|Improving the impact of livestock on the environment
requires action by a wide range of stakeholders, including farmers, policy-makers
and the general public.
The degree of awareness of the potential and actual negative and positive interactions will also vary widely, as will the way in which different groups of stakeholder might contribute.
The respective roles of these different groups, together with suggestions on training, extension and awareness creation are presented in the context of the overall objective to enhance positive and mitigate negative impact of livestock production on the environment and in relation to the objective and stepwise procedures within the framework of the toolbox.
Approaches for awareness creation are presented
Awareness creation with the objective to create more public and stakeholder
support is presented as an activity in the outline for an assessment
and awareness creation at area level by making use of the toolbox.
|Training and Extension
Officers using the toolbox, who may become involved in recommending implementation of the options may require training to become more familiar with the issues of Livestock and the Environment and the toolbox.
The objective of using the toolbox is to identify and formulate relevant Livestock – Environment issues for consideration in participatory policymaking and program planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. While in many instances the option to improve the impact of livestock on the environment will be a policy or technology intervention, in some cases, additional training may provide an additional or alternative option.
The Virtual Centre for Research and Development on Livestock and Environment Interactions improves communication and enhances the relevance of research and development issues regarding livestock and environment interactions. The Virtual Centre operates globally based at FAO. Further information: http://www.fao.org/lead
In view of concern for environmental impacts more information on participatory methods and approaches for training and in extension can be obtained from the Resource Centre for Participatory Learning and Action at IIED with references to over 2000 publications from all over the world.
In respect of participatory policy making, reference is made to a brochure explaining the agenda building concept that is successfully being applied by The Netherlands Ministry of Agriculture, Nature Management and Fisheries.
The International Agricultural Centre (www.iac-agro.nl)
conducts an International Course on Livestock - Environment Interactions
designed for for policy makers and planners. Click here
for more details.
Training, Extension and Awareness Creation: three forms of communication-based interventions.
Meanings are in people
Training, Extension and Awareness Creation are all forms of change-oriented communication in which a sender or source conveys messages to one or more receivers with the explicit purpose of establishing a change in the knowledge, attitudes and, ultimately, the behaviour or practices of those receivers. A simple model of the communication process is given in the diagram below.
The model consists of eight elements and something may go wrong with each of them to result in mis-communication, rather than communication:The SMCRE-model of communication
Apart from the above, however, there is a communication problem that is very often overlooked, especially in situations where the sender desperately wants to change the knowledge, attitudes or practices of his receivers. In such situations the sender may be so eager to make the receivers change that he does not notice that the latter are using an entirely different ‘language’ or ‘key’ in decoding the messages that he encoded. The following are examples:
The intervention circle.
Training, extension and awareness creation are communication-based interventions
that aim to bring about changes in an existing situation. Not, to be clear,
in the situation of the trainer, the extension agent or the administrator
who is responsible for initiating the intervention process, but in that
of the party at which the programme is directed: its ‘intended beneficiaries’,
‘clients’ or ‘target group’.
The intervention circle above shows the elements that all intervention programmes have in common:
The circle's usefulness as an instrument to quickly analyse an intervention programme or, as will be discussed below, a communication programme depends on the way in which the various elements in the circle are being described. Descriptions should be as precise and detailed as possible, especially those of the target group and of the goals or objectives of a programme. For example:
The intervention circle was originally designed for analysing communication and extension activities. Its original configuration looked as follows:
In principle the intervention circle above works in exactly the same
manner as the one shown earlier. In the context of this chapter, it is
easy to see that the target groups for a training programme differ from
those in extension and public awareness programmes, as it is also clear
that an awareness programme that is directed at rural populations will
differ from one that is intended for urban areas. The more detail and precision
there is in the descriptions of a programme's intended target group and
the goals or objectives that it wants to reach, the easier it is to describe
the messages, the communication means and media and the programme organisation
that are most suitable to effectively communicate with this group.
Awareness Creation at Policy Level
Overall there is an increasing concern for the impact of human activities on the environment. In this respect the popular perception is that livestock production and processing are associated with negative environmental effects, whereas the positive functions of livestock are often neglected, such as the conversion of pastures and wastes into high quality food and their contribution to sustainable crop cultivation and food security. The focus on symptoms of environmental degradation rather than on the actual causes has resulted in many biased and different views amongst the public and policy makers.
A more balanced overview of Livestock – Environment Interaction is presented in "Livestock & the Environment, finding a balance" and "Livestock & the Environment, issues and options". Based on these reports the toolbox has been developed as a means and source of information to assess issues and options in a given situation.
