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Case Studies
Case Studies

Case Studies (329)

Thursday, 03 March 2011 12:39

Makanya catchment, Tanzania

Written by Johnny Musumbu

Makanya catchment, Tanzania

Main Contributors:

Johnny Musumbu Tshimpanga

Other Contributors:

Reinette (Oonsie) Biggs

Summary

The Makanya agro-ecological system as most of smallholder agro-ecosystems in dry-land environments has been conceptualised as a system that exhibits two alternative stability basins of attractions referred to respectively as productive and degraded regimes. The productive domains resulted from a distinctive kind of management both at field and landscape levels that involved extended fallow periods practices aimed at naturally regenerating soils fertility coupled with strong laws local together with rules and norms for natural resources management . Consequently, the system developed along a trajectory where plentiful and easily accessible of on- as well as off-farm provisioning ecosystem services was generated to support a relatively low population living in the system over time. Early 1980s, the agro-ecosystem underwent dramatic changes that happened concomitantly and pushed the system into the degraded regime. These changes encompass increasing dry-spell frequencies, rapid institutional changes, and population growth that triggered a spiral of mutually enforcing feedbacks, involving increased cropping intensity, cultivation of more marginal lands, yields declines, soil fertility decline and loss of provisioning ecosystem services generated by the catchment. That situation has inexorably set the system on a development path where food and other ecosystem services are not generated fast enough to support local population over time. As a result, local populations appear to be caught into a persistent poverty conditions referred to as poverty traps. There is, however, a window of opportunity which is conducive to sustainably dealing with these highly complex challenges. These include a mix of small water system technologies that bear high prospects for stabilising even increasing agro-ecological productivity, and efficient and enforceable institutional mechanisms that guarantee a successful resource base management.

Type of regime shift

  • Bio-productivity shift in dry-land agro-ecosystems

Ecosystem type

  • Drylands & deserts (below ~500mm rainfall/year)

Land uses

  • Small-scale subsistence crop cultivation

Spatial scale of the case study

  • Local/landscape (e.g. lake, catchment, community)

Continent or Ocean

  • Africa

Region

  • Eastern Africa

Countries

  • Tanzania

Locate with Google Map

Key References

  1. Coulson A. 1982. Tanzania: A Political Economy. Oxford University Press: Oxford.
  2. Enfors I, Gordon L. 2007. Analysing Resilience In Dryland Agro-Ecosystems: A case study of the Makanya Catchment In Tanzania Over The Past 50 Years. Land Degrad. Develop. 18: 680-696 (2007).
  3. Enfors, I. 2009. Traps andTransformations: Exploring the potential of Water System Innovations in Dry-land sub-Saharan Africa. Doctoral thesis in natural resource management. ISBN 978-91-7155-863-3 pp. 1-56, US-AB, Stockholm
  4. Kikula I. 1998. Policy Implications on the environment: The Case of villagization in Tanzania. Nordiska Afrikainstitutet: Uppsala
  5. Kimambo IN. 1996. Environmental control and hunger in the mountains and plains of nineteenth-century north-eastern Tanzania. In custodians of the land :Ecology and culture in the history of Tanzania, Maddox G, Giblin J, Kimambo I (eds). James Currey: London.
  6. Koning N, Smaling E. 2005. Environmental crisis or ‘lie of the hand’? The debate on soil degradation in Africa. Land Use Policy 22: 3-11.
  7. Koponen J. 1996. Population: A dependent variable. In Custodians of the land: Ecology and culture in the history of Tanzania, Maddox G, Giblin J, Kimambo I (eds). James Currey: London
  8. Liu, FM.,Y. Q. Wu, H.L. Xiao, and Q.Z. Gao. 2005. Rainwater harvesting agriculture and water-use efficiency in semi-arid regions in Gansu province, China. Outlook on agriculture 34:159-165
  9. Makurika, H., H. H. G. Savenije, S. Uhlenbrook, J. Rockstorm, and A. Senzanje. 2009. Investigating the water balance of on-farm techniques for improved crop productivity in rainfed -systems: A case study of the Makanya catchment, Tanzania. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth 34:93-98
  10. Makurika, H., H. H. G. Savenije, S. Uhlenbrook, J. Rocstrom, and A. Senzanje. 2007b. Towards a better understanding of water partitioning processes for improved smallholder rainfed -agricultural systems: A case study of the Makanya catchment, Tanzania. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth 32:1082-1089
  11. Mazvimavi, K. And S. Twomlow. In Press. Socioeconomic and institutional factors influencing adoption of conservation farming by vulnerable households in Zimbabwe Agricultural systems In press-corrected proof
  12. Rockström , J. 2003. Resilience building and water demand management for drought mitigation. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth 28: 869-877
  13. Rockström, J. 2003b. Water for food and nature in drought-prone tropics: vapour shift in rain-fed agriculture. Philosophical Transitions of the Royal Society of London 358: 1997-2009
  14. Rockström, J., P. Kaumbuto, J. Mwalley, A. W. Nzabi, M. Temesgen, L. Mawenya, J. Barron, J. Mutua, and S. Damgaard-Larsen. 2009. Conservation Farming Strategies in East and Southern Africa: Yields and Rain Water Productivity from On-Farm Action Research. Soil and Tillage Research 103: 23-32
  15. Rocström, J., J. Barron, and P. Fox. 2002. Rainwater management for increased productivity among small-holder farmers in drought-prone environments. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth 27: 949-959
  16. Shao J. 1986. The villagization program and the disruption of the ecological balance in Tanzania. Canadian Journal of African Studies-Revue Canadienne des Etudes Africaines
  17. UNEP/SEI. 2009. Rainwater harvesting: a lifeline for human well-being. UNEP, Nairobi
  18. Vohland, K. and B. Barry. 2009. A review of in situ rainwater harvesting ( RWH ) practices modifying landscape functions in African drylands. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 131:119-127.

