Ce membre a participé aux discussions suivantes
I have the following comments on draft report of FAO voluntary guidelines on national monitoring that you call comments on FSN Forum
- A substantial level of forest inventory work is required for preparing country report for Global Forest Resources Assessmnet Report. FAO prepares the report. The draft report of FAO voluntary guidelines on national monitoring has not stated the difference in information between the reports. I believe most of the information will be same. I request moderator to clarify the differences and provide supplementary information in this discussion. Does FAO hold hidden interest to separate the project activities?
- I read the draft report. I felt that many suggestions are general and presented in vague language. This level of information are already available to the monitoring bodies of most countries. If you present in this form the guidelines they make little contribution in institutional capacity building. Your effort and money used in preparing this guidelines will be wasted.
- Based on the reading of the draft guideline document has focused on wood, carbon and total biomass. If status information of all kinds of forest products (e.g. firewood and fodder) and successions are specified in the inventory report they will be much useful to make forest management decision at both local and national levels. The information, for example, helps to make decisions on improving forest management for biodiversity conservation. They would also help to understand stocks and dynamics of various products available to support livelihoods of local people. If the FAO had genuine interest to collect the useful product specific information the national monitory guidelines had clear instruction. But the draft guideline document has provided detail instructions for little important things but not given attention on the useful things.
- Need of indigenous people is a complicated and sensitive subject and ordinary people cannot adequately deal with them. Forest resources are means of food, nutrition, medicines, antibiotics and cultural existance of the people. Speacilised inputs are vital to explain the relationship between various forest products and existence of indigenous people. Forestry inventory workers cannot deal with the complex and sensetive issue. Based on my experience on forestry development work in Nepal, they manipulate the leaders of indigenous people by various means and make interpretation of the value of the resources in own value and interest. The work of foresters are rather exacerbated by declining of indigenous popluation with extinction threat. It can be said that the forest development policy is doing genocide of indigenous people. Therefore, there should be very clear guidelines to address the needs of the people.
- The word “manpower” is discriminatory from gender perspective. I would use the term “humanpower” instead.
Thanks for providing the opportunity of commenting on your work.
Dear Moderator and other members of FSN forum
I am not making contribution on the main issues that you asked here. But I would like to comment on the FAO and UNEP memorandum on sustainable food system issue including stack taking. I want to know why UNEP involved in food security program? What is the UNEP global mandate? Has it accomplished well? Has it effectively addressed food security issues affected by its programmes or globally given mandate. In my understanding the programmes under UNEP has misleading many poor people and worsen food security in the world. If the management of the agency need I can provide enough evidences. If the UNEP management were professionally or ethically serious on food security and poor people's issues they should do their job first. If any agency does not work seriously in the areas of responsibility how they provide good service in other areas? I doubt that the involvement of the UNEP make difference on food security. It might make worse. I expect response from the UNEP representative. I would also like to know response from FAO representative through this forum that why the collaboration with the UNEP is needed.
FSN members, it is your person right and will whether or not contribute in this discussion. But if we blindly (without constructively thinking about ) participate or support any initiatives that can encourage bad practices of globally powerful agencies in the world. Your constructive comments or feedback can often make the agencies sincere on working issue and your contribute benefit poor people or public.
Dear FNS Forum team members,
First learn from the practices of colleagues in your organization(FAO)
I would like to advise your team to learn from the practices of your FAO colleagues if you want to understand the degree to which the FSN information produced is actually used by decision makers, and influences policy making. I believe the information would be useful to many FAO staffs who have very low level of knowledge about many problems in developing countries but have been working as experts to prepare many policy reports about the countries. I read many policy guideline documents prepared by FAO staffs and most postings on the FSN Forum. The information shared in the forum were very useful to make the policy documents practical and useful but the information are poorly used. For instance, some members in the FSN explained the nutritional issue of the indigenous people as a critical agenda but the FAO staffs ignored the vital issue when preparing on the zero draft of the Framework for Action (FFA). FAO members are supposed to adopt the information and demonstrate to others that the information are useful. If the FAO staffs do little trust and follow the information of the FSN forum what do you expect from others?
