Archive

Rural Economic Development, Edition 2005/01
Johannesburg Two years on - Democratization - Transfrontier Development

Johannesburg Two years on

Johannesburg two years on - From vision to action

The Johannesburg Summit was a sober event, but it was not a step backwards. It showed that even in times of globalization, the guiding vision of development remains valid; development that aims to achieve more global justice today while taking account of the consequences for coming generations. For the first time, a major international conference considered the consequences of globalization for development in holistic terms. Johannesburg was thus of added value for multilateralism.
 
Peter Christmann
German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Bonn, Germany
Christmann(at)bmz.bund.de

Johannesburg from the NGO perspective: The moment of truth

Ten years after the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, another UN conference  'the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD)' was supposed to rekindle the world's interest in the urgent global problems of environment and poverty.Two years on, this global event is hardly ever mentioned. The International Conference for Renewable Energies, held in Bonn in June 2004, seems to be the only follow-up event engendering any kind of hope.
 
Barbara Unmüßig
Heinrich Böll Foundation
Berlin, Germany
unmuessig(at)boell.de

Land, energy and water Johannesburg and MDG implementation

Together with the UN's 2000 Millennium Summit in New York and the 2002 Conference on Financing for Development in Monterrey, the Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) marks a new phase in efforts to achieve a global partnership between industrial nations and countries with developing and transitional economies. The MDGs were validated in explicit terms in Johannesburg, with stronger linkages being forged between environmental sustainability and poverty reduction.
 
Cordula Müller
Dr. Klemens van de Sand
German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Bonn, Germany
Cordula.Mueller(at)bmz.bund.de

Water: Both a public good and a human right?

"Water for all!" This target dominates the international debate around the global water supply challenge - all the more so in the wake of the United Nation's freshwater decade in the 1980s. Water is a public good, or so say some. Indeed, in their opinion, a human right to water should ensure free access to this resource. But, others ask who will provide it and who is going to pay for it! In their mind,water should be recognized as a scarce, economic commodity.
 
Claudia Arce
Antje Maume
KfW Development Bank
Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Claudia.Arce(at)kfw.de

Access to land: A human right?

Is access to land and its usage a human right? If so, how does this right fit into the international catalogue of basic rights? Is «equitable» access to land a precondition to attaining the Millennium Development Goals? Or is it merely of importance in states that are more dependent on agriculture? Is it not fair to say that the systematic integration of land access into programmes targeting democratization, good governance and economic reform already presupposes an acceptance of the «human right to land»?
 
Christian Graefen
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)
Eschborn, Germany
Christian.Graefen(at)gtz.de

Prof. Dr. Michael Kirk
Marburg University, Germany
Michael.Kirk(at)wiwi-uni-marburg.de

Access to land and water: Key elements of the human right to food?

The debate on economic, social and cultural human rights is still relatively new, as is the question of whether access to land and water actually constitutes such a right at all. And yet, does the discussion actually help us to handle problems relating to hunger and a lack of water supplies any better? Does development cooperation benefit from it, or does enshrining access in the form of rights lead to overly complex distribution problems and economic inefficiency?
 
Michael Windfuhr
FIAN International
Heidelberg, Germany
windfuhr(at)fian.org

Democratization

Challenges for democracy in rural communities

After the failure of development models based on central-state structures, many developing and transition countries are now undertaking comprehensive reform processes.They aim to strengthen subnational governments and administrations and empower people to participate in politics so that democratic structures and processes can be shaped at local level.
 
Dr Armin K. Nolti
ng
Armin.Nolting(at)gtz.de

Eike Ulrich Vater
Eike.Vater(at)gtz.de
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)
Eschborn, Germany

Local elections: A driving force for local democracy?

The democratization of political systems in many developing countries has often been triggered by urban protest movements.The ousting of unpopular autocrats are key moments in these transition processes. However, major time lags occur in adopting legislation that establishes elected bodies at regional or local level too. In this context, local councils face numerous challenges. In many countries, they must first identify their role and secure their position.
 
Prof. Christof Hartmann
Ruhr University, Institute of Development Research and Development Policy
Bochum, Germany
Christof.Hartmann(at)ruhr-unibochum.de

Democracy and empowerment: Guaranteeing more stability or triggering new conflict?

After dictator Suharto stepped down in 1998, Indonesia embarked on the difficult path towards democracy - difficult, not least, because expectations were too high and the pace of democratization was too slow.This led to numerous violent conflicts. But not all of them should be blamed on the transition from dictatorship to democracy.
 
Dr. Rainer Adam
Friedrich Naumann Foundation
Jakarta, Indonesia
Fnsindo1(at)rad.net.id

Kenya after Moi Waiting for more democracy

Kenya has become a focus of political attention since the country's peaceful change of power in 2002.The hand-over of power from Daniel arap Moi to Mwai Kibaki raised hopes of economic recovery and more democracy. For the majority of the population, however, neither of these hopes has yet been fulfilled. The initial enthusiasm has given way to a painful process of disillusionment and a mood of scepticism.
 
Dr. Roland Schwartz
Friedrich Ebert Foundation
Nairobi, Kenya
Kenia(at)fes.de

Between reform-mindedness and denial China's long march towards political reform

«China is now the largest laboratory of economic, social and political change in human history» according to Chinese political scientist Zhang Weiwei in a recent editorial in the International Herald Tribune.That may sound like hyperbole ? but given the pace and radical nature of the economic and social transformation process which the country, with its 1.3 billion-strong population, has undergone since the reform policies were launched 25 years ago, it really is no exaggeration.
 