Citation

Johnny Musumbu Tshimpanga, Reinette (Oonsie) Biggs. Makanya catchment, Tanzania. In: Regime Shifts Database, www.regimeshifts.org. Last revised 2011-12-19 16:44:09 GMT.
Monday, 28 February 2011 20:39

Aldabra atoll, Seychelles

Written by Albert

Aldabra atoll, Seychelles

Main Contributors:

Albert Norström

Other Contributors:

Summary

The Aldabra atoll in the southern Seychelles has undergone a shift from scleractinian to softcoral dominance. Following mass-bleaching in 1997-1998, the Aldabra reef suffered large-scale mortality, as did most shallow reef communities in the western Indian Ocean. Prior to the mass-bleaching event of 1998, soft corals comprised only 3 % of the reef. Annual monitoring of the Aldabra atoll reefs since 1998 indicate no signs of recovery of hard corals. The only organism group that has been exhibiting significant changes in abundance are soft corals. Soft corals become the dominant benthic category (28 % cover) in the shallow coral communities by 2004. An interesting aspect of this regime shift is that Aldabra atoll has escaped most direct human impacts, due to its isolated geographic position and its status as a UNESCO world heritage site.

Type of regime shift

Ecosystem type

  • Marine & coastal

Land uses

  • Conservation

Spatial scale of the case study

  • Local/landscape (e.g. lake, catchment, community)

Continent or Ocean

  • Indian Ocean

Region

  • Indian Ocean

Countries

  • Seychelles

Locate with Google Map

Key References

  1. Norström AV, Nyström M, Lokrantz J, Folke C. 2009. Alternative states on coral reefs: beyond coral-macroalgal phase shifts. Marine Ecology-Progress Series 376, 295-306
  2. Stobart B, Teleki K, Buckley R, Downing N, Callow M. 2005. Coral recovery at Aldabra Atoll, Seychelles: five years after the 1998 bleaching event. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 363, 251-255

Citation

Albert Norström. Aldabra atoll, Seychelles. In: Regime Shifts Database, www.regimeshifts.org. Last revised 2011-03-03 10:12:00 GMT.
Monday, 28 February 2011 20:08

Jamaican coral reefs

Written by Albert

Jamaican coral reefs

Main Contributors:

Albert Norström

Other Contributors:

Summary

The archetypical example of a coral reef regime shift is the dramatic transition from coral dominance (52% coral cover, 4% algal cover) to macroalgal dominance (2% coral cover, 92% algal cover) which occurred on Jamaican reefs in the 1980s as a result of the synergistic impacts of overfishing, hurricane damage and disease. Similar examples of coral-macroalgae shifts have been observed across the Caribbean region, throughout the Eastern-Pacific, Indian Ocean and on the Great Barrier Reef.

Type of regime shift

Ecosystem type

  • Marine & coastal

Land uses

  • Large-scale commercial crop cultivation
  • Fisheries
  • Mining
  • Tourism

Spatial scale of the case study

  • Local/landscape (e.g. lake, catchment, community)

Continent or Ocean

  • North America

Region

  • Caribbean

Countries

  • Jamaica

Locate with Google Map

Key References

  1. Hughes TP. 1994. Catastrophes, phase-shifts, and large-scale degradation of a Caribbean coral reef. Science 265, 1547-1551.