One problem to be the information or Knowledge actually used in policy making processes.
If policy decision makers requires to prepare policy documents themselves they would explore interesting issues, experiences and other information. But in some countries, consultants of funding agencies, particularly institutionally weak aid dependent countries (e.g.Nepal), prepare most of the documents and send to the decision makers on email or by curriers. The decision makers require to read and sign the documents but do little exercise. The consultants work with personal relationship with staffs of the funding agencies, and do little value and read the information shared in the FSN forum. These are the reasons the policy documents of funding agencies supported agencies find highly formal but impractical.
Thanks for reading my responses on your queries.
Dear Moderator and other members in FSN team
A general comment: A racial document
A fair policy document gives high focus (special acknowledgement of issues and action plans) on the problem of disadvantaged groups. In terms of nutritional requirement, indigenous ethnic groups are special need groups globally- in both developed and developing countries. This has been proven in experimental and social researches. There are low priorities in policy and research for increasing nutritional resources of the groups at national and international levels. The food sources of the groups are encroached, destroyed or criminalised in uses to benefit power groups. Even FAO has the regressive programmes in the communities of the ethnic groups such as in Congo. However, this draft document has not acknowledged the nutritional issues of special need groups. It has focused on the issue of mainstream society. Based on the facts this document can be termed racial.
Dear members of Right to Food Team and FSN forum
I have some insights on the Right to Food issue. I would like to share the insights with you in response to some questions asked by the Right to Food Team.
Right to Food Guidelines and Increasing Threat of Extinction of Some Human Races
1. Implementation success of the Right to Food Guidelines: A dilemma
Understanding the success of the Right to food guidelines is a complex subject. Literatures provide evidences that governments of many countries started working to increase food production since mid1900s. The policy is based on a dual principle: the state responsibility and people’s right. Many factors have been driving them to act on it. The governments also signed many international treaties related to human rights before introducing the Right to Food Guidelines by FAO council. Many principles or terms of the treaties require addressing basic needs including food. Other socioeconomic changes not targeted directly on the food issue are also contributing people access to food despite weak or counterproductive national policies on increasing food. For example in Nepal, the lands used in food production are increasingly used in non-agricultural activities in many areas, even critically food deficit areas. The national and international policies (e.g. protected area management and global carbon emission offsetting) have been hampering the land uses in food production. Consequently indigenous food production systems and environment have been spoiled. Abandonment of private lands from farming is increasing in many districts. Agricultural productivity is increasingly very slowly. Statistics show the increasing of agricultural products imports are exponential in trends. Based on these evidences the food production in the country may have decreased. Statistical figures of government agencies, manipulated for some reasons, however, may not support the argument. However, people’s access to food is increasing. Their access to food increased mainly by increasing remittances, local income opportunities, and transportation and market services. It is very difficult to argue that the Right to Food Guidelines created the favourable environments. However, the situation would be worse if the state and funding agencies had not have supported in increasing agricultural productivities.
The important of right to food is still there. Some people are still passively accepting misery and seasonal starvation. Food crises problem is frequently experienced in some districts. Moreover the import dependent country has some degree of risk of resulting humanitarian food crises because there is a probability of out-breaking and persisting a serious level of international political and economic crisis for long period. Government cannot handle the technical and social complexities building up with ongoing changes in societies, and secure the people’s right to adequate food to that condition. It may not be wise thinking to expect effective international support in deep international crises conditions. Despite some room, I have not seen any specific policy measures from both state and supporting actors to address the long term issue of right to food as suggested in the Right to food Guidelines.
Were you disappointed?
