Conflicts in natural resource governance is associated with various factors such as ownership, sharing, capitalization, commercialization, detaching communities from place of habitation to name a few. Governance pillars viz. Judiciary, Legislature, Executive and Civil Society play a critical role in establishing balance between variables and the real time situations. There have been several instances when resources are exploited through governance, which then become a critical issue warranting action from international agencies,å civil society and to a large extent by communities for bringing the state of affairs to the government and assist in making holistic decisions with priority for nature and environment, its resources. This paper reflects on few such complexities in managing natural resources and derives a qualitative co-relation between governance and natural resources by taking inspiration from the paper "To Have or Have not" by HBF along with suggestive paths such as enhancing trust and integrity among stakeholders and cultivating a value based political system.
In January, HBF collaborated with the Center for Science and Environment (CSE) for the Future Workshop: Resource Governance in 21st Century. The workshop engaged participants from India and Afghanistan. During workshop, these diverse minds pooled their personal experiences and creativity to discuss and propose possible solutions to key natural resource management problems.
The workshop was a journey, with both practical field visit as well as interactive sessions. It started with a real life experience at a sacred forest colloquially called "Bani". Bani has been well protected and taken care of by locals, who strive to spread awareness about its ecological and sacred value in the community. The field visit was a hands-on experience of how resource conservation can be strengthened through deeply rooted faith and religion. It drew appreciation and acknowledgement for the role of community as the source for communicating the essence of place through historical facts, legends and stories. However, at the same time the field-visit was also an exposure to increased destruction of forests in the name of development. The authors believe that culture, faith, religion, politics along with scientific temper in right direction coupled with a sense of belongingness and ownership are critical to building a strong and valued natural resource system.
Personally, throughout the workshop, the authors consistently felt that conflicts arise in interpretation related to sustainability and rights of natural resources. While few participants strongly felt that these should be governed by the community, the rest felt that as natural resources are national properties, the government must have greater control over it with moderated rights to the people. However, amongst all issues, the ones that received most attention were: 1. Forestry 2. Mining and 3. Biodiversity Conservation. All three topics generated extensive support from the participants enabling discussions for current status, systems conflicts, governance and suggestive remedial actions. This essay uncovers crucial points that were discussed at the workshop. It is a representation of ideas, observation and analysis of authors on the natural resource governance scenario both at national and international level.
Natural Resource and its Governance
Natural resource governance involves interaction and decision-making regarding the resource use. The process is complicated because of the involvement of diverse stakeholders who are dependent on the resource in different capacities. Decision making in such a situation becomes very challenging, as it requires developing a solution that is equally acceptable by all. Allen and Gould (1986) and Shindler (1999) describe such a situation as 'wicked problem', where due to the involvement of diverse values of all the stakeholders partaking in the decision-making process makes resource governance even more complicated. The values of these individuals are influenced by religion, culture, faith, political view and scientific temper. It is these social values that attributes to the 'wickedness' of the problem. Allen and Gould (1986) further argue that in a society, values are always shifting therefore, developing an effective resource management plan in such a pluralistic society becomes close to impossible.
On a different note, Garret Hardin in his seminal article, 'Tragedy of the Commons' termed resource users as rational individuals who he believed would resort to overexploitation to maximize their own profits. Hardin predicts that in such a scenario overuse and degradation would befall natural resource and offers centralized government restrictions and/or privatization of resource as potential solution to the problem (Hardin, 1968). Hardin's prescription of government restriction and private ownership was enacted by policymakers around the world, but his approach was challenged by Elinor Ostrom, who won Nobel Prize in 2009 in Economics for her work. Ostrom on the basis of analysis of several case studies from all over the world challenged Hardin's argument; through her research she was able to establish that, management of natural resources is complex and that privatization and public ownership weren't the only solution. She posited that apart from private or state regime, there were also cases where members of the community got together to manage resources they were dependent upon. She referred to such an arrangement of self-organized management of resources as local institution, where individuals create their own rules, monitor its compliance in the community and subsequently sanction the rule breakers.
