The nexus between integrated natural resources management and integrated water resources management in southern Africa uri icon

abstract

  • The low productivity of smallholder farming systems and enterprises in the drier areas of the developing world can be attributed mainly to the limited resources of farming households and the application of inappropriate skills and practices that can lead to the degradation of the natural resource base. This lack of development, particularly in southern Africa, is of growing concern from both an agricultural and environmental perspective. To address this lack of progress, two development paradigms that improve land and water productivity have evolved, somewhat independently, from different scientific constituencies. One championed by the International Agricultural Research constituency is Integrated Natural Resource Management (INRM), whilst the second championed predominantly by Environmental and Civil Engineering constituencies is Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM). As a result of similar objectives of working towards the millennium development goals of improved food security and environmental sustainability, there exists a nexus between the constituencies of the two paradigms, particularly in terms of appreciating the lessons learned. In this paper lessons are drawn from past INRM research that may have particular relevance to IWRM scientists as they re-direct their focus from blue water issues to green water issues, and vice-versa. Case studies are drawn from the management of water quality for irrigation, green water productivity and a convergence of INRM and IWRM in the management of gold panning in southern Zimbabwe. One point that is abundantly clear from both constituencies is that ?one-size-fits-all? or silver bullet solutions that are generally applicable for the enhancement of blue water management/formal irrigation simply do not exist for the smallholder rainfed systems

publication date

  • 2008
  • 2008