Bangladesh is located on a delta where the combination of such factors as the monsoon rain and the enormous run-off from the Himalayan drainage system creates a characteristic hydrological zone which is often flooded. In this region farmers have adapted well to such disadvantageous conditions for rice cultivation in the rainy season. In a village located on the fringe of a haor, farmers have selected suitable rice varieties for different flood types; historically, they had adopted boro rice for the main crop instead of the vulnerable broadcast aman rice in response to the change of the local hydrological environment. The Bangladesh government invested considerable effort in the Flood Control, Drainage and/or Irrigation (FCD/I) project, under which more than several thousand embankments were built. Those embankments disturbed local hydrological conditions and, consequently, local people destroyed some of them to save their own lands and lives. Serious losses and damage led subsequently to the implementation of the Flood Action Plan (FAP) in 1989. The concept of “living with flooding” has become widespread through the FAP, although the concept “flood control” was dominant at its initial stage. The Compartmentalization Pilot Project (CPP) of the FAP has tried to manage flooding through people's participation. Due to a lack of representation of various strata in terms of organizational membership, however, conflicts over water use might recur between the agriculture and fishery sectors in the future.
The purpose of this research is to clarify the relationship between environmental change and vegetational succession along the Kuiseb River of the Namib Desert. Sand dunes are thought to have encroached into the Kuiseb Valley several hundred years ago, because it is estimated that tall trees such as Acacia erioloba and Faidherbia (Acacia)albida died 300-400 years ago. The sand dunes are now covered by bush of Salvadora persica. Although nara (Acanthosicyos horridus) is an important plant in the Namib Desert, it has recently died out in the lower Kuiseb River due to environmental change. Such plants as Acacia erioloba, Faidherbia albida, and Acanthosicyos horridus are very important for the local people (Topnaar) as food and shade-trees for both humans and livestock. The succession of vegetation governed by the environmental change significantly affects the life of people in the area along the Kuiseb River, because the environmental conditions are harsh and plants are poor there.
Fish fauna, habitats of aquatic bodies, habitat use of fishes, and local people’s fishing activities were researched in the Ban hiang River system, one branch of the Mekong River, southern Laos. Fish fauna of this area comprised 10 orders, 31 families and about 158 species. Aquatic bodies were divided into two large water areas, : permanent water areas and : temporary water areas, and habitats were classified into 14 types. About 56 species of fishes were found that clarified relation between their ecology and habitat, and 12 habitat use patterns were recognized. Fishes inhabiting paddy fields were noteworthy in that they were not spontaneous arrivals from permanent water areas, but particular species specific to this habitat. A total of 26 types of fishing gear were found in this area. Local fishing practices are based on a sound indigenous knowledge of the ecology of fishes. There were some differences in sex and age among fishing gear users related with safety, distance from village and so on. The implications of expansion of irrigation and aquaculture toward aquatic resources management system were discussed.
Hani people in the Ailao Mountains, Yunnan, Southwest China, cultivate rice in terraced fields on step slopes below the cloud line (1800 m alt.). Traditionally, the cloud-zone slopes were used in various ways, including alder forests as fuel and wood sources and primary mossy forests as sacred areas (god-mountains) and watershed areas. In the Dayuejin (great advance) period (1960s), trees of cloud zone were consumed as fuel for iron production. The alder forests and god-mountains disappeared, but canopy trees of the watershed forests were protected by villagers. In the 1980s, the government distributed sloped areas to villagers for them to re-forest and manage. Such lands are called ziliushan (self-managed forests). In ziliushan, Hani people preferred to plant familiar tree species that were components of the former alder forests, instead of the shanmu (Cunninghamia lanceolata) nursery trees distributed by the government. At the same time, villagers replanted the god-mountains and reinforced the protection of watershed forests. Here, I discuss the villagers’ incentives for vegetation management and the roles of newly replanted god-mountains.
The topography of the Southern Highlands of Tanzania typically consists of rolling hills and tangled streams with numerous shallow valleys. Swamps are formed at valley-bottoms, where rich organic matter accumulates due to the wet and cool climate. In this area, Bena practice indigenous dry-season cultivation called fiyungu, which is unique in two points: its drainage technology that enables the utilization of valley-bottom swamps; and its cultivation method that helps to decompose soil organic matter and neutralize soil acidity. Beans, maize and green vegetables are cultivated on fiyungu fields. Fiyungu cultivation has been modified in line with socio-economic changes since the United Republic of Tanzania took its current form in 1964. Villagization, which led to increased population density, resulted in a shortage of land for fiyungu cultivation. To solve this problem, the Bena strengthened their drainage technology to utilize the wetter parts of swamps, and adopted chemical fertilizer and modified their cultivation method to enable repeated cultivation. Furthermore, economic liberalization led to commercialization of fiyungu beans, which were marketable during the off-season. The Bena thus started to cultivate beans for cash on fiyungu fields. Fiyungu cultivation consists of indigenous agricultural technologies, which change valley-bottom swamps into useful arable land. The Bena have developed their own agricultural technologies in response to macro socio-economic changes in Tanzania. Their intimate knowledge of and attachment to valley-bottom cultivation gave their innovations an indigenous character.