An example of such an institution is Van Panchayats (Forest Councils). In the state of Uttarakhand, Van Panchayats are traditional institution. They have been in existence since 1931. Van Panchayats exist in most of the villages in Uttarakhand, where villagers unanimously have been involved in managing forests, watersheds and water resources in their area. Despite being a state property, the community members have a very strong sense of ownership and close affinity towards these resources. The community clearly understands the crucial importance of forests for sustaining lives and livelihoods hence, they are selflessly involved in its management. Ostrom and her colleagues highlighted the role of self-organized communities/institutions in their work. At the same time there is also a large pool of research that underscores importance of bottoms-up approach toward formation of natural resource management policies.
All the previous research have successfully highlighted the importance of collaboration of stakeholders from grassroots local government level to agency level, where these stakeholders with diverse needs and values come into a consensus to develop a plan that best meets the needs of everyone.
Shifting Paradigms in Natural Resource Management in India: From Agency Control to Collaborative Management
The history of natural resource management in India represents an interesting shift in management paradigms from strict agency control to collaborative management. However, this shift from centralized to more decentralized approach was very gradual. As India still follows the old administrative system established during the colonial times by the British, whose core objective back then was 'command and control', even after India got its independence in 1947, it was hard for the administrative system to break free of this old mentality. Therefore, eventually when the need for collaboration in managing resources arose, the agencies weren't adaptive enough to make fundamental shift in its- attitude, policies, and procedures to respond to these changing needs.
India might boast of being one of the countries with the oldest forest administration system. With the set up of forest department in 1864, and passage of subsequent Forest Acts in 1865, 1878 and 1972, which are still in effect, large tracts of lands were transferred under government control. This process of government taking over the ownership of the forests initiated a process through which the rights of locals to access and harvest were terminated. They continued to demarcate large stretches of forest land for commercial exploitation of timber, and traditional community rights to forest access and harvesting of products were steadily eroded (Poffenberger and McGean 1996). Commercial exploitation of forest continued, in fact, accelerated after India got its independence in 1947.
The Forest Policy Act of 1952 retained the forest lands under the exclusive control of state. Although the policy accepted 'village forests' to serve the needs of people in the village, it did not grant them rights to use or access forest areas. Post 1980s there were several reforms made in the Forest Act keeping in mind needs and historical injustices to Scheduled tribes and other Traditional Forest dwellers. In 1988, the National Forest Policy was revised, and for the first time an important policy document was devised that emphasized on conservation and meeting of local needs, instead of industrial production (Ministry of Environment and Forests 1988). Reforms like Joint Forest Management (1990) and Forest Rights Act (2006) recognized the rights of locals. These reforms were a step toward decentralization of large groups of people who were politically marginalized. The 1990s was the era of political decentralization and rise of backward class, however, claims of participation made by these collaborative initiatives raised skepticism. Because government by nature has been always interested in accumulating more power over resources, scholars criticized these participatory policies to be 'sleigh of hand' carried out by the state to satisfy other stakeholders while retaining primary control over resources. Scholars have also argued that there are no platforms or spaces where different opinions or interest can be articulated; conflicts are suppressed by leaderships dominating the partnership as a result of which ground level needs are still unaddressed.
Studies have demonstrated that in most places the collaborative measures don’t last long, or end up creating unequal partners. Such policies become dysfunctional either after initial enthusiasm dies down or after the monetary resources are exhausted (Arora, 1994). In some cases the collaborative policies exist only on paper and are ineffective in protecting the resource (Ghate and Nagendra, 2005). Due to lack of faith of community in the state, the communities by and large remain unconvinced about the benefits to be gained from accepting state designed arrangements at considerable loss of autonomy. Since collaboration is an initiative of state/federal agency there still exist an imbalance of power as the locals cannot exercise initiative unless it is under terms dictated by the government.
Downward accountability in the forest is still limited, as decision making authority is not vested in the community, rather it rests with the agency, and the user groups are not allowed to make significant changes to the management policies. User groups have limited decision-making authority over their forests, and thus, this kind of management, although might be effective in the short term, is not very participatory. Studies have shown that, in situations where management framework is developed by State to fulfill national objectives, responsiveness to local requirements is limited, leading to a loss in flexibility and adaptation to local circumstances.
