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close this bookReversing the Spiral - The Population, Agriculture, and Environment Nexus in Sub-Saharan Africa (WB, 1994, 320 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentForeword
View the documentAcknowledgments
View the documentAcronyms and abbreviations
close this folder1. Introduction
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentThe three basic concerns
View the documentKey elements of the ''Nexus''
View the documentPopulation growth revisited: Feedback from the Nexus
View the documentElements of an action plan
View the documentConclusions
close this folder2. Agricultural stagnation and environmental
View the documentAgricultural stagnation, population growth, and food security
View the documentThe deteriorating natural resource base and ecological environment
View the documentNotes
close this folder3. The demographic dimension
View the documentThe lagging demographic transition
View the documentFertility and agriculture: Part of the Nexus?
View the documentNotes
View the documentAppendix to chapter 3
close this folder4. The Nexus of population growth, agricultural stagnation, and environmental degradation
View the documentThe main linkages
View the documentTraditional crop cultivation and livestock husbandry methods
View the documentLand and tree tenure systems and the Nexus
View the documentDeforestation, fuelwood, and the Nexus
View the documentLogging
View the documentNotes
View the documentAppendix to chapter 4
close this folder5. The role of women in production systems
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentThe female - headed household syndrome
View the documentThe gender division of rural labor and fanning systems
View the documentThe separation of budgets
View the documentWomen, food security, and nutrition
View the documentFarm technology and gender
View the documentWomen's time use and productivity
View the documentNotes
close this folder6. A framework for action
View the documentA continental perspective
View the documentSome country-specific targets and implications
close this folder7. Reducing population growth
View the documentPopulation policy
View the documentPrimary education
View the documentConclusion
View the documentNote
close this folder8. Promoting sustainable agricultural development
View the documentSustainable and environmentally benign agriculture
View the documentInputs
View the documentAgroforestry
View the documentStoves that save fuel and women's time
View the documentPolicy and institutional aspects
View the documentLand policy and tenure reform
View the documentAgricultural support services
View the documentExchange rate, trade, fiscal, and pricing policies
View the documentLocal institutions: involving the people
View the documentConclusion
close this folder9. Infrastructure development, migration, and urbanization
View the documentInfrastructura development
View the documentTransport
View the documentWater supply
View the documentInfrastructure and environmental conservation
View the documentMigration and settlement policy
View the documentAn appropriate urbanization policy
close this folder10. Managing the natural resource base
View the documentProduction versus protection
View the documentForests
View the documentNatural resource management in farming areas
View the documentDryland and range areas
View the documentWater
View the documentCommon elements
View the documentThe role of governments
View the documentNational environmental action plans
close this folder11.Conclusion
View the documentThe problem
View the documentRecommendations for action
View the documentStatus of implementation
View the documentIssues and follow-up
View the documentStatistical appendix
View the documentBibliography
View the documentThe Authors

The role of governments

There are important functions to be fulfilled by government agencies, and there is an urgent need to develop the requisite institutional and human capacity to undertake these. They include carrying out resource inventories and mapping, preparing land use plans, managing protected areas, and monitoring logging and the use of agricultural, pasture, wetland, and fisheries resources. Governments also need to develop the capacity to undertake environmental assessments of development projects in order to avoid unacceptably negative environmental impact.

Governments should focus their direct management efforts on a much smaller portion of the total national land and forest resources—i.e., those areas that provide public (and global) benefits and goods. This will consist mainly of parks and other protected conservation areas where there are important externalities that local populations cannot be expected to finance or otherwise support. Even there, local participation will be necessary. The local people should be given incentives to conserve the resource endowment of the protected area through the confirmation of exclusive hunting and gathering rights, the provision of employment opportunities in the various support services required to manage protected areas, and a share of any user fees that are collected from outsiders.

NGOs can play important roles in assisting local people in managing natural resources. Where they are ready and willing to assume this role, they should be given wide room to do so.

Governments should also intensify their efforts to provide effective and locally relevant environmental education through the school system and through mass media. Agricultural extension staff should similarly be utilized to spread awareness of environmental issues' and especially of soil, water, and tree conservation techniques, among rural populations.

A problem common to all natural resources is that financial returns to conservation are often lower than economic returns. Individuals and private enterprises will therefore tend to undertake less conservation and more exploitation than is economically optimal. In circumstances where the economic returns to conservation are high, but the financial returns too low to induce adequate conservation by private resource users, taxes on natural resource use (logging fees, mining royalties, water charges) and subsidies for conservation (free extension advice to farmers, costsharing for soil conservation activities) are likely to be justified to close the gap between economic and financial returns. Making this determination, and imposing the necessary taxes or providing the required subsidies, are functions of government.