This article aims to analyze how Thai railways responded to the various problems in the era of “development.” This era began during the Sarit regime, at which time the first high-standard road, the Friendship Highway, was opened. Sarit regarded this road as a symbol of “development,” and adopted a marked road-oriented policy, while attitude toward railways became correspondingly cold. Under his policy of “beautification,” he tried to abolish railway lines in inner Bangkok. The construction of new lines, suspended because of the shortage of budget, was cancelled with a few exceptions. The loss of customers on existing routes was a further serious problem for the railways as road transport became more competitive with the progress of road development. Rail traffic on the Northeastern Line decreased rapidly after the opening of the Friendship Highway, but the railways responded by taking various measures such as increasing the speed and frequency of services, and reducing of tariffs. As a result, the transport volume of both passenger and freight increased during the era, even though the competition with road transport became more severe. Railways faced various problems in the era of “development.” The largest factor that enabled railways to overcome them was their accurate response, recognizing their predicament and changing the offensive strategy of expanding new networks into the defensive one of maintaining existing networks.
This paper applies time-series analysis to examine the effects of trade on growth for four African countries (Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, and Seychelles). Results might suggest that the size of the economy and the importance of trade relative to the GDP markedly determine the effects of trade on growth.
The Hindu nationalist movement has been gaining momentum since the 1980s. Led by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the Hindu nationalist movement has produced various related organizations, such as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP). These organizations, known generically as Sangh Pariwar, have great influence in contemporary India. The BJP is presently the governing party, and the prime minister, A. B. Vajpayee, was a member of the RSS. This paper discusses the activities of Sewa Bharti, another Sangh Pariwar organization, in a slum area of New Delhi. Earlier studies have portrayed the Hindu nationalist movement phenomenon of the upper and middle classes. My research shows that this movement also quickly spread among the lower social strata. This paper shows the process by which the Hindu nationalist movement spread among the lower social strata.
The poverty reduction regime is replacing the structural adjustment regime in the world of development, and Tanzania, one of the poorest countries, has not escaped this trend. Here, I examine three constraints of Tanzania’s present poverty reduction policy. The first constraint is lack of “ownership” of the national policy by Tanzanian government. Like the structural adjustment program, the poverty reduction policy was imposed by donors as a conditionality for external debt reduction under the HIPC initiative. Tanzanian bureaucrats are able to prepare policy papers which the donors require, but they lack the enthusiasm and dynamism to achieve the externally imposed policy objectives. The second constraint is that the target of the policy is vague. Since independence, Tanzanian government has produced a series of national development programs with over optimistic objectives and unrealistic target figures; and this attitude toward planning is maintained in the poverty reduction policy. In this case, however, the government must demonstrate that the policy is achieving progress to donors. To give the appearance of performing this assignment well, the government tried to lower the hurdle by extending the period for halving of poverty and by underestimating the poverty rate. The third constraint is that the rural people who are the main target group of this policy are only half-heartedly committed to the policy. Rural people have fresh and unhappy memories of government policies on education and decentralization. These were components of government-led development during the heyday of the Ujamaa policy in the 1970s. Rural people suspect that the present poverty reduction policy is a revival of the Ujamaa policy. They are likely to silently resist the current policy as they did the earlier macro policies. I will demonstrate that the rural people view the poverty reduction policy as another policy imposed “from above,” and the government views it as another imposed “from outside.” The policy emphasizing “ownership” and “participatory approach” has inconsistency between its ideal and reality. How the rural Tanzanians and their government survive as the real tough “customers” in the international forum of development is one of the attractive themes in the field of the area studies.
The southeastern part of the Republic of Guinea (la Guinée forestière) has a rich variety of flora and fauna, which are highly evaluated from a conservation viewpoint. Recent ethno-ecological studies in Kissidougou, Ziama, and Bossou in this region have revealed that the seemingly primary forest patches in these areas have been subjected to dynamic and complex historical changes and could be an outcome of local people’s intentional or unintentional praxes. Since these vestiges of human activities are delicately embedded in the complex landscapes, conservationists have often overlooked this possibility and proposed conservation policies which inhibit human activities, based on the perception that local people’s activities are destructive. These policies are not readily accepted by local communities, because the forests often have various practical and religious functions. More in-depth studies and realistic conservation policies are needed in these areas to maintain a sensitive balance between human economic activity and biodiversity.