|Resource Management for Upland Areas in Southeast Asia - An Information Kit (IIRR, 1995, 207 p.)|
A workshop on upland management
This information kit was produced through a workshop at the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction (IIRR) from 29 August to 9 September 1994.
The workshop was organized by IIRR and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, with the Asia-Pacific Agroforestry Network (APAN, based in Bogor, Indonesia) and the Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (RAPA, Bangkok) taking the lead on FAO's behalf.
A group of more than 30 men and women were drawn from government agencies, nongovernment organizations, universities and international groups in China, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. They worked closely with the workshop organizers and the IIRR production team of editors, artists and desktop publishing staff.
The workshop developed this set of information and training materials on sustainable approaches to agriculture and natural resources management in the uplands. These materials are aimed at extension specialists from government and nongovernment organizations throughout the region.
The workshop stressed three "Ps" process, participation and product. The workshop idea grew from discussions between IIRR and FAO staff during a consultation with NGOs held in September 1993 in Bangkok at the FAO-RAPA.
Three primary objectives were recognized:
· to expose participants to a consultative and participatory process for producing useful information on upland management
· to maximize participation and harness the experiences, interdisciplinary knowledge and creative and analytical powers of the diverse group of participants and organizers
· to produce an information kit that can easily be adapted and translated into local media and languages for specific training and extension purposes and tailored to particular user groups.
Southeast Asian countries face increasing population, deforestation, soil erosion and underdevelopment. Logging and illegal clearing for farming have already destroyed the forests in much of the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. Papua New Guinea and the larger islands of Indonesia have some of the few remaining areas of rain forest in the region.
Unsuitable farming practices and natural resource exploitation are causing serious degradation in the uplands. Rising populations and low crop yields force farmers to clear yet more land. Meanwhile, the eroded soil clogs reservoirs and make rivers downstream shallow, resulting in flooding in the lowlands.
Improved farming and natural resource management help solve this problem. Simple strategies, such as hedgerows of nitrogen-fixing trees planted across the slope, can slow erosion and maintain soil fertility. Growing a combination of crops, livestock, trees and fish can raise farm incomes and reduce the need to clear new land. At the same time, policy and institutional support is urgently needed to improve agriculture and natural resources management and to strengthen the decisionmaking process of farm households
The workshop process
The workshop used a process developed by IIRR. This process has been used to produce information kits on a range of topics related to agriculture and natural resources management, including agroforestry technologies in the Philippines and Ghana, integrated agriculture aquaculture in Asia, ethnoveterinary medicine and environmental concepts and actions. (For a full list of such kits, contact IIRR.)
In February 1994, a list of potential topics was developed and resource persons were identified to develop first drafts on each topic, using guidelines provided.
During the workshop itself in August 1994, each participant presented his or her draft paper, using overhead transparencies of each page. Copies of each draft were also given to all other participants, who critiqued the draft and suggested revisions.
After the first presentation, an editor-artist team helped the author revise and edit the draft and draw illustrations to accompany the text The edited draft and artwork were then desktop-published to produce a second draft.
Each participant then presented his or her revised draft to the group for a second time, also using transparencies. Again, the audience critiqued it and suggested revisions. After the presentation, the editors, artists and desktop publishing staff again helped the author to revise it and develop a third draft.
Toward the end of the workshop, the third draft was made available to the participants for final comments and revisions. On the last day of the workshop, the participants worked in country groups to brainstorm and develop follow-up plans to adapt and use the information kit in their own countries.
The workshop allowed inputs from all participants to be incorporated, taking advantage of the diverse experience and expertise of all present. The concentration of resource persons, editors, artists and desktop publishing resources at one time and place enabled materials to be produced more quickly than is typical for similar publications. And the sharing of experiences among participants allowed the development of networks that would continue to be fruitful long into the future and lead to concrete follow-up activities in the countries concerned.
The many partners listed below provided generous financial and technical support to the -workshop. Their valuable contributions are gratefully acknowledged
· IIRR technical and production staff
· FAO Headquarters and FAO-RAPA
· FAO Asia-Pacific Agroforestry Network (based in Bogor) the UNDP/FAO/UNIDO Farmer-centered Agricultural Resources Management (FARM) Programme (Apart from APAN, three FARM Sub-programmes provided support: Farming Systems (based in Manila), Watershed Management (based in Kathmandu), Peoplecentered Sustainable Development (based at ANGOC, Manila)
· the FAO Forest, Trees and People Programme (based at the Regional Community Forestry Training Center, Bangkok)
· Asia Soil Conservation Network
· Cornell International Institute for Food, Agriculture and Development
· the UK Freedom from Hunger Fund