Just like forestry, mining operations have also caused considerable damage with irreversible effects. These have been mainly due to lack of sensitiveness toward forests and community, prioritizing business over social and ecological capital together with loose regulatory framework. These were also amplified by corporates and strongmen who cared little about the consequence of undertaking activities, even in sensitive locations.
Mining industry has been classified as: coal based, fuel based, non-coal, non-fuel based. Mining policies does not take into account the different types of mining as a separate entity. This has often led to conflicting policies due to generalization of mining policies for different mining operations. Taking a cue of Planetary Boundaries from the article "To Have or Have Not", mining should serve as a classic example of the same. As there is unprecedented demand with scarce supply, there is a huge demand of technologies which aim to cross the threshold limit for reaching to the so called "last available extractable resource" without going through a logical thought process for having such a decision at the sacrifice of ecological balance.
Mining industry has been operating with more power and ambitious plans, which are at the best, may be termed as "unsustainable". India produces as many as 87 minerals, which include 4 fuels, 10 metallic, 47 non-metallic, 3 atomic and 23 minor minerals (including building and other materials) along with more than 2,600 mines operating in a year. In India, coal is looked after by the Ministry of Coal, while the others are under the jurisdiction of The Ministry of Mines. This ministry has come out with Sustainable Development Framework for the Mining Sector & Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). However, it excludes many stakeholders and focuses mainly on Government-based organizations and their CSR. The framework also excludes environmental evaluation methodologies, through which the life cycle analysis could be arrived at and a better understanding of these can be achieved. Secondly, the proposed framework, excludes off-shore mining. Thirdly, it could have been more inclusive if the two ministries would have come out with a common implementable guidelines for do’s and dont’s based on a vision for stakeholders including the mining companies.
In many, if not most instances, decentralization reforms tend to be louder on the rhetoric and less developed on the ground (Nagendra, 2005). Often, these purported reforms lead neither to the strengthening of local communities, nor to the betterment of status of resource. Lack of flexibility to make changes exposes lack of downward accountability, creating an additional responsibility on local communities of managing the resources without being empowered to make their own changes to the management program.
Local communities currently function under a situation of constraint, where they clearly require more than delegation of responsibilities, as is currently the case; to ensure their buy-in, the devolution of rights, assets, and power is a must (Sundar, 2000; Nagendra, 2005). The very aspect of decentralization of these policies raised skepticism, because in reality the government is incapable of completely breaking through the trend of 'command and control' and adapting to changing political reality. Therefore, although on papers the reforms might seem as if they are inclusive, but in reality policies are very much top down. In addition, these policies are worded in a convoluted fashion and have lot of ambiguity in them, which makes implementation very challenging. This leaves one to question the legitimacy of the system and raises some of the following questions: What can be done to make the system fairer and more effective? What is the most crucial step that needs to be taken to ensure equitable distribution of resource to all? Is 'old actually gold'? We are still following the old administrative system, the very foundation of which was 'command and control', is it OK to still continue following that or is it about time to overhaul the entire administration and establish one that is more adaptive and well suited to political reality?
3. Biodiversity Conservation
Biodiversity conservation is also a complex issue. Again the complexity is appended by the interplay of ecological and the social system (overarching problem in all the topics). It is this interplay that generates uncertainties in the system thereby making it difficult for the managers to develop appropriate solutions to the problems. Decision making/policy making in biodiversity conversation becomes challenging due to conflicting viewpoints of people involved in the decision making process-biocentric vs. anthropocentric.
People with biocentric viewpoint base their arguments on an assumption that human-use of resource will always have negative impact on the health of the resource and in that process they completely ignore the role of locals in management of resource; whereas people with anthropocentric viewpoint are biased towards protection of rights of locals. There is also problem of certain species getting over-attention, as a result of which, other species that are important part of ecosystem too get ignored. For example, in India, Tigers have been receiving a lot of attention in the past decade. It is claimed that since Tigers are an umbrella species, its conservation will ensure conservation of other species too. Scientists have raised concerns about tigers or other charismatic species being given an over-importance and have argued that due attention to other languishing species should also be given to ensure a more unbiased, effective and a holistic conservation of biodiversity. For harmonious co-existence of man-wildlife, there needs to be a balance between anthropocentric and biocentric viewpoints where relationship between human use and biodiversity needs can be fully understood and incorporated in the decision making system. There needs to be a growing appreciation and understanding of each and every species, the role that every species plays, the role of human-wildlife interaction. An increased awareness and education is need of the hour that will sensitize the population and in turn will lead to transformation of values and attitudes of people.
