Institution: International Centre for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA)
Abelardo Rodríguez, agricultural economist for ICARDA, has been involved over the last decade in agricultural research and development projects in West Asia and North Africa. He has conducted research on users' perceptions, attitudes, and choices, as well as on the impact of social institutions on the conservation and management of natural resources. He has developed valuation methods for land, soil and water and tools for resource-use decision making under various socioeconomic conditions. He has worked on research prioritization based on poverty indicators and natural resource endowments. He currently coordinates ICARDAs activities in Latin America.
Title: Assessing links between rural poverty and natural resource endowments.
The International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) has used poverty mapping and natural resource endowments at low resolution as a tool to assign research priorities in its ecoregional and crop mandate. These efforts have lead to the demand for high resolution mapping to verify the relationship between poverty and natural resource degradation. While the overlay of poverty maps with natural resources maps is only being carried out in the poorest province of Pakistan, the Center is working to quantify the interactions of poverty indicators, property rights and resource endowments in several dry areas of the world.
A major concern is how to measure the impact of natural resource management (NRM) research that requires relatively long periods to show tangible results. Can the impact be measured in terms of increased incomes, spontaneous individual and collective actions heading towards resource management improvement or other directions? Experience in NRM research in different locations suggests that it is increasingly important to strengthen local and national institutions to contribute to ameliorate rural poverty. Demand driven resource management research, linked with development actions, is essential for maximum impact.