I have seen a very disappointing case. You claimed that both state and international agencies including FAO have shown commitment in achieving people’s right to food but I have seen that they are also destroying the food sources and threatening existence of some powerless ethnic groups for the benefit of affluent people. I would like to present the case of hunter gatherers (often termed tribal groups) related ethnic groups who have adapted and lived on naturally produced food with high fiber, low fat and carbohydrates, and rich in mineral (e.g. iron, zinc, calcium and potassium) elements. They have much shorter period of exposure to the foods with high energy and intensive or commercial production systems than that of many other sedentary societies. As a result they are intolerant in some or addictive to some other foods produced in intensive agricultural system and industrial processing. According to evolutionary genetic theory, some genes of the indigenous ethnic groups store food energy for longer period than the genes of nontribal and or other sedentary societies. The people carrying the genetic property become able to adapt and survive in food scarcity condition and other environmental stresses. The genes on the other hand increase obesity and related disease to the group in high energy food condition. The nutritional deficiency problem has made the health condition of the tribal people worse. Same quantity of energy food can result obesity in tribal groups than non-tribal groups. The genes The phenomena is a strong explanation to be higher prevalence of obesity and type 2 diabetes cases in the indigenous groups than other ethnicities in developed countries such as Australia, New Zealand and the USA. The indigenous groups seems to be addicted on the high energy foods. Most probably they have deficiency of the nutritional elements to meet their body needs. Official statistics show that the difference of average lifespan between the indigenous and non-indigenous people living in same political zone and facilities is noticeably high such as over 10 years in Australia (ABS 2009). In essence the indigenous human races are special need groups in terms of nutritional requirement.
The nutritional need condition of the hunter gatherers are further difference than the indigenous groups in the developed countries. They have not passed their forest based life even one generation. Their natural food sources have been now managed to meet interests and needs of non-tribal groups who are used to eating high energy foods over 12000 years. The food resources of the forest based people are suppressed or destroyed. Some resources are criminalized in uses. As a result they are facing food shortage in their territories. Inadequate access to naturally grown food has caused them to depend on high energy, processed and input intensive foods including chemical/pesticide contaminated ones. Any payment given to the vulnerable groups is not sufficient to afford healthy food. They are depended on poor quality food which are not safe from their health perspective. The policies of the agencies, thus, have forced to live the fresh water fish (the tribal groups) into salt water. The new foods (even some grain) toxicats their health and the under-nutrition further weakens their immune system. Consequently their susceptible to many diseases increased and ability to cope environmental stresses in their natural/ poor living condition decreased. The food problems have adverse health effect particularly on conceiving of women, healthy borne of baby and survival of the people to the age of reproduction and full potential life period. As a result their population growth has been potentially stagnated to declined leading to extinction.
For example, ten indigenous ethnic groups are reported at threat of extinction based on their dwindling growth and smaller size of population. The ethnic groups include Raji, Kusunda, Raute, Kushbadiya, Bankariya, Suri, Kisan, Meche, Lepcha and Hayu. They are the most powerless people in socio-political system. Some of them (e.g. Raute, Kusunda, and Bankariya) are still inhabited in forest. They shun farming and live mainly on wild foods including tubers. The other groups have also meagre of private land. There are also some other recently nomadic ethnic groups such as Chepang. All the resource poor groups used to complement the private land resources by common property resources including forest and community pasturelands to sustain their livelihoods. Therefore these ethnic communities have been demanding with government for greater and secured access to their local forest resources. Please read details of the ethnic groups and their relationships with forest in the following references.
a. People in Nepal. http://www.bochi-bochitrek.com/nepal/people-in-nepal.html. Downloaded on 13-07-2014.
b. B The Local Environmental, Economic and Social Tragedies of Managing Community Forests for Global Environment Conservation: A Critical Evaluation. The Open Journal of Forestry. 4(1):58-69. http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/ojf.2014.41010
Their food resources are non-timber products of forests which are encroached and destroyed by mainstream societies. International interventions on national forest policies further worsened the supplies. They advised and funded for industrial model of forestry which suppressed or occupied the places for production of non-timber products with food importance. Recently conventional model of protected area and Reduced carbon Emission from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) programare introduced and promoted in the name of protecting the planate. By goal or nature the programmes destroy environment of producing non-timber forest products which require moderately open space in forest for production. It takes many years and generations to make the tribal groups well adapted to the high energy foods of non-tribal groups. Access to forest resources would make notable differences in their lives. The issue of the groups are little cared in both national and international policies and imposing the regressive policies against their welfare of the people. Thus the risk of extinction of the dwindling ethnic groups has been increased. There are adequate scientific bases to justify that these national and international policies diverting their livelihood based resources for offsetting carbon emission of affluent societies and polluted industries, supplying timber of urban users and quenching wild thrust of rich people are genocide against the dwindling ethnic groups.