Citation

Albert Norström. Jamaican coral reefs. In: Regime Shifts Database, www.regimeshifts.org. Last revised 2011-03-03 10:08:25 GMT.
Saturday, 26 February 2011 11:15

Lake Mendota, Wisconsin, USA

Written by Reinette (Oonsie) Biggs

Lake Mendota, Wisconsin, USA

Main Contributors:

Reinette (Oonsie) Biggs

Other Contributors:

Summary

Lake Mendota is located in south central Wisconsin in the Upper Rock Watershed. It has been called the most studied lake in the world and has been studied since the 1880’s. Cyanobacterial blooms have been reported on Lake Mendota as early as 1976 with a very severe bloom in the spring of 1990. Many efforts have been made to reduce the frequency of harmful algal blooms on Lake Mendota.

Type of regime shift

Ecosystem type

  • Freshwater lakes & rivers

Land uses

  • Urban
  • Large-scale commercial crop cultivation

Spatial scale of the case study

  • Local/landscape (e.g. lake, catchment, community)

Continent or Ocean

  • North America

Region

  • Wisconsin

Countries

  • United States

Locate with Google Map

Key References

  1. Carpenter SR, et al. 2006. Understanding regional change: comparison of two lake districts. BioScience
  2. Carpenter SR, Lathrop RC, Nowak P, Bennett EM, Reed T, Soranno PA. 2006b. The ongoing experiment: Restoration of Lake Mendota and its watershed. In Magnuson JJ, Kratz TK, Benson BJ, eds. Long-term dynamics of lakes in the landscape: Long-term ecological research on north temperate lakes. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
  3. Carpenter SR. 2003. Regime shifts in lake ecosystems: pattern and variation. Oldendorf/Luhe, Germany: International Ecology Institute.
  4. http://lakemendota.uwcfl.org/lake-mendota/

Citation

Reinette (Oonsie) Biggs. Lake Mendota, Wisconsin, USA. In: Regime Shifts Database, www.regimeshifts.org. Last revised 2012-03-17 19:16:32 GMT.
Friday, 25 February 2011 09:45

Balinese rice production

Written by Daniel

Balinese rice production

Main Contributors:

Caroline Schill, Ylva Ran, Daniel Ospina

Other Contributors:

Reinette (Oonsie) Biggs, -1

Summary

As described by Lansing (1991 and others) for roughly a thousand years, rice farming in southern Bali (Indonesia) has operated through a religious and water-irrigation institutional arrangement of Subaks and Water Temples, which coordinate water use and generate landscape-level pest control. During the 1970s, the Indonesian government decided to carry-out a Green Revolution to face the challenge of an increasing internal population demanding more food. Several changes at different levels where introduced: high-yielding varieties of rice were distributed among the farmers, together with a tech-package of pesticides and fertilizers; and the water temples were restricted from regulating water distribution. After a couple of decades of successful increase in production, problems regarding water distribution and pest outbreaks, lead to the recognition of the functional role of Subaks and Water Temples in managing these two factors, so the Indonesian government withdrew the restriction. However, an important percentage of farmers decided to continue using the high-yielding rice varieties, together with pesticides and fertilizers. Given that this agricultural tech-package costs money, the ‘rice production – cash income’ feedback gained strength over ‘rice production – subsistence’, which dominated before the Green Revolution, and was sustained by a variety of agricultural practices that articulated in a more complex form. Cultural and economic dimensions of globalization set the context for this shift, with an increasing importance of money in mediating local social relations, and a slow change in world-views, beliefs and values. Possible negative effects of this farm-level shift in agricultural practices are a fast degradation of soil quality and an increased input of phosphorus to the sea by runoff.

Type of regime shift

  • Unknown

Ecosystem type

  • Tropical Forests

Land uses

  • Small-scale subsistence crop cultivation
  • Tourism

Spatial scale of the case study

  • Local/landscape (e.g. lake, catchment, community)

Continent or Ocean

  • Indian Ocean

Region

  • Southern Bali

Countries

  • Indonesia

Locate with Google Map

Drivers

Key direct drivers

  • Adoption of new technology

Land use

  • Small-scale subsistence crop cultivation
  • Tourism

Impacts

Ecosystem type

  • Tropical forests
  • Agro-ecosystems

Key Ecosystem Processes

  • Nutrient cycling

Biodiversity

  • Biodiversity

Provisioning services

  • Freshwater
  • Food crops

Cultural services

  • Knowledge and educational values

Human Well-being

  • Livelihoods and economic activity

Key Attributes

Spatial scale of RS

  • Local/landscape

Time scale of RS

  • Decades

Evidence

  • Contemporary observations

Confidence: Existence of RS

  • Speculative – Regime shift has been proposed, but little evidence as yet

Confidence: Mechanism underlying RS

  • Speculative – Mechanisms have been proposed, but little evidence as yet

Alternate regimes

Subsistence-oriented, rice-based livelihood (with organic, self-sufficient farming)

Traditionally, in these Balinese farms rice production based on local rice varieties represents the main economic activity, and it is performed in a 'self-sufficient way' by relying on the articulation of several practices, such as keeping ducks for local pest control and cows for manure (Lansing et al. 2001; Marion et a.l 2005). This articulation of farming activities is time/labour demanding for members of the household, allowing less time for off-farm economic activities.