Natural resource governance policies in India are ridden with challenges like: corruption, nepotism, ambiguous policies, lack of proper policy implementation and unequal resource distribution. To overcome those challenges, people working in developing policies for environment need broader awareness of diverse and multidimensional values associated with natural resources. This increased awareness is vital not just for the community, but for the media, private sectors and other key actors involved in natural resource governance. Therefore, multi-stakeholder dialogue in development of policy for issues like forestry, water resource management, mining, biodiversity conservation is crucial. Such interaction deems participation of potential stakeholders associated with resources from grassroots level to top agency level. Conflicts, most likely are inevitable in such situations. However, peace can be attained through facilitating deep dialogues, forgiveness, going beyond religion, inculcating a strong motivation for sustaining resources, making it available for present and future generations along with appreciating culture and values system of individuals associated with the natural resource.
1. Allen, G. M. and E. M. Gould (1986): "Complexity, Wickedness, and Public Forests", Journal of Forestry 84: 20-23
2. Arora, D. (1994): "From State Regulation to People's Participation: Case of Forest Management in India", Economic and Political Weekly 29 (12): 691-698
3. Fuhr, L and Chemnitz, C. (2012): “To have or have not - Resource Equity in a Finite World", Heinrich-Böll-Stifung, Berlin
4. Ghate, R., Nagendra, Harini. (2005): "Role of Monitoring in Institutional Performance: Forest Management in Maharashtra, India", Conservation and Society 3(2): 509-532
5. Hardin, G. (1968): "The Tragedy of the Commons", Science 162 No. 3859: 1243-1248
6. Nagendra, H., Karmacharya, and B. Karna (2005): "Evaluating Forest Management in Nepal: Views across Space and Time", Ecology and Society 10 (1)
7. Ostrom, E. (1990): "Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action", Cambridge, UK, Cambridge University Press
8. Ostrom, E., M. A. Janssen and J. M. Anderies (2007): "Going beyond Panaceas", Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 104(39): 15176-15178
9. Poffenberger, M. and B. McGean, Eds. (1996): "Village Voices, Forest Choices: Joint Forest Management in India", Delhi, Oxford University Press
10. Shindler, B. and L. A. Cramer (1999): "Shifting Public Values for Forest Management: Making Sense of Wicked Problems", Western Journal of Applied Forestry 14(1): 28-34
Here we have provided various speech on save water under different words limit for the school students. Such type of save water speech will help students to actively take part in the speech recitation at any occasion in the school without any fear. You can select any of the speeches given below according to your need and requirement.
Speech on Save Water
Save Water Speech 1
Good morning to the excellencies, respected teachers and my dear colleagues. I would like to speech on a very important topic “save water” today at this special occasion. As well all know that how the water is important for the continuation of life on the earth. It is the most basic need of everyone (human being, animal, plant and other microorganisms). Water is the unique source of life, without water we cannot imagine the life here. Life on other planets is not possible just because of the absence of water. It is considered as the most important among other known celestial bodies. Almost three-fourth area of the earth is covered by the water and it constitutes around 60-70 % of the living world. It seems that water is endless renewable source on the earth because it is regenerated and redistributed all over the earth through evaporation and rain. It arises a question in our mind that if water is renewable source then why we should worry for water and try to conserve it.
Actually, there is only 1% of the water on the earth which is usable to us. And other water bodies have unusable water to us such as 97% salty sea water, 2% water in the form of glaciers and polar ice caps. Only 1% water is here for us over which a huge population all over the world is depended for the survival. Death is more possible in the lack of water than the lack of food. It again arises a question in our mind that why we are so late in realizing the need of water saving and conservation. Since the life of each and every living things on the earth depends on water, then scenario will get worse if useful water become dirty or started reducing. A water looking fresh and drinkable from outside can be mixed with the harmful and toxic elements through various sources like industries, factories, sewer, etc and cause illness and death if ingested by animals, plants or human beings. Here are some tips which really will help us to save water:
- Parents should aware their children about the need of water conservation. They should avoid buying recreational water toys (which require constant stream of water) to their children.