The policy problem of indigenous communities is not only in Nepal but also in other countries such as India, Indonesia, Papua Genuine and Congo. The policies are imposed by not only national governments but in the advice and support of the members in FAO council including funding agencies (e.g. Norway, USAID, AUSAID, DFID/UK and Swiss Agencies), working for Right to food. The World Bank programme is most pervasive and deadly. Some scholars and leaders of indigenous people are attempted to draw international attention on this critical issue. Why is the committee for the Right to Food bypassing it? Is it not an important issue for the committee? I believe formation of the committee is meaningless for the dwindling ethnic groups.
Is the glass half full or have empty?
I could not know whether the glass half full or have empty because the size or edge (horizon) of the glass is beyond my sight. However, I found that the subject of right on living means including food is a socially contracted reality. People in powerful position define demarcate boundary of the glass and determine whether half full or have empty based on their own values and interests. People with little power should accept the value imposed by the powerful groups. I also found that the definition and application also vary with societies and time. This may be a pessimistic view.
What would be the role of the Committee on World Food Security?
I believe information is a powerful tool. The Committee should look the problem of people’s right to food and its solutions constructively. The focus should be on people on critical need. Based on my knowledge the information produced by the committee are poorly communicated so these are poorly reached to or used by policy decision makers. The committee should improve the strategies of collecting and communicating the information. The right to food is also a humanitarian problem so open and proactive advocacy practices should be promoted at national and international level. I see funding agencies are drivers of the bad policies in many institutional weak countries. The committee should do direct and open talk to the funding agencies (bilateral and multilateral).
Thanks for patiently reading my opinions.
Dear Moderator and participants of the FSN forum
The points in the declarations are still too general and inadequate to attract attention of policy decision makers on critical conditions. Most of the points in the declaration represent mainstream groups. The declaration is silent on the nutritional issues of minority, crises condition and regions with special food production systems. The people in government policy decision making can be lost to interpret the points in the declaration and translate into actions. My specific points are as follows.
1. The third point of the preamble section, for example,has missed the term “Natural rights on food”. In current development context some ethnic groups have been deprived of using the natural rights on food. It is based on the fact that the human races are naturally different in food bases from evolution perspective. The requirement of nutritional elements are, thus, naturally (genetically) different between the races. Or the groups may genetically adapted to the food sources on which their evolution based. The food bases of the society particularly the tribal communities are encroached, destroyed and criminalised in uses by mainstream societies. The minority groups are disadvantaged position to influence in government policy and markets. Many of them are not aware of effect of their food habit changes in their future generation. The policy and markets are dominated by mainstream groups which have increased the tempting the group on the food of mainstream societies. The interventions might have caused deficiency of the essential nutrition and led to extinction of the groups. The nutritional elements of the people could be increased by increasing their awareness on and access to their natural food bases.
2. In the section of multiple threats of mal-nutrition, the document has stated the problem of climate change but the policy actions to mitigate the climate change have also increased threats to food security, the main pathway to nutrition, particularly for socially disadvantaged communities. The effects are more pervasive and serious than the global climate change at present context. For example, vulnerable people access to the food of common properties such as forests and alpine grazing areas which provided hedge against extreme misery conditions. Nowadays their accesses are restricted with expansion of national park/ protected area, community forestry and REDD forest policies. If you like to make the declaration fair the threats requires to be acknowledged.