Both, the reports and the toolbox have been designed to contribute to solving one of today’s most crucial dilemmas in agriculture: how to find a balance between a fast growing demand for food and the need to sustain the natural resource base of land, water, air, and biological diversity. As such they are important sources of information for the creation of more public and political awareness about Livestock – Environment interactions in the context of policymaking, program planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. Information is presented in the toolbox in a format designed to assist policy makers in getting a more balanced view.
One option for increasing the awareness of policy-makers of the issues is to organise a national workshop, based on the toolbox with the objective not only of creating more awareness but also of assisting with assessment of the actual situation in the country. For the purpose of introducing participants to the issues and to the toolbox, a PowerPoint presentation has been developed. More details on how to use the toolbox are presented in a manual, which includes a structure diagram. The following text describes suggestions for the format of a national workshop.
These suggestions describe the format for a national workshop to be organised in the context of the overall objective of mitigating negative and enhancing positive livestock environment interactions, in view of an increasing demand for animal products and an increasing pressure from population growth and livestock activities on the natural resource base.
1. Workshop objectives
Core participants in the workshop should be policy makers from ministries / departments of:
A National Research Organisations could organise the workshop. As an organisation it has a more neutral position in relation to the subject, will have the facilities and can provide the necessary moderators and supportive staff to organise the workshop. Specialists could prepare and present introductions on the subject for the workshop.
5. Workshop Program
- Objectives and workshop program
Teams of participants will use the toolbox to identify areas with a potential to enhance the positive interactions of livestock on the environment and / or to mitigate negative impacts. In general such a potential is greatest in areas where there is growth in livestock production or where there is a crisis due to degradation of the environment.
In view of future interventions it may be logical to review the situation by administrative area (region, district) or area under special authority (municipality, watershed, large-scale irrigation schemes, etc.).
A detailed assessment requires the involvement of stakeholders, while options to enhance positive and / or mitigate negative interactions in general require additional investment and / or an increase in production costs. Therefore, it is recommended to select at this first stage those areas where there is some guarantee that tools and skills be made available to assist farmers and communities to invest in new farming practices and adjust community natural resource management to assure their participation.
Results of this exercise will include a listing of areas that require a more detailed assessment. This assessment can not be performed at central level but should be done at area level by planning officers, sector specialist responsible for the area and by stakeholders. This will require time allotment and means to perform such a task.
5.3 Discussion and Conclusions
Results are discussed, trying to draw up an action list as follows:
The discussion may result in conclusions, but participants may also
need more time for reflection and consultation with their departments.
In that case a date and an agenda for a next meeting should be fixed.
Livestock Environment Interaction Assessment at Area Level
Recent changes in government organisation have resulted in decentralisation of planning and program implementation to sub-national levels: districts, water shed management authorities, etc. Consequently the centre relies increasingly on information and communication with the lower levels of administration for its policy making and planning of measures to guide development.
It is assumed that the centre has
In specific cases it may be necessary to identify interventions specifically addressing Livestock Environment issues. Results of the assessment can then be used to formulate a programme proposal for such interventions.
The procedure is composed of the following major steps
1. Team formation
At the area level a multi-disciplinary team is formed. Core members are:
Training on the use of the toolbox by an officer familiar with the use of it.
In the procedure the team are also responsible for awareness creation and communication with stakeholders and the public in the area of concern
2. Awareness creation at area level
Public awareness creation is the first step.
From the beginning the area staff should be involved in the preparation of information for awareness creation as they are best placed to describe the specific conditions and situation in the area.
They may still require an input from policy makers / researchers to explain the government concerns, e.g. a radio interview with a high official.
In general, stakeholders and the public are well aware of the principal impacts of livestock production on the environment and the underlying causes.
Awareness creation should therefore build on this common knowledge and focus on
Dissemination of information could be by public media such as radio and TVor in newspapers including the names of centres where people can get more information.
A useful method is to provide information through interviews and meetings. Dissemination of information is the first step in communication with the public and stakeholders.
Communication is two way, however, and one should be prepared to receive and respond to questions, comments and requests for more information. The public extension service could play the role of communication centre for individual stakeholders and the public, the co-ordinating desk (i.e. planning office) for local organisation and enterprises / industries.
Along with the implementation of the programme the extension service and the co-ordinating desk will keep their function as communication centre to create more awareness and assist in the communication with stakeholders, the public and the media.
If the strategy is to prepare issues and options for consideration in existing procedures of participatory policy making and program planning then the responsibility to respond to reactions from stakeholders and the public can be shared with those responsible for these procedures.
If the strategy is to prepare for an intervention specifically on Livestock – Environment interactions then the team should be prepared to take all responsibility.
