بخشی از مقاله (انگلیسی)
Poverty is multi-dimensional global challenge that impedes individual and community capacities to satisfy basic needs. These capacities are shaped by locally configured institutional and biophysical processes that are often hidden from external researchers and practitioners. To explore this worldwide aspect, we adopt participatory rural appraisal (PRA) methods to expose barriers to implementing livelihood strategies to address poverty in Ethiopia’s upper Blue Nile basin, where 85 % of the population are subsistence farmers reliant on local ecosystem services (ES). We identify local barriers to poverty alleviation in three steps. First, we classify major ES-livelihood interrelationships among communities of Debre Mawi catchment in upper Blue Nile. Secondly we assess ongoing struggles in these interrelations using combined biophysical and social assessment criteria to evaluate how poverty relates to current patterns of ES management. The analysis identifies complex interdependencies between livelihoods and regulating (crop pest controls), provisioning (water, land, and feed availability, soil fertility) and cultural (top-down ES management, population growth) ES that create bottlenecks to effectively ‘lock in’ poverty. Thirdly, we identify potential new ES management strategies, focused on dry season water availability. We conduct participatory field experiments on rooftop water harvesting to show this is a promising approach for increasing water availability to enhance agricultural production. Depending on the rooftop area, our modelling suggests that farmers can improve household income by US$136– 14,876 from 5 months beef fattening and US$69–7704 from 4 months sheep fattening. Except these specific livelihood strategies, the findings are replicable to the world’s ES-dependent regions.
Poverty, defined as a lack of basic capacity to participate effectively in society, is now recognized as a global challenge to sustainable development (Morton et al., 2017). It is a multi-dimensional phenomenon that is experienced in different ways, but is concentrated in rural areas of low and middle income countries, where about 90 % of people depend on agriculture for their livelihoods (FAO, 2005; IFAD, 2011; Roser, 2015; Mphande, 2016). In these settings, relations between agriculture and ecosystem services (ES) – i.e. the benefits humans derive from ecosystems – are often complex and highly interdependent (Jalan and Ravallion, 1998; Amberber et al., 2020). As tackling global poverty reduction is recognized as an international policy priority (IFAD, 2011), scientific research and policy initiatives need to focus upon these agriculture-ES interrelations, particularly as there is growing consensus that targeting agriculture and ES-dependent rural areas in developing counties potentially offers the best prospects for large-scale poverty reduction (Oakley and Clegg, 1998; Bebbington, 1999; Barder, 2009; Daw et al., 2011; Dile et al., 2013; Fisher et al., 2013).
Conclusion and recommendation
This paper presents an integrated participatory rural appraisal and participatory field experiment that notes how local ES management can address poverty alleviation in the Debre Mawi catchment of the upper Blue Nile. We identified local barriers to poverty alleviation in three steps. First, we classified the main ES-livelihood interrelationships among communities of the upper Blue Nile. Secondly, we assessed ongoing struggles in these interrelations using combined biophysical and social assessment criteria to evaluate how poverty relates to current patterns of ES management. Our analysis confirms complex interdependencies between livelihoods and regulating (crop pest controls), provisioning (water, land and livestock feed availability, soil fertility) and cultural (local top-down ES management, population growth) ESS that create bottlenecks to effectively ‘lock in’ poverty by limiting individual and community capacities to diversify traditional farming.