3. The issues of food security and nutrition problems are more critical in institutionally weak countries where international organizations (e.g. the World Bank, ADB, IPCCC and EPA) can make high influences in national policies decisions by using their material and symbolic powers. These agencies often overlook the issues of food security and nutrition of vulnerable societies in achieving their work progresses in other fields. For example, the World Bank has advised the Nepal government to apply its Carbon fund to managed community used forest resources for carbon storage under REDD policy. Many vulnerable people including tribal groups are based in the forest. The programme, by nature, restricts the vulnerable people’s access to local forest resources and affects food production and nutritional access. It also displaced local employment and increases the numbers of Nepalese women suffering from domestic violence and sexual abuses. You can read the online EPIN document to evaluate the quality of the programme activities that the World Bank groups agreed to support (https://www.forestcarbonpartnership.org/node/3877). Therefore it is important to include a point about dialoguing with other international organizations to stop the policies and programmes that threatens food security and nutrition in vulnerable communities.
4. It also requires action oriented commitments representing needs of minority groups, crises conditions and regions with special food production system in all sections.
Carbon Fund Ninth Meeting (CF9), April 9-11, 2014, Brussels, Belgium. (the EPIN document is attached in the first programme scheduled on Thursday).https://www.forestcarbonpartnership.org/node/3877--
Dear Moderator and FSN members,
I recommend that the following agenda is included in the CFS activity list for the Biennium 2016-17.
1. AGENDA/ ISSUE
Addressing growing problems of communal and public land resources complemented food production systems
INTRODUCTION OF THE AGENDA
Communal and public land resources complemented food production and livelihood support systems is an indigenously evolved system of food production in some communities of many developing countries. The resource serves as a critical element (plays complementary instead of supplementary role) in the production system and makes the food production possible in the areas. The complementary production system was practiced to adapt in harsh local agro-ecological condition in some communities (e.g. mountain and dry-land /desert regions) or evolved with special nature of social behavior of some ethnic groups (e.g. tribal/ indigenous communities). Long term and innovative uses of the resources (e.g. forest products and grazing) in farming contributed in evolving the socio-ecological systems which provide much higher level of environmental, social and economic goods and services than the intact or conventional management system of the resources in the communities. A journal article on this link (DOI:10.4236/ojf.2014.41010) provides some details about the system and its importance in alleviating local food insecurity issues, environmental problems and socioeconomic challenges.
There are deliberately growing external interventions to cease the indigenous uses of the public/ communal land resources for sake of distance users’ (affordable forest products for urban consumers and reducing carbon offsetting cost of overseas industries and affluent societies) benefit. The interventions have also ceased the resources traditional available for food production. Common activities ceasing the opportunities include the management of the resources for carbon trade, biodiversity conservation under protected area scheme and commercial timber production. The payment for other uses of the resources (if offered by any external agency)cannot compensate the real level of food production loss due to instrumental role in sustaining upstream and downstream linked food production system. Let’s take a case in the Nepal’s high mountain belt which is a highly remote and critical food shortage area. The farmers in the region have marginal quality of land with ultra-size of private landholding. Livestock is the most valuable means of food security (e.g. source of draft power for food transportation and farm ploughing, and milk, manure and meat production). The alpine pasture resources are principal means for sustaining the livestock. Grazing access to the lower hill forests particularly in winter (snowing) season is also critical to sustain the alpine resource based livestock business. Practicing of externally/internationally induced forestry protection policies and programmes has reduced fodder availability or increased restriction on the livestock grazing in the mid-hill forests. The undernourished and poor farmers are further suffered. Here I cannot explain the pain of suffering people and other social problems associated with the loss of their livelihood means. I would like to ask the FAO experts whether any payment for climate mitigation service of the lower hill forests can compensate the food security and other social loss of those victim communities.
Let’s take another heart touching case published in a Nepali newspaper (Nagariknews) on 17 April 2014. The newspaper found that many forest user groups in a highly food deficit district purposively put fire on in their community forests. In reality forest development and protection agencies had socially trapped the community people to plant pine tree species densely in their forestland which was historically managed for multipurpose uses including grazing. The understory growth of grasses was suppressed as the pine tree grew. The declining of grass production made it difficult for the small farmers or marginal landholders to sustain livestock business - a means of food security. The desperate farmers compelled to set fire on in the pine forest despite knowing that the fire setting in the forest is a criminal activity.