 

Market-oriented, diversified livelihood (with agrochemical-dependent farming)

The Green Revolution in Indonesia in the 1970s, presented to Balinese farmers a 'technological packet' including high-yielding rice varieties, chemical fertilizers (nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus) and pesticides (Lansing et al. 2001; Marion et al. 2005). Ever since, some households have replaced some of the labour/time intensive activities traditionally used, with these modern capital intensive inputs. Hence, in this regime household members have to devote less time to within-farm activities, but on the other hand, since access to these inputs requires money, it becomes imperative that an increasing part of their labour/time is devoted to monetized labour (i.e. selling more rice in the market, and/or other economic activities in tourism and commerce, for example).

Drivers and causes of the regime shift

An agricultural credit system developed to promote the use of the 'technological packet' was a key aspect of the Green Revolution in Indonesia enabling the farm-level regime shift in Balinese rice production. To boost rice production, these programs focused on the modernization of the country-side, and the breakdown of traditional management practices (Lansing 2006). This provided the conditions for intimately linking the farming practices to the monetized economy, and as a consequence modifying local livelihoods by allowing/forcing the diversification of economic activities.

Parallel to the increased connection with external markets for agriculture, importance of tourism has continually increased, providing a context for more non-agricultural, off-farm activities (Liater & Me 2003). Further, increased monetary incomes are invested in formal education of younger generations; education which tends to detach them more from agricultural activites (Lorentz & Lorentz, 2010).

How the regime shift worked

In the rice production system of subsistence-orientated rice-based livelihood, the household subsists by ensuring a constant cycle of cultivating and harvesting rice, which depends on both on collective behaviours involving other households, and also within-farm practices. For such practices, members of households in this regime devote most of their time on them, keeping rice production as the economic dominating activity. Under conditions in which such time/labour demanding activities are not 'easily' replaceable, this regime persists.

The agriculture credit system linked to the use of technological packet enabled this replacement. This change both enabled the diversification of economic activities by offering more time flexibility, and demanded an increase in the monetized labour activities. The threshold dividing these two regimes is then related with the importance of money to mediate social and economic interactions on Bali. The increased time flexibility also leads to an increasing access to formal educations, which further leaded to a dominance of non-agricultural economic activities by younger generations, strengthening the trajectory away from the subsistence-orientated rice-based livelihood regime.

Impacts on ecosystem services and human well-being

Both regimes provide rice yields, however the (agro)biodiversity is diminished by the shift described, not only by the adoption of few high-yielding varieties, but also by the effect of pesticides on soil and water habitats. Although the aesthetic value of these landscapes has always been 'provided', the development of infrastructure and training related with tourism increase its perception, and hence its worth in the market-orientated diversified regime.

Management options

.

Key References

  1. Booth, A. 2002. The Changing Role of Non-Farm Activities in Agricultural Households in Indonesia: Some Insights From the Agricultural Censuses. Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies 38, 179-200.
  2. Janssen MA. 2007. Coordination in irrigation systems: An analysis of the Lansing–Kremer model of Bali. Agricultural Systems 93(1-3), 170–190.
  3. Lansing JS, Kremer JN, Gerhart V, Kremer P, Arthawiguna A, Surata SKP, Suryawan SIB, Arsana G, Scarborough VL, Schoenfelder J, Mikita K. 2001. Volcanic fertilization of Balinese rice paddies. Ecological Economics 38, 383–390.
  4. Lansing JS, Miller JH. 2005. Cooperation, games, and ecological feedback: Some insights from Bali. Current Anthropology 46(2), 328–334.
  5. Lansing JS. 1987. Lansing Balinese "Water Temples" and the management of irrigation. American Anthropologist 89, 326–341.
  6. Lansing JS. 1991. Priests and programmers: Technologies of power in the engineered landscape of Bali. Princeton University Press, Princeton.
  7. Lansing, JS, Downey SS, Jannsen M, Schoenfelder J. 2009. A Robust Budding Model of Balinese Water Temple Networks. World Archaeology 41(1), 112–133.
  8. Lietaer B, Meulenaere SD. 2003. Sustaining cultural vitality in a globalizing world: the Balinese example. International Journal of Social Economics 30, 967-984.
  9. Lorenzen RP, Lorenzen S. 2010. Changing realities, perspectives on Balinese rice cultivation. Human Ecology [http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10745-010-9345-z]
  10. Lorenzen S, Lorenzen RP. 2008. Institutionalizing the Informal: Irrigation and government intervention in Bali. Development 51, 77-82.
  11. Marion GS, Dunbar RB, Mucciarone DA, Kremer JN, Lansing JS, Arthawiguna A. 2005. Coral skeletal delta(15)N reveals isotopic traces of an agricultural revolution. Marine pollution bulletin 50, 931-44.
  12. Pesticide action network, Asia and the Pacific (PANAP). 2010. Rice country profile for Indonesia. http:// www.panap.net/en/r/post/rice/273
  13. Poffenberger M, Zurbuchen MS. 1980. The economics of village Bali: three perspectives. Economic development and cultural change 29(1),91-133.
  14. Roche F. 1994. The Technical and Price Efficiency of Fertiliser use in Irrigated Rice Production. Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies 30, 59-83.
  15. Scarborough VL, Schoenfelder JW, Lansing JS. 1999. Early statecraft on Bali: the water temple complex and the decentralization of the political economy. Research in Economic Anthropology 20, 299-330.
  16. Scarborough VL, Schoenfelder JW, Lansing JS. 2000. Ancient water management and landscape transformation at Sebatu, Bali. Bulletin of the Indo-Pacific Prehistory Associaton 20, 79-92.
  17. Schmuki A. 2007. The Role of a Global Organization in Triggering Social Learning - Insights from a Case Study of a World Heritage Cultural Landscape Nomination in Bali. Governance An International Journal Of Policy And Administration.
  18. Schoenfelder JW. 2000. The co-evolution of agricultural and sociopolitical systems in Bali. IndoPacific Prehistory Association Bulletin 4, 35-46.