3. Assessment using the toolbox
Before using the toolbox members should first agree upon the principal livestock production systems in the area of concern. Next they look for similarities between actual systems and those described in the toolbox. Actual systems may very well be combinations of toolbox systems. The users should then proceed by considering all the toolbox systems in that combination.
To identify the relevant livestock systems they can make use of their own knowledge and insight and of information they are familiar with from programme reports, studies, research etc.
If the area is subject to rapid change, this can result in changes in the types of stakeholder involved and in an increase or a decrease of
The environmental risks and benefits by system are assessed through reviewing the matrix on risks and benefits in the toolbox. Principal aspects of concern are:
- per system a series of environmental risks and benefits
3.3. Underlying causes
Next step is to review per system the underlying causes by environment factor and their corresponding matrix on Driving Force – State – Response.
With the results obtained the team should be able to select the most relevant systems and / or areas and stakeholders involved for further consideration.
Results from the assessment should be verified with stakeholders at farm and community level through consultations and PRAs.
The objective is to come to a shared view on environmental risks / benefits and the underlying causes.
These sessions serves in the meantime as a preparation for the discussion on policy and technology options to mitigate the negative and enhance positive livestock environment interactions, the next step.
- systems and stakeholders identified and prepared for discussion
4. Identification of options with stakeholders
As with the production systems, first the present ideas amongst team members and stakeholders should be assessed, before comparing them with those suggested by the toolbox. It is not recommended to work the other way round as it can easily result in choosing options that are not fully understood / shared by stakeholders and communities.
Identification of options with stakeholders and communities through PRA.
There are policy (including institutional),
Many of the policy options consider rules and regulations relating to the use of natural resources. They often cause additional production costs for the users. Therefore these policies can only be effective when rules, regulations and sanctions are accepted and respected by the users. In general this can best be achieved by involving organisations of stakeholders and local communities in the implementation of such rules and regulations. (see participatory learning)
The technical options mainly refer to interventions which can be adopted by the producer to improve livestock production/farm management. Key stakeholders are producers and processing industries. Private and public services and the community can be involved in being responsible for the maintenance and creation of an enabling environment for production and processing.
- a shared view with stakeholders and communities about feasible
policy and / or technical options to enhance positive and mitigate negative
impacts of livestock production on the environment.
From options to action.
Options now become proposals to be considered in participatory policy making and program planning. Within the planning actions in programmes, indicators and means for monitoring and evaluation should be incorporated.
Getting the needed support may require again an effort of awareness creation addressed to responsible officers of organisations supervising and funding the various programmes that could / should participate. This may require again support from authorities at higher level.
In specific cases it may be necessary to have interventions specifically addressing Livestock Environment issues. Results of the assessment can then be used to formulate a project proposal for such interventions i.e. by using the EU guideline for Project Cycle Management.
The Virtual Research and Development Centre on Livestock and Environment Interactions
The Virtual Centre of the Livestock, Environment and Development Initiative provides local, regional and national communities and authorities with alternative technologies and their policy requirements for land-livestock-food systems that meet their short term needs for food, forage, fibre, and fuel as well as long term needs for environmental services; and provide policy decision-makers with the knowledge they need in order to develop and promulgate policies that encourage the development and use of sustainable land-livestock-food systems. Further information can be found at: http://lead.virtualcenter.org
The functions of the Virtual Centre are:
Participatory Learning and Action Collection
The IIED Resource Centre is a unique service for those seeking practical information and support on all aspects of research on participatory methodologies with a particular focus on their application and integration into institutional structures. Further information can be found at: http://www.iied.org/resource/index.html
This expanding collection includes material on all major aspects of
participatory approaches from around the world. The documentation consists
mainly of unpublished literature, case studies and reports, and features
material in more than ten languages. New items are added to the collection
Agenda Building Concept in Policy Making
The concept of agenda building in policy making combines methods of Participatory Rapid Appraisal and stakeholder participation in decision making and implementation in a context of a changing world and changing role of government. As such it can very well serve to get livestock – environment issues addressed in politics and practice.
The foreword, the explanation of the agenda building concept and preface presented below are from the brochure "A concern and a dream". This brochure is a translation of the brochure "Een droom en een zorg" , a description of the agenda building concept applied in a illustrative case, published by the Netherlands Ministry of Agriculture, Nature Management and Fisheries (LNV) in 1998. The English version will be available by the end of December 1999. An electronic version on a website is in preparation.
Distribution: Netherlands Ministry of Agriculture, Nature Management
and Fisheries. http://www.minlnv.nl/international/
International Agricultural Centre, Wageningen, the Netherlands. http://www.iac-agro.nl/
The foreword and explanation of the agenda building concept can also be viewed as an Acrobat file by clicking on the icon.
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