- Everyone should be aware of the water shortage rules and restrictions and strictly follow in their own area.
- Every employee should be active for the water conservation at their own work place and encourage their employer to promote water conservation in other effective ways.
- There should be water conservation awareness and tips for every starter in the orientation manual and training program at schools, colleges, work place, offices, institutions, etc.
- Water conservation techniques should be promoted on every news media such as TV, newspaper, radio, FM, community newsletters, bulletin boards, banners, etc.
- People should be more active in their area to report (to their owner, local authorities, water management of district) any problems related to water loss through broken pipes, errant sprinklers, open hydrants, abandoned free-flowing wells, etc.
- Water conservation awareness should be highly developed and promoted especially in the schools to aware children means future of the nation.
- School students should be assigned to prepare projects on water conservation or given this topic during any competition like debate, discussion, essay writing or speech recitation.
- It should be promoted at tourism level so that tourists and visitors can be aware of and understand the need for water conservation.
- As being educated citizens we should encourage our friends and neighbors to join the water conscious community.
- Everyone should make a task related to water saving and try to complete by the end of day strictly.
Save Water Speech 2
A very good morning to the respected teachers, my dear friends and other gathered people here. As we are here to celebrate this occasion, I would like to speech on the topic of save water. Now-a-days, lack of useful water in our surrounding areas is the most serious topic which needs to be working out urgently. Three-fourth of the earth surface is covered by the water however there is lack of drinking water on the earth (only 1 %). The level of drinking water on the earth is getting down and dirty because of various industrial sources day by day. It is very serious matter that we are losing the useful water on the earth. Each human body consists of 75% water which make clear that how the water is important for us as a prime elements and responsible for life on the earth. Water circulates itself in the universe through the process of evaporation and rain.
A well developed human body contains an average of 42 liters of water however suffers dehydration at a very small loss of 2.7 liters. He/she starts feeling weak, irritable, fatigue, dizziness, nervousness, headaches, etc. We all should improve the habit of water saving and conservation in our home and outside. Here are some points which can help us in save water outside the doors:
- We should use water according to the need and requirement and never over-water our lawn they need watering every 5 to 7 days (summer season), every 10 to 14 days (winter season) and almost not in the rainy season.
- We should water the lawns especially in the early morning or late evening because due to the low temperature and low wind speed it can not be lost through evaporation and totally used by the plants.
- We should not water the streets, driveways or sidewalks, all are wastage of water.
- We should use water-efficient methods of irrigation (micro and drip irrigation, soaker hoses, etc) while sprinkling over plants or other place.
- If a lawn cut higher, it encourages roots of the plants go deeper and holds more soil moisture thus require less water from outside.
- We should never fertilizes (or only sometimes according to need) our lawns because it increases the need of more water.
- Sprinklers or hoses can not be left unattended as they may loss approximately 600 gallons of water in few hours.
- Car washing should be done on the green ground or lawn otherwise prefer commercial car wash as they recycles water.
- We should avoid ornamental water features like fountains in the lawn as show piece.
- There should be filter system in the individual swimming pools.
- Mulching technique also helps plants to retain soil moisture for long time.
- We should try to plant some native and drought resistant plants, grasses, ground covers and shrubs in the lawns as they do not need more water to survive.
- There should not be any leakage in the water pipes in the home and in case of leakage, hose washers can be used between spigots and water hoses.
Save Water Speech 3
Good morning to the excellencies, my respected teachers and my dear colleagues. I would like to speech on the topic of save water today while celebrating such a nice occasion. Hope you all would help me and let me fulfill the objectives of my speech. As we all know the importance of water in our life. Water involves in almost all the processes in our body such as digestion, elimination, assimilation, respiration, maintaining body temperature, etc. It is required to remove the thirst of our body. We can live for days without food however cannot imagine to live without water more than a day. The level of useful drinking water (only 1%) on the earth is very less and other water is salty and not useful to the living beings. Water is required by everything like plants, animals, microorganisms, human being, etc to fulfill the body requirements. Do we imagine that what will happen if the drinking water get finished a day or get polluted. Yes, it is the main question which has opened the eyes of everyone and start saving water at every place we belong like home, surrounding area, office, school, college, etc.