Citation

Caroline Schill, Ylva Ran, Daniel Ospina, Reinette (Oonsie) Biggs, -1. Balinese rice production. In: Regime Shifts Database, www.regimeshifts.org. Last revised 2017-02-07 11:26:51 GMT.
Wednesday, 23 February 2011 22:19

Tropical lowland forests (economic use), Colombia

Written by Daniel

Tropical lowland forests (economic use), Colombia

Main Contributors:

Daniel Ospina

Other Contributors:

-1

Summary

This case is a ‘natural resource-use system’ of afro-descendant communities living in a collectively-own tropical forest territory, in the Chocó biogeographic region. This system flipped from a regime characterized by a diversified use of ecosystems, oriented mainly to subsistence and based on cooperative institutions (regime 1), to one centred on timber extraction, oriented mainly to the market and based of remunerated labour (regime 2). Regime 1 was in place for more than two centuries, not just for that population, but for virtually all the afrodescendant groups in de Colombian and Ecuadorian Pacific coast. However, in the last decades a change in the way these communities relate with the environment, as a result from the interventions from the State and big companies, has been documented. In this particular case, the shift seems to have occurred around the 1970s, after a series of biophysical and economic shocks that affected an already stressed system. One key driver was population growth, while two proposed external drivers of change were 1) the many social and production programmes designed by the national government that portrayed the local ways as inefficient and tried to replace them; and 2) the presence of big timber companies influencing a change in way ‘labour’ was viewed. The main feedback loop locking the system in this new regime is the one that links ‘timber extraction’, monetary income’ and ‘satisfaction of basic needs and desires’, and that now dominates over the one that links ‘agriculture’, ‘goods’ and ‘satisfaction of basic needs and desires’. This is further amplified by the almost complete disappearance of cooperative forms of labour, that where replaced by remunerated ones. The impact on the ecosystem is an increasing rate of timber extraction, and related with this, a change in the edapho-hydric conditions, that could in time lead to a change in the composition of these forests. Human well-being has been affected negatively as the current situation is of high dependence on timber prices and reduced food autonomy.

Type of regime shift

  • socio-economic

Ecosystem type

  • Marine & coastal
  • Tropical Forests

Land uses

  • Timber production

Spatial scale of the case study

  • Local/landscape (e.g. lake, catchment, community)

Continent or Ocean

  • South America

Region

  • Chocó biogeographic region

Countries

  • Colombia

Locate with Google Map

Alternate regimes

Subsistence-oriented, rice-based livelihood (with organic, self-sufficient farming)

Traditionally, in these Balinese farms rice production based on local rice varieties represents the main economic activity, and it is performed in a 'self-sufficient way' by relying on the articulation of several practices, such as keeping ducks for local pest control and cows for manure (Lansing et al. 2001; Marion et a.l 2005). This articulation of farming activities is time/labour demanding for members of the household, allowing less time for off-farm economic activities.

