Number of Downlaods: 41
Published Date: Dec 11, 2012
Jointly published by SDPI and Sang-e-Meel
Over the past five to six years, there has been much debate, discussion and argumentation about the multiple crises the world has been grappling with, forcing governments and other institutions alike to critically evaluate systemic concerns linked to local, national and global institutions and structures. This book showcases research conducted by academics from the North and South that tries to provide unique and fresh perspective about how some of the challenges South Asia faces can be tackled using innovative, local and ‘redefined’ initiatives and ideas. The purpose of this book is to share the lessons learned, advice and recommendations from advocates in the field of economics, environment, public policy, social sciences and beyond.
Section 1 on New Directions in Energy Sustainability and Climate Change explores transformative advances in energy sciences given the complex challenges posed by climate change to modern technology requiring researchers to delve into unfamiliar territory such as hydrogen energy especially in a country like Pakistan. While fuel cells and a hydrogen infrastructure can together pave a sustainable energy future for the country, the state has to play a critical role in encouraging and funding R and D in alternative energy. The feasibility of bringing state forests under a community based, participatory institutional framework for effective management of forest resources for Uttarkhand State in Himalaya, India, is discussed at length in chapter two. The third chapter draws linkages between climate change and food security from the perspective of farmers from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan, and recommends establishment of food bank, knowledge sharing and investing in climate resilient agriculture.
Section 2 on Sustainable Livelihood Options and Local Communities first discusses the case of Sri Lankan fisher community and provides indicative insights into the tensions between local and migratory fishermen based on perceptions of inequality and identity, manifesting themselves in competition for a rapidly declining resource. The case identifies several creative and alternative practices for peaceful co-existence. The next two chapters on Nepal look at the political economy of existing land distribution in the country that has caused social exclusion, injustice, inequity and disparity leading to skewed power relations; and the inspiring story of remote Nangi village where installation of a wireless fiber (wi-fi) project has left remarkable impacts on lives of the local populace from online selling and buying portals; virtual educational classes to an operational tele-medicine clinic supplementing the lack of medical facilities in the village.
Section 3 on Readapting Forest Management deals with the historical and legal nuances of forest ownership in Swat district of Pakistan contested by both the state and the people. Based on archival record, statutory and oral sources, the paper calls for immediate and urgent action to resolve the crisis of ownership before it escalates into potential conflict. Highlighting Nepal’s community forestry model, the second paper in this section discusses five innovative interventions for implementing REDD+ including community based monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV); creating forest carbon additionality and permanence; establishment of a Forest Carbon Trust Fund; formalised distribution of REDD+ payment to local communities; and initiation of institutional and biophysical bundling.
Section 4 on Interrogating Religious and Gender Identities first traces the historical trajectory of a religiously and legally defined citizenry in Pakistan. It argues that Pakistan’s political elite instrumentalised Islam as a means of forging an all-inclusive national identity in a state marked with religious plurality and ethnic diversity, by creating distinctions between Muslim and non-Muslim citizens of the country. The chapter on Palestinian women’s movement recommends that the movement needs to find strategies that maintain the connection between achieving Palestinian national rights and women’s rights, which has the potential to create conditions conducive to reaching women in all sectors of Palestinian society, not just the elite and educated. For women to benefit from both collective and individual rights, stable democracy and economy as well as a robust civil society is crucial.
Section 5 on Integrating Policy Processes with Trade and Development first explores an empirical study of consumer welfare impact of SAFTA on Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. It highlights the need of trade policy reforms at the regional level in South Asia in order to fuel growth of trade relationship, resulting in better trade facilitation measures, procedural ease and economies of scale in the transport sector, better returns and rents from investments in trade infrastructure and additional incentives for private enterprises to explore regional markets. The next chapter in this section shares finding of a Policy Community Survey that points out that while policy makers in South Asia have a positive view of the quality of policy making processes, research-based evidence is often hard to get, and its usefulness and quality questioned. The study suggests that think tanks should work to build more trust with policy actors in government, and ensure that their findings are easily accessible, relevant and hi-quality over time, in a region where post MDG development agendas continue to unfold in highly dynamic political, economic and social contexts. Through the lens of reflexive governance, the final chapter of this book focuses on the emergence of new kinds of institutions, strategies, processes and interactions in the local governance system in post conflict rural Nepal. It shows how differently positioned people enact, subvert, and resist local governance and development projects; and, how local governance transpires through ordinary people’s participation, networked arrangements and articulation of local state authority and civil-society.
Sarah S. Aneel