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close this bookReversing the Spiral - The Population, Agriculture, and Environment Nexus in Sub-Saharan Africa (WB, 1994, 320 p.)
close this folder11.Conclusion
View the documentThe problem
View the documentRecommendations for action
View the documentStatus of implementation
View the documentIssues and follow-up

Issues and follow-up

Many of the issues touched upon here require more focused and detailed research and analysis" Among them are the following:

· There is a need for further research to ascertain the relative importance of the various factors that influence human fertility decisions and trends Gender-specific analysis is particularly essential in this area

· The expected impact of AIDS on population growth has been incorporated in the most recent population projections used here. However, given the difficulty of predicting its impact, the possible margin of error is considerable More research is needed Should AIDS turn out to have even more devastating impact on demographics than currently anticipated, improved health care, FP services, and education focused on preventing sexually transmitted diseases and increasing the use of condoms could become the single most important intervention to be undertaken in Sub-Saharan Africa.

· More analysis is needed concerning the productivity potential of the environmentally benign and "sustainable" agricultural technologies identified. The environmental effects of "green revolution" technologies also need careful study.

Work is needed to determine and test the degree to which communities and community groups will be conservation-minded if and when natural resource rnanagement is turned over to them by governments.

· Urbanization and the urban-rural link are important determinants of key aspects of the agriculture-population environment nexus More research is required in this direction.

· There is some argument with the contention of this study that, although multisector planning is necessary, multicestoral projects to implement such plans generally be undesirable. Some writers suggest that regional development plans could in many cases be implemented in an integrated fashion.Although this makes conceptual sense, the disappointing past experience with integrated rural development projects suggests that such programs are too complex to be managed as integrated wholes. How best to implement integrated location-specific plans through manageable components remains an issue to be explored.

· The equity impact of these recommendations needs further scrutiny. Reducing open access to land, expanding the areas under protection, and raising the price of woodfuels will have negative effects on some of the poor However, improved agricultural technology,successful family planning,better access to rural health and education facilities and services rural infrastructure,and sound urban development will have positive impact on the poor.

The follow-up to this study includes the preparation of country-specific population, agriculture, and environment nexus studies m Cote d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Malawi, Kenya's Mathakos District,Nigeria, and the Sahelian countries as a group. These studies will help firm up the analytical framework and will be instrumental m adapting the analysis to the situation of specific countries. Reversing the Spiral was the most important input for a revised agricultural development strategy for SubSaharan Africa recently prepared by the World Bank's Africa Region (Cleaver 1993) Follow-up also includes widespread incorporation of nexus issues in Environmental Action Plans and in investment project. Concurrent monitoring is under way regarding the progress of preparation and implementation of National Environmental Action Plans and of national population programs. The institutional locus for the former is the :Club of Dublin, "comprising representatives of African governments and donor agencies The institutional arrangement for deepening population agenda for SSA and for monitoring its progress is the African Population Advisory Committee, with similar membership. It is hoped that a similar African Agricultural Advisori Committee, managed by prominent Africans, will also be established