 

Market-oriented, diversified livelihood (with agrochemical-dependent farming)

The Green Revolution in Indonesia in the 1970s, presented to Balinese farmers a 'technological packet' including high-yielding rice varieties, chemical fertilizers (nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus) and pesticides (Lansing et al. 2001; Marion et al. 2005). Ever since, some households have replaced some of the labour/time intensive activities traditionally used, with these modern capital intensive inputs. Hence, in this regime household members have to devote less time to within-farm activities, but on the other hand, since access to these inputs requires money, it becomes imperative that an increasing part of their labour/time is devoted to monetized labour (i.e. selling more rice in the market, and/or other economic activities in tourism and commerce, for example).

Drivers and causes of the regime shift

An agricultural credit system developed to promote the use of the 'technological packet' was a key aspect of the Green Revolution in Indonesia enabling the farm-level regime shift in Balinese rice production. To boost rice production, these programs focused on the modernization of the country-side, and the breakdown of traditional management practices (Lansing 2006). This provided the conditions for intimately linking the farming practices to the monetized economy, and as a consequence modifying local livelihoods by allowing/forcing the diversification of economic activities.

Parallel to the increased connection with external markets for agriculture, importance of tourism has continually increased, providing a context for more non-agricultural, off-farm activities (Liater & Me 2003). Further, increased monetary incomes are invested in formal education of younger generations; education which tends to detach them more from agricultural activites (Lorentz & Lorentz, 2010).

How the regime shift worked

In the rice production system of subsistence-orientated rice-based livelihood, the household subsists by ensuring a constant cycle of cultivating and harvesting rice, which depends on both on collective behaviours involving other households, and also within-farm practices. For such practices, members of households in this regime devote most of their time on them, keeping rice production as the economic dominating activity. Under conditions in which such time/labour demanding activities are not 'easily' replaceable, this regime persists.

The agriculture credit system linked to the use of technological packet enabled this replacement. This change both enabled the diversification of economic activities by offering more time flexibility, and demanded an increase in the monetized labour activities. The threshold dividing these two regimes is then related with the importance of money to mediate social and economic interactions on Bali. The increased time flexibility also leads to an increasing access to formal educations, which further leaded to a dominance of non-agricultural economic activities by younger generations, strengthening the trajectory away from the subsistence-orientated rice-based livelihood regime.

Impacts on ecosystem services and human well-being

Both regimes provide rice yields, however the (agro)biodiversity is diminished by the shift described, not only by the adoption of few high-yielding varieties, but also by the effect of pesticides on soil and water habitats. Although the aesthetic value of these landscapes has always been 'provided', the development of infrastructure and training related with tourism increase its perception, and hence its worth in the market-orientated diversified regime.

Management options

.

Key References

  1. Del Valle JI & Restrepo E. (eds) 1996. Renacientes del guandal. “grupos negros” de los ríos Satinga y Sanquianga. UN–PBP, Bogotá DC.
  2. Escobar A & Pedrosa A. (eds) 1996. Pacífico ¿desarrollo o diversidad? Estado, capital y movimientos sociales en el Pacífico colombiano. CEREC-Ecofondo, Bogotá DC.
  3. Leal C & Restrepo E. 2003. Unos bosques sembrados de aserríos: historia de la extracción maderera en el Pacífico colombiano. ICANH–UN–Universidad de Antioquia, Medellín.
  4. Proyecto Biopacífico. 1994. Economías de las comunidades rurales en el Pacífico colombiano (Memorias del foro Las economías rurales indígenas, negras y mestizas en el Pacífico colombiano, Sena-Codechoco-PBP, Octubre 19-21 de 1994, Quibdó). MMA-PNUD-GEF, Bogotá DC.
  5. West RC. 1957. The Pacific lowlands of Colombia: A negroid area of the American tropics. Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rough.
  6. Whitten NE Jr. 1986. Black Frontiersmen: Afro-Hispanic Culture of Ecuador and Colombia. Waveland Press, Prospect Heights.

Citation

Daniel Ospina, -1. Tropical lowland forests (economic use), Colombia. In: Regime Shifts Database, www.regimeshifts.org. Last revised 2013-08-25 21:53:08 GMT.
Tuesday, 15 February 2011 11:54

Maradi Agro-ecosystem

Written by Reinette (Oonsie) Biggs

Maradi Agro-ecosystem

Main Contributors:

Johnny Musumbu Tshimpanga

Other Contributors:

Garry Peterson, Reinette (Oonsie) Biggs, Elin Enfors

Summary

Niger’s landscapes in general, particularly in Maradi have undergone a regime shift from a highly productive to a desert-dominated regime. The productive regime was maintained by land use characterized by scattered rural populations cultivating small fields amidst surrounding bush. Yields were sufficient and there were abundant supplies of forest products made possible by wet climatic conditions. The implementation of a new land law established the national government as the owner of all trees and provided disincentives for farmers to care for their land. This led to the exposure of soils to the Sahara winds resulting in erosion and accelerating desertification. This resulted in hunger and destitute among many people. Key institutional changes with regards to land tenure and tree growth were put in place along with simple soil and water conservation techniques, rock lining, improved versions of traditional planting pits or tasa, and demi-lunes which have reversed desertification. This process has reduced erosion and increased fertility and crop production, income, food security, and self-reliance to impoverished rural producers.

