Natural Resource Governance at Multiple Scales in the Hindu Kush Himalaya : ICIMOD Working Paper 2017/4 (2017)

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Human efforts to address poverty, enhance welfare, and conserve natural resources and the environment often fail because of faulty governance and implementation. Improvements in governance are consistently viewed as means to address the failures of sustainable development and natural resource management. Indeed, calls by international development organizations, donors, and researchers for decentralization, stronger development institutions, better alignment of private and social incentives, and the protection of ecologies are, at their roots, also calls for improving governance. Effective governance enables and, where appropriate, sets limits on permissible actors and actions, decisions, and decision makers. It helps determine whether and to what extent actions related to development and conservation programmes match the design of such programmes, and their appropriateness in relation to local cultural and ecological contexts.

Answers to what constitutes effective governance become particularly complex in rapidly changing contexts such as those of South Asia and, in particular, the Hindu Kush Himalaya – the focus of this study. In such contexts, governance arrangements have to be instituted with particular care and with an eye to long-term processes so as to reduce the likelihood of perverse outcomes. The empirical focus of this study is on the governance processes that characterize the use of key natural resources such as river waters, transboundary protected areas, irrigation, forest resources, and rangelands. An examination of resource governance highlights governance actors and mechanisms from across the social and political spectrums, their interests, and decision processes. It also brings to the forefront the importance of coordination across scales levels, and the interests and actions of multiple stakeholders that invariably shape governance outcomes.

ICIMOD Working Paper

ISBN: 978 92 9115 459 3 (printed)
Language: English
Pages: 82
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 Record created 2017-02-22, last modified 2017-02-22