Jürgen Kahl
Neue Zürcher Zeitung
Erkrath, Germany
kahl-sung(at)t-online.de

«Power is reverting to the land» Democratization in rural West Africa

Decentralization and municipal development are seen as key elements fostering democracy and good governance in West Africa. Rural communities are expected to perform the functions transferred to them effectively and in line with citizens' needs, and to create new impetus for rural development and poverty reduction. However, limited capacities and institutional deficits are hampering the delivery of services and the creation of democratic legitimacy. Development cooperation can play a targeted role here in supporting the learning process of rural actors.
 
Dr Dirk Betke
Programme d'Appui aux Collectivités Territoriales (PACT)
Bamako, Mali
dirk.betke(at)gtz.de

Karl-Peter Kirsch-Jung
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)
Eschborn, Germany
karl-peter.kirsch-jung(at)gtz.de

The process of democratic opening in Cameroon Farmers' organizations in political dialogue

Cameroon's process of democratic opening, ongoing since the beginning of the 1990s, has gradually changed the relationship between the state and the farmers' organizations, which are becoming accepted as partners in political dialogue. Nonetheless, the extent to which the farmers' organizations are able to influence the country's politics remains to be seen.
 
Martin Nzegang
Service d'Appui aux Initiatives Locales de Développement (SAILD)
Yaoundé, Cameroon
Saild(at)camnet.com

Transfrontier Development

Can intraregional trade agreements bring greater prosperity and peace?

Regional trade agreements (both intra- and interregional) are an essential feature of today's global economy.The process of establishing new regional agreements has continued unabated since the beginning of the 1990s. By December 2002, around 250 such agreements had been notified to the GATT/WTO; over 170 of them currently remain in force, with a further 70 in preparation and therefore yet to be notified. It is estimated that, by 2005, the number of notified agreements could reach 300.
 
Professor Dr Rasul Shams
Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWA)
Hamburg, Germany
Shams(at)hwwa.de

African Transfrontier Conservation Areas: Real benefits?

For Africa Transfrontier Conservation Areas - TFCAs - are still a relatively new phenomenon.They are not considered merely as good vehicles for biodiversity conservation but rather as drivers for social uplifting. Africa has identified tourism as a priority and in this context recognized TFCAs as worthy ventures with multiple potential benefits.To make this potential become a reality it will need political will combined with major donor assistance.
 
Dr Lawrence E.O. Braack
Pretoria, South Africa
braack(at)mweb.co.za

Ralph Kadel
KfW Group - Frankfurt, Germany
Ralph.kadel(at)kfw.de

Thomas Petermann 
InWEnt - Zschortau, Germany
thomas.petermann(at)inwent.org

Prof. Dr Goetz Schuerholz
University of Victoria, Dep. of Geography Duncan B.C., Canada
taesco(at)islandnet.com

The Nile - a bonding element in international cooperation?

The Nile Basin watershed covers one-tenth of Africa's land mass and links a total of ten riparian states. Nine of the countries have come together to form the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI). Its stated objective is sustainable development of water resources for the benefit of all parties. The political set-up is explosive. Germany has committed long-term support to the NBI, with the intention of contributing to crisis prevention in that region of Africa.
 
Thomas Schild,
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)
Eschborn, Germany
Thomas.Schild(at)gtz.de

The North-Western Sahara Aquifer System (NWSAS) Joint management of a transborder water basin

The Sahara-Sahelian region is a desert area, but it has immense groundwater reserves. Although replenishment of these reserves is very slight, their waters are basic to the survival of people and animals in these regions.The North-Western Sahara Aquifer System (NWSAS) is a crossborder resource of fossil waters that are shared by Algeria,Tunisia and Libya and is a source of livelihood and survival for hundreds of thousands of farmers. Now, overexploitation is jeopardising the future of a major area of the Sahara.
 
Chedli Fezzani
Djamel Latrech
Ahmed Mamou

Observatoire du Sahara et du Sahel Tunis, Tunisia
 
Anneke Trux,
GTZ CCD Project
Bonn, Germany
Anneke.Trux(at)gtz.de

Peace through transboundary water management? The Indus Waters Treaty between India and Pakistan

The partitioning of the Punjab («land of five rivers») between the two «arch-rivals» India and Pakistan in the year 1947 tore apart the world's largest irrigation system, which had been created by the British colonial administration. In 1960, the signing of the Indus Waters Treaty establishing the bilateral Indus Water Commission restored an equitable distribution of water between the two countries. Despite friction and ongoing political tensions, so far no war over water has broken out between them.
 
Dr Jürgen Clemens
South Asia Institute of the University of Heidelberg
Heidelberg, Germany
jclemens(at)sai.uni-heidelberg.de

A new management culture for agricultural research in Africa

Agricultural research in sub-Saharan Africa often finds itself in the dock and rarely succeeds in making a convincing case for its productive value to the broader public. As a result, the budget funding made available for agricultural research is very inadequate. Urgent consideration should be given to how agricultural research's positive impacts on rural development can be made more clearly evident.
 
Dr Papa Abdoulaye Seck
General Director - Institut Sénégalais de Recherches Agricoles (ISRA)
Dakar, Senegal
papaseck(at)isra.sn