Type of regime shift

  • Desertification

Ecosystem type

  • Drylands & deserts (below ~500mm rainfall/year)

Land uses

  • Small-scale subsistence crop cultivation
  • Extensive livestock production (natural rangelands)

Spatial scale of the case study

  • Sub-continental/regional (e.g. southern Africa, Amazon basin)

Continent or Ocean

  • Africa

Region

  • Sahel

Countries

  • Niger

Locate with Google Map

Drivers

Key direct drivers

  • Adoption of new technology

Land use

  • Small-scale subsistence crop cultivation
  • Tourism

Impacts

Ecosystem type

  • Tropical forests
  • Agro-ecosystems

Key Ecosystem Processes

  • Nutrient cycling

Biodiversity

  • Biodiversity

Provisioning services

  • Freshwater
  • Food crops

Cultural services

  • Knowledge and educational values

Human Well-being

  • Livelihoods and economic activity

Key Attributes

Spatial scale of RS

  • Local/landscape

Time scale of RS

  • Decades

Evidence

  • Contemporary observations

Confidence: Existence of RS

  • Speculative – Regime shift has been proposed, but little evidence as yet

Confidence: Mechanism underlying RS

  • Speculative – Mechanisms have been proposed, but little evidence as yet

Alternate regimes

Subsistence-oriented, rice-based livelihood (with organic, self-sufficient farming)

Traditionally, in these Balinese farms rice production based on local rice varieties represents the main economic activity, and it is performed in a 'self-sufficient way' by relying on the articulation of several practices, such as keeping ducks for local pest control and cows for manure (Lansing et al. 2001; Marion et a.l 2005). This articulation of farming activities is time/labour demanding for members of the household, allowing less time for off-farm economic activities.

 

Market-oriented, diversified livelihood (with agrochemical-dependent farming)

The Green Revolution in Indonesia in the 1970s, presented to Balinese farmers a 'technological packet' including high-yielding rice varieties, chemical fertilizers (nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus) and pesticides (Lansing et al. 2001; Marion et al. 2005). Ever since, some households have replaced some of the labour/time intensive activities traditionally used, with these modern capital intensive inputs. Hence, in this regime household members have to devote less time to within-farm activities, but on the other hand, since access to these inputs requires money, it becomes imperative that an increasing part of their labour/time is devoted to monetized labour (i.e. selling more rice in the market, and/or other economic activities in tourism and commerce, for example).

Drivers and causes of the regime shift

An agricultural credit system developed to promote the use of the 'technological packet' was a key aspect of the Green Revolution in Indonesia enabling the farm-level regime shift in Balinese rice production. To boost rice production, these programs focused on the modernization of the country-side, and the breakdown of traditional management practices (Lansing 2006). This provided the conditions for intimately linking the farming practices to the monetized economy, and as a consequence modifying local livelihoods by allowing/forcing the diversification of economic activities.

Parallel to the increased connection with external markets for agriculture, importance of tourism has continually increased, providing a context for more non-agricultural, off-farm activities (Liater & Me 2003). Further, increased monetary incomes are invested in formal education of younger generations; education which tends to detach them more from agricultural activites (Lorentz & Lorentz, 2010).

How the regime shift worked

In the rice production system of subsistence-orientated rice-based livelihood, the household subsists by ensuring a constant cycle of cultivating and harvesting rice, which depends on both on collective behaviours involving other households, and also within-farm practices. For such practices, members of households in this regime devote most of their time on them, keeping rice production as the economic dominating activity. Under conditions in which such time/labour demanding activities are not 'easily' replaceable, this regime persists.

The agriculture credit system linked to the use of technological packet enabled this replacement. This change both enabled the diversification of economic activities by offering more time flexibility, and demanded an increase in the monetized labour activities. The threshold dividing these two regimes is then related with the importance of money to mediate social and economic interactions on Bali. The increased time flexibility also leads to an increasing access to formal educations, which further leaded to a dominance of non-agricultural economic activities by younger generations, strengthening the trajectory away from the subsistence-orientated rice-based livelihood regime.

Impacts on ecosystem services and human well-being

Both regimes provide rice yields, however the (agro)biodiversity is diminished by the shift described, not only by the adoption of few high-yielding varieties, but also by the effect of pesticides on soil and water habitats. Although the aesthetic value of these landscapes has always been 'provided', the development of infrastructure and training related with tourism increase its perception, and hence its worth in the market-orientated diversified regime.

