Natural Resource Management

Practical Action works with communities to strengthen the abilities of farmers, livestock keepers, fisherfolk and the landless poor to gain access to, and have control over natural resources, as well as building capacity for management, conservation and sustainable use of these resources. This relates to resources such as land, forests and water, and reconciling competing demands and trade-offs around such resources. Natural resource management is also necessary for the effective functioning of ecosystems which in turn help to guard against natural hazards. Mangroves, dunes, hills and reefs all play important roles in natural regulation against natural hazards. If these resources are depleted then this in turn will lead to increased frequency and intensity of natural hazards.

Secure access to natural productive resources is particularly important for poor communities in order for them to be able to plan for their future and use their resources effectively and sustainably. However, access to natural resources is often contested between different social groups and this often results in the poorest being excluded.

In Bangladesh there is conflict over communal fishing resources, a consensus building approach has been used to promote equal access by rich and poor to communal fishing resources. Practical Action facilitated a Water Body Management Committee to oversee the management of the common resource pool and to distribute profits equally. Through taking responsibility the water body committee has also ensured that this natural resource is not over exploited due to over fishing. For more information on our consensus building approach, please see "Voices From the Margins".

Case studies

Adapting Technologies: Rice in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka has experienced an increase in temperatures and relatively low rainfall for an extended period over the last 20 years, leading to a decrease in ground water levels. At the same time, increased sea levels have also caused sea water intrusion into coastal lagoons and estuary systems, c...

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Facilitating natural production techniques in Peru

Practical Action has been working with Awajun communities in the Alto Mayo region, to facilitate the utilization and recovery of forests through increased seed production, planting of natives trees in coffee farms, and training the community in better agricultural techniques.

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Facilitating Access to Sandbars in Bangladesh

Practical Action is working to facilitate access to common property resources for the ultra poor in Bangladesh living on flood protection embankments close to the edge of rivers. Every year millions of people are affected by sudden shifts in the river courses that destroy their crops, farm lan...

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Natural Resource Regeneration in Darfur

North Darfur is one of the most drought prone areas of Sudan. 80% of the 1.75 population of Darfur live in rural areas where their lives and livelihoods rely on natural resources for farming, herding and agricultural trade. Low and unpredictable rainfall have placed resources and livelihoods u...

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Building Diversity through Seed Fairs in Kenya

Growing a diversity of crops or crop varieties reduces risk of failure of one particular crop due to pests or drought. Practical Action works towards ensuring that local seeds are valued and are able to be shared in order to preserve diversity for future generations in an effort to build more ...

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Lagoon Management in Sri Lanka

In Sri Lanka the livelihoods of small scale lagoon fishermen and women are under threat and Practical Action has been using community based fisheries management approaches to strengthen lagoon livelihoods. Lagoons in Sri Lanka have not only been damaged by the Tsunami, but have also undergone ...

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