The publications reviewed here were selected for their pertinence. SARD-related publications of FAO are also reviewed on the appropriate pages of the SARD Initiative Web Site
Role of Culture in the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States
“Culture as the Fourth Pillar of Sustainable Development” is the title of the paper recently published by UNESCO after the plenary panel organized on the “Role of Culture in the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States (SIDS)” during an International Review Meeting in Mauritius in January 2005. Beyond contemporary mainstream notions of sustainable development - a tri-dimensional concept featuring the interface between environment, economic and social sustainability - the concept has matured and opened up for further reflection on emerging issues. Among these, culture has been identified as an additional pillar of sustainable development. Thus, it is proposed that an alternative approach to sustainable development integrates cultural identity, self-reliance, social justice and ecological balance. The paper aims at facilitating greater policy space and choice by developing countries and SIDS in particular. More details on UNESCO's role and contribution to the further implementation of the UN Program of Action for the Sustainable Development of SIDS are available at www.unesco.org/en/sids
People-centred approaches: A brief literature review and comparison of types
The Livelihood Support Programme Working Paper Number 5 aims to give a concise overview of some people-centred approaches to rural development that are being used, or have been used, in different areas of the world. The approaches covered here are the sustainable livelihoods approach, as is being developed by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID); the land management approach (gestion de terroirs); the farming systems approach; and some approaches that have been emerging from Latin America, and in particular territorial planning approach (ordenamiento territorial). This review can be seen as simply a general overview of some existing literature on the different approaches and lessons that have been learned from them.
Farming systems and poverty
The book Farming systems and poverty: Improving farmers' livelihoods in a changing world presents the results of a joint FAO and World Bank study published in 2001. Besides contributing to the updating of the World Bank Rural Development Strategy, the book addresses questions that are crucial for the wider community of experts working on SARD: what are likely to be the most successful strategies for small farmers in farming systems that are judged to have the greatest potential for poverty and hunger reduction and economic growth, and what sort of initiatives can best help farmers to realize them?
Renewable energy for sustainable agriculture and rural development in Honduras
This paper examines the collaborative efforts between FAO and national institutions in Honduras and illustrates how community demand led to the integration of renewable energy projects in the country's overall rural development programme.
Improving Access to Natural Resources for the Rural Poor: The experience of FAO and of other key organisations from a sustainable livelihoods perspective
This report identifies FAO’s activities concerning access to natural resources (ANR). It contains a brief overview of FAO’s ANR activities by department, with particular regard to those that are most relevant for sustainable livelihood approaches.
The Economics of Farm Animal Genetic Resource Conservation and Sustainable Use: Why is it important and what have we learned?
This Background Study Paper (Number 21) was prepared by FAO for the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.
Participatory Policy Development for Lowland Rain-fed Rice-Based Farming Systems
The Asian NGO Coalition for Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (ANGOC) has published a report, “Participatory Policy Development for the Lowland Rain-fed Rice-Based Farming Systems towards Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development: A Case Study of Nueva Ecija, Philippines,” with the support of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and as part of the SARD Farming Systems Evolution project.
The study looked at the lowland rain-fed rice-based farming system at the national, territorial and farming systems levels. In order to discover whether this system is sustainable, two scenarios were developed and examined; a status quo scenario where current trends were extended into the future, and a “what if” scenario which was a projection of what could happen if realistic interventions occur. The study concludes that social equity is the major challenge for achieving sustainability and rural development. Sustainable agriculture was also found to be the best hope for farmers in these areas, as lower costs of inputs are needed to sustain farming activities and better yields are achieved over time.
Evolution of agricultural systems in Latin America: Workshop proceedings
Some 40 delegates representing governments, international oganizations and NGOs from Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Venezuela participated in a regional workshop on 13-15 July 2004 in Honduras, on the evolution of agricultural systems. Different agricultural systems were examined and proposals were made for innovative policies and strategies.