Management options

.

Alternate regimes

Subsistence-oriented, rice-based livelihood (with organic, self-sufficient farming)

Traditionally, in these Balinese farms rice production based on local rice varieties represents the main economic activity, and it is performed in a 'self-sufficient way' by relying on the articulation of several practices, such as keeping ducks for local pest control and cows for manure (Lansing et al. 2001; Marion et a.l 2005). This articulation of farming activities is time/labour demanding for members of the household, allowing less time for off-farm economic activities.

 

Market-oriented, diversified livelihood (with agrochemical-dependent farming)

The Green Revolution in Indonesia in the 1970s, presented to Balinese farmers a 'technological packet' including high-yielding rice varieties, chemical fertilizers (nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus) and pesticides (Lansing et al. 2001; Marion et al. 2005). Ever since, some households have replaced some of the labour/time intensive activities traditionally used, with these modern capital intensive inputs. Hence, in this regime household members have to devote less time to within-farm activities, but on the other hand, since access to these inputs requires money, it becomes imperative that an increasing part of their labour/time is devoted to monetized labour (i.e. selling more rice in the market, and/or other economic activities in tourism and commerce, for example).

Drivers and causes of the regime shift

An agricultural credit system developed to promote the use of the 'technological packet' was a key aspect of the Green Revolution in Indonesia enabling the farm-level regime shift in Balinese rice production. To boost rice production, these programs focused on the modernization of the country-side, and the breakdown of traditional management practices (Lansing 2006). This provided the conditions for intimately linking the farming practices to the monetized economy, and as a consequence modifying local livelihoods by allowing/forcing the diversification of economic activities.

Parallel to the increased connection with external markets for agriculture, importance of tourism has continually increased, providing a context for more non-agricultural, off-farm activities (Liater & Me 2003). Further, increased monetary incomes are invested in formal education of younger generations; education which tends to detach them more from agricultural activites (Lorentz & Lorentz, 2010).

How the regime shift worked

In the rice production system of subsistence-orientated rice-based livelihood, the household subsists by ensuring a constant cycle of cultivating and harvesting rice, which depends on both on collective behaviours involving other households, and also within-farm practices. For such practices, members of households in this regime devote most of their time on them, keeping rice production as the economic dominating activity. Under conditions in which such time/labour demanding activities are not 'easily' replaceable, this regime persists.

The agriculture credit system linked to the use of technological packet enabled this replacement. This change both enabled the diversification of economic activities by offering more time flexibility, and demanded an increase in the monetized labour activities. The threshold dividing these two regimes is then related with the importance of money to mediate social and economic interactions on Bali. The increased time flexibility also leads to an increasing access to formal educations, which further leaded to a dominance of non-agricultural economic activities by younger generations, strengthening the trajectory away from the subsistence-orientated rice-based livelihood regime.

Impacts on ecosystem services and human well-being

Both regimes provide rice yields, however the (agro)biodiversity is diminished by the shift described, not only by the adoption of few high-yielding varieties, but also by the effect of pesticides on soil and water habitats. Although the aesthetic value of these landscapes has always been 'provided', the development of infrastructure and training related with tourism increase its perception, and hence its worth in the market-orientated diversified regime.

Management options

.

Key References

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  4. Dan Baria S. 1999. Evolution et Perspectives en Matiere de Gestion des Forets Naturelles au Niger: Quels Progres et quel avenir? Niamey: Conseil National de l’Environnement pour un Developpement Durable.
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  9. McGhuey M. 2008. Environment and Natural Resource Management Advisor. USAID, Washington, DC. Personal Communication. Jan.14 and 16, Feb. 11 and 19: Roots of resilience : WR2008 report.
  10. Mortimore M. 1989. Adaptation to drought: Farmers, Famines, and Desertification in Western Africa. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
  11. Polgreen, L. 2007. “In Niger, Trees and Crops Turn Back the Desert”. New York Times. Feb. 11.
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  16. Rowell DP. 1996. Response to comments by Sud and Lau: further analysis of simulated inter-decadal and inter-annual variability of summer rainfall over tropical North Africa. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society 122, 1007- 1013.
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  19. Tougiani A, C Guero & T Rinaudo. 2008. Success in Improving Livelihoods Through Tree Crop Management and Use in Niger. To be published in GeoJournal. The Netherlands: Springer Publishing. Page numbers cited from manuscript.
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Citation

Johnny Musumbu Tshimpanga, Garry Peterson, Reinette (Oonsie) Biggs, Elin Enfors. Maradi Agro-ecosystem. In: Regime Shifts Database, www.regimeshifts.org. Last revised 2017-02-07 12:32:20 GMT.
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