Conservation and enhancement of public and community resource complemented food security system would bring many benefits in addition to relieving the undernourished people and preventing poor farmers from being involved in criminal activity for food security. It would provide a safety net for the resource users under the condition of natural disasters and political institution failure. Supporting in the uses of the resources, as in Satoyama farming system in Japan, would contribute to the existence of human residences in low populated and remote areas where emigration has been a serious social problem. Conservation of agro-biodiversity is another benefit. The community would also contribute in conserving the cultural heritage or social identity of mountain people and promoting indigenous knowledge.
· Identification of and mapping the regions and communities where such system can make significant difference in food security and social wellbeing
· Policy lobbying and advocacy at national and international levels to conserve and enhance the system
· Exploring resource management options including period in both participatory approach and independent research
· Development of resource management plans and enforcement institutions in participatory approach
· Implementing the management plans
· Research and intensive monitoring of work progress for timely correction of emerging problems and weaknesses.
I found it difficult to identify the appropriate work stream in the linked document. The work-streams and themes are not universal concepts; rather organizations or working committees classify them for management convenience. The agenda might overlap with many streams or themes such as sustainable livelihood, ecosystem services, indigenous communities and mountain development. After reading many documents the issue was poorly related to the FAO work stream of “Forests for Food Security and Nutrition” as the program focused on “trees beyond forests”. Increasing trees beyond forests or intensification in private land makes little difference in alleviating food security problem in those communities due too small size of private landholding. The intensification of trees in private lands of some regions (e.g. high-mountain) can make food security worse due to high degree of effect of space, light and nutrition competition with other kinds of food production activities. In addition making functional of some of the systems requires lands in multiple communities including different ecological zones. Poor people cannot afford to have there. Based on my reading of many documents the FAO team working in the “Forests for Food Security and Nutrition” program seems inappropriate to lead this agenda because the team has not acknowledge this very important issue in any document. In addition the recommendations of “The International Conference on Forests for Food Security and Nutrition” organized by this team has not recognised the proven threats or problems of REDD+ and other forest protection initiatives for escalating food insecurity problem in developing countries. The initiative is rather considered an opportunity for food security of indigenous ethnic groups. The policies and programmes are the main obstacles to conserve the indigenous food security systems. It means the team cares little about poor communities, the public/communal resource based people and indigenous practices. In essence, the work-stream makes small difference but the working team requires pro-community attitude and good level of knowledge of the system and root causes.
There are many reasons that FAO should play proactive role to address the growing problems of communal and public land resources complemented food production system. The root causes of escalating the food security problem in these areas are international policies and programmes. Dealing with this issue is under the work mandate of FAO. In some areas (e.g. Nepal) FAO played some roles to create the problem in the system. If FAO is committed to take corporate social responsibility of any bad impacts in societies it should accept the liability of past work programmes or policies. The food security problems in developing countries and marginalized areas are the most powerful instrument of FAO to convince to and get funds from donor agencies. The communities with the forest resource based food production system are also living in marginal production areas and are socially, economically and environmentally vulnerable. Therefore they deserve the FAO support. If some initiatives of protecting the systems are not taken in time, the opportunity of protecting the complex system based food security will be locked due to increasing social, legal and environmental complexities related to the resources. From my understanding FAO is the right organization to explain the threats and convince the stakeholders who play crucial roles in dealing with the problem of the indigenous food production systems. Finally, if FAO ignores the problems of marginalized people in developing countries for the sake of conserving forest to offset emission from industries and affluent societies and mitigate global warming, it will be nick named western vehicle.