We have to save and conserve our drinking water from extra spend as well as being polluted by following various techniques of water conservation. Now-a-days, in the world of technological improvement and industrialization, the safe water is getting polluted to a huge level on daily basis by getting mixed with hundreds of tons of toxins and impurities (as industrial wastes). There are many water treatments used to make dirty water clean and bacteriologically safe however many times they have been proved ineffective because of the presence of certain pathogenic bacteria (giardia and cryptosporidium) after test. Sometimes the presence of toxic chemicals and inorganic minerals are also found causing various diseases. In order to be safe from the diseases, a mass of people has started drinking mineral water. If we regularly destroy and soiled our drinking water, surely there would be a day soon when we get pure water (labeled as oxygen enriched, free toxic materials, radioactive and chemical compounds). Here are some points helping how to better save drinking water:
- We should not waste water by draining it without purpose. All the taps should be closed properly to avoid unnecessary water drainage.
- Do not waste water by irrigating lawns unnecessarily. Lawn needs water every 5 to 7 days in the summer whereas every 10 to 14 days in winter.
- People should verify that home is leak-free while buying home.
- All the dripping taps should be repaired soon through replacing washers as they may loss around 2,700 gallons of water per year.
- Toilet tank leaks should be checked time to time by using food coloring to the tank (if there is leakage it would appear within few min).
- Never flush toilet or use showers for long time unnecessarily because there may be huge water loss.
- People should use only required amount of water bathing or washing clothes.
- Do not destroy water while washing hands, brushing teeth or washing face on the basin, it is good to use mug water or keep close the tap while rubbing hands with soap, cleaning teeth or washing face.
- Automatic dishwashers and clothes washers should be operated only when fully loaded in order to save water.
- Everyone should store drinking water for long time in the big container instead of using tap run every time.
Save Water Speech 4
A very good morning to the excellencies, respected teachers and my dear friends. I am here to speech over save water topic today on this great occasion. I would like to say thanks to my class teacher to give such a great opportunity at this day to speech over an important topic. Water conservation is the technique to save clean and pure water for the future use by following various effective measures. Managing fresh water as a sustainable resource requires various strategies and activities in order to protect life by meeting all the water demands. Reducing the level of fresh drinking water is very serious issue for this huge worldwide population and increasing need of people for water especially in the manufacturing and agricultural irrigation. Water conservation is necessary to fulfills the goal of future generations. It reduces the use of energy because water management require around 15% of the total electricity consumption. It also involve in the habitat conservation for the local wildlife and migrating waterfowl. It reduces need of building other dams or water diversion infrastructures.
In order to conserve fresh drinking water we need to reduce water loss, avoid damaging natural water quality and improve water management practices. There are many water conservation programs run by the government in order to solve the social problems related to water at the local level (municipal water utilities or regional governments). Some common strategies are like public outreach campaigns, reduce outdoor water use, etc.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, it is estimated that if water metering is done to everyone it will reduce water consumption by 20 to 40 %. Water metering is also necessary to raise awareness among public that metering will surely identify and localize the water leakage anywhere. This is the effective using which water department can easily monitor water usage by every family in the society. There should be less water consumed by the people in various water consuming appliances in the home like toilet flush, showers, sprinklers, fountains, washing machine, dish washers, etc.
There should be water-saving technology in the home appliances like low-flow shower heads (also called energy-efficient shower heads), low-flush toilets, composting toilets, dual flush toilets (uses almost 67% less water than the conventional toilets), faucet aerators, raw water flushing (toilets using sea water or non-purified water), water reuse or recycling of water, rainwater harvesting, clothe washers with high-efficiency, weather-based irrigation controllers, garden hose nozzles, low flow taps everywhere, covered swimming pool to reduce water evaporation, automatic faucet, water less urinals, water less car washing, etc reduces water consumption to a great extent and can save more water if used on daily basis in all houses. Agricultural appliances used by the farmers should also be of water-saving technology to reduce water consumption while irrigating crops.
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