citizens, companies and governments WANT to tackle these issues.

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