1. The Local Environmental, Economic and Social Tragedies of Managing Community Forests for Global Environment Conservation: A Critical Evaluation. The Open Journal of Forestry. 2014. 4(1):58-69. DOI: 10.4236/ojf.2014.41010
2. उपभोक्ता नै लगाउँछन् वनमा आगो (User group set fire up on their community forest). Nagariknews 17 April 2014. http://www.nagariknews.com/society/nation/story/16668/16668
3. FAO. 2014. Recommendations, reflections and photos from the FAO conference Forests for Food Security and Nutrition. http://www.focali.se/en/news/recommendations-reflections-and-photos-from-the-fao-conference-on-forests-for-food-security-and-nutrition. FAO Rome
From my understanding the meaning of 'care farming' is broader than what you define in this discussion. It also refers to any farming practices for protecting people, resources, economy and cultures in critical condition (otherwise can result irreversible disaster). You limited the phrase in education and socialization of people with special need (elderly people, children and disables) and by external agencies supports. Therefore many participants confused on providing examples in their communities or countries. Based on your definition, the kitchen gardening in primary school can be considered a care farming. The schools provide education, socialization and care to young children. The schools can achieve the services by involving students in the kitchen gardening.
I would like to present some indigenous practices of care farming in Nepal.
a. People living individually (alone) keep pet animals (cat, dog or bird) to reduce loneliness. Some of them do kitchen gardening or other farming to keep them busy. These are examples of self-care farming practices.
b. Some people grow vegetables or keep animals (e.g. milking cow or buffalo) to make happy to their elderly parents. The people could provide vegetable and milk from other sources with less cost and effort but the parents would not be that happy as they would be produced in own home. The practice provides mental care of the elderly.
c. People establish and care gardening in public places (e.g. temple area and community halls) where elderly people gathers for socialization with neighbors.
You might be interested to find the cases that help in developing projects. My contribution might not help you that much.
I believe Nepali Gundruk (silage popularly of brassica species e.g. radish and Chinese cabbage) making knowledge and conservation practice are relevant to share in this discussion.
1. Are there any lively examples of indigenous methods of food preparation and how do they influence food security and nutrition?
Formal published research will be welcome on this point. Gundruk making requires practices of fermentation and drying of moderately green leaves of the vegetables. The Nepalese farmers used to preparing and preserving the food item in the vegetable seasons, and eating in vegetable scarcity seasons. It contributes to nutrition not only by preserving nutrients but also by increasing taste by adding aroma. The product is rich in iron and very useful for reproductive women. The vegetable preservation method was popular and important in old days because farmers had limited or no access to green vegetables during off seasons. However, household importance of the food preservation practice has been declining with increasing production of green vegetable all round the year.
2. What informal strategies have been put in place by local communities to ensure that this knowledge is not lost?
Based on my knowledge, communities are not organized to ensure that this knowledge is not lost. However, the knowledge has been conserved in communities. Nowadays people accustomed to the taste of the Gundruk like to eat it even if they have enough access to green vegetable all round the year. People migrated overseas also like to eat the product. Even some children who have grown up overseas like to have its soup as they took up the taste for the product from their parents. However, some people do not know to produce the product overseas.
They ask parents, relatives or friends about the method of producing it. If they cannot produce themselves they ask family to send some as a gift for them. Nowadays the product carries a special Nepali identity. Thus some restaurants have included the soup of the product in their menu. Therefore if senior generation give some experience or taste of the product to new generations the local knowledge of producing or preparing is likely to pass informally to the next generation.
Thank you for reading my opinion.
Dear moderators and FSN forum members,
I would to share my understanding on the problems to utilize benefiting opportunity of PES in developing countries. I am citing some cases in Nepal but the problems can be more serious in other countries such as Africa where the cases are poorly understood, reported or shared.
