LSP Working Paper 1

Access to Natural Resources Sub-Programme



Improving access to natural resources for
the rural poor

A critical analysis of central concepts and emerging trends from a sustainable livelihoods perspective

Pari Baumann

July 2002

FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS

Livelihood Support Programme (LSP)
An inter-departmental Programme for improving support for enhancing livelihoods of the rural poor.

Table of Contents


This paper was prepared under contract with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). The positions and opinions presented are those of the author alone, and are not intended to represent the views of FAO.

The Livelihood Support Programme

The Livelihood Support Programme (LSP) evolved from the belief that FAO could have a greater impact on reducing poverty and food insecurity, if its wealth of talent and experience were integrated into a more flexible and demand-responsive team approach.

The LSP works through teams of FAO staff members, who are attracted to specific themes being worked on in a sustainable livelihoods context. These cross-departmental and cross-disciplinary teams act to integrate sustainable livelihoods principles in FAO's work, at headquarters and in the field. These approaches build on experiences within FAO and other development agencies.

The programme is functioning as a testing ground for both team approaches and sustainable livelihoods principles.

Email: lsp@fao.org

Access to natural resources sub-programme

Access by the poor to natural resources, including land, forests, water, fisheries and wildlife, is essential for sustainable poverty reduction. Landless people in rural areas are particularly vulnerable, because without secure access to land and other natural resources, they can have more difficulty obtaining food, accumulating other assets and recovering after environmental and economic shocks or misfortunes.

The main goal of this sub-programme is to build stakeholder capacity to improve poor people's access to natural resources. It also aims to make sustainable livelihoods approaches more effective in reducing poverty among the poorest of the poor, particularly landless and near landless people.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION

1. POVERTY, VULNERABILITY AND LIVELIHOOD ISSUES RELATED TO ACCESS TO NATURAL RESOURCES

1.1 Definitions and concepts
1.2 Empirical evidence on poverty-environment linkages

Globalization and localization
Diversification of Livelihood Strategies
The nature of the community and institutions

1.3 Changing perspectives on access to natural resources
1.4 The new poverty agenda
1.5 Summary and significance

2. MAIN FEATURES OF THE SLA RELATED TO CURRENT THINKING ABOUT ACCESS TO NATURAL RESOURCES

2.1 The role of ANR in the development of the SLA
2.2 The Sustainable Livelihoods Approach

Discussion: The SL approach and ANR

2.3 The SLA as a framework for analysis and discussion of links to ANR

A The vulnerability context
B. The capital asset pentagon
C. Policies, institutions and processes
D. Livelihood strategies and outcomes

2.4 Summary and significance

3. PROBLEMS AND OPPORTUNITIES THAT THE RURAL POOR FACE WITH RESPECT TO ACCESS TO NATURAL RESOURCES

3.1 Access to cultivable land and agriculture

Rural proletarianization in the Andes
Migration
Cultural capital and rural residence
Non-agricultural income sources in Sub-Saharan Africa
Policy and technical issues

3.2 Access to natural resources
3.3 Summary and significance

4. EFFECTIVENESS OF THE SLA FOR UNDERSTANDING ACCESS TO NATURAL RESOURCE ISSUES AND FOR DEVELOPING STRATEGIES TO TARGET THESE

4.1 Evaluation of the SLA and its capacity to understand ANR issues
4.2 Policies, institutions and processes in the SLA

The political and policy context of ANR

4.3 SLA perspective as a framework for developing strategies for enabling access of poor to NR
4.4 Watershed, Watershed Plus and Sustainable Livelihoods in India

REFERENCES

FURTHER INFORMATION ABOUT THE LSP