Misuses of PES and making environmental systems worse
Increase capabilities of human, animals and plant species for adaptation to climate change require forest management interventions. If communities manage their forests for getting payment for carbon, the resources and institutions (rules or contracts) of REDD create barriers to make necessary changes in forest through management interventions for increasing adaptive capacity. Production of non-timber forest products and other resources essential for sustaining forestry environmental systems are heavily degraded due to introduction of wrong forestry policies in Nepal. The need of forest management operations is being urgent in most of community forests and national parks irrespective of climate change adaptation issue. Ignoring the facts some of the international agencies have introduced the REDD project in the forest areas and are creating problems to make those changes. For example, WWF allied with the USAID fund introduced REDD programme (Hariyo Ban Project) for biodiversity conservation in community forestry areas. One of the main problems of biodiversity conservation in the project command area is excessive suppression of understory species with biodiversity and its habitat importance by overstocked trees. The agencies completely ignored the problem and introduced the REDD project in the area for biodiversity conservation. The project agencies are doing other ways for the sake of showing they are contributing in biodiversity conservation. Similarly a REDD project (under Multi-stakeholder Forestry Project) has been introduced for increasing capacity of human community and forest adaptation to climate change under joint venture partnership of SDC (Swiss aid agency), FINIDA (Finish aid agency)and DEFID (UK aid agency). The growing problem of overstocking of trees in the forest and its negative effect in communities are well acknowledge in the project document but the agencies introduced REDD project by ignoring the REDD policy barriers to address the community problem. Nepal Foresters’ Association advocated for forestry management activity in the forestry programme but the funding agencies completely ignored the voice. The agencies rather bypassed the government system and implementing the project by a NGO formed by their ex-staffs. In Nepal’s condition the objective of human community and forest capacity of adaptation to climate change by REDD policy can be achieved together only at low extent. Otherwise they get tradeoffs. The research findings also proved that it exists tradeoffs between climate change adaptation and mitigation outcomes of forest management (Amato et al. 2011; and Thompson et al. 2009). Despite the scientific facts and ground realities the international agencies influential in resource management are doing other way. In fact the aid agencies are using their material and symbolic powers to make Nepali community foolish and capture the resource of poor communities to offset carbon emission produced by affulient societies.
1. Amato, A., Bradford,J., Fraver, S. & Palik, B. 2011. Forest management for mitigation and adaptation to climate change: Insights from long-term silviculture experiments. Forest Ecology and Management 262 803-816.
2. Thompson, I., Mackey, B., McNulty, S., & Mosseler, A. 2009. Forest Resilience, Biodiversity, and Climate Change. A synthesis of the biodiversity/resilience/stability relationship in forest ecosystems. Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Montreal. Technical Series no. 43.
Why are not watchdogs effective in developing countries?
It requires strong institutional capacity and uninfluenced environment to work watchdog properly in society. The institutions of watchdogs are very weak in developing countries. Moreover, the watchdogs are manipulated and made dysfunction. The Federation of Community Forestry User Group Nepal (FECOFUN), for instance, is a watchdog in forestry. The body is assumed to represent the interests and act to safeguard the interests and wills of community forest users. The WWF (implement the REDD project funded by the USAID) and ICIMOD (implement the REDD project funded by NORAD) have formed business partnership with the FECOFUN to implement their REDD projects. The key leaders of the FECOFUN body are benefitted (got direct and indirect opportunities and facilities) by the project partnership so they have given little attention on the critical issues created by the REDD project. They are silent on the REDD project activities even though the project has criminalized collection and uses of green non-timber forest products, the daily need goods for living for poor people. The ICIMOD and WWF were aware of potential social problems of REDD programme. The intention of the ICIMOD and WWF to involve the FECOFUN in project implementation is to neutralize potential confrontational position of forest user groups and escape from the blame of any wrong doing. Given the nature of the REDD projects and institutional condition of the FECOFUN it is an absolutely abuse on civil society.
Reality of bad governance
International agencies argue that failure of international development support on environmental management in developing countries is due to bad governance of government. From my understanding the problem of government in developing countries is weak institution but the bad governance is the problem of international agencies which are advising wrong policies and practices for hidden interests. The government agecnies of host countries could not reject the bad policy advices or stop the inappropriate interventions of the international agencies.
Suggestion for FAO
If FAO management is really/honestly dedicated to make benefit socially disadvantaged people in developing countries and improve environmental condition it should research to find a solution to overcome the bad governance of the international agencies. There is hardly any study in this issue. This research would make more benefit in society than the research on PES that FAO presented to discuss in this forum.
Thank you for your time to read my opnions.
Bhubaneswor Dhakal, Nepal