Expert Group Meeting on Adopting the Sustainable Livelihoods Approach for Promoting Rural Development in the ESCWA Region تجاوز إلى المحتوى الرئيسي

Expert Group Meeting on Adopting the Sustainable Livelihoods Approach for Promoting Rural Development in the ESCWA Region

شارك: 
21
-
22
كانون الأول/ديسمبر
2009
الموقع: 
Beirut
نوع الفعالية: 
Many forces are currently threatening the natural resource base and the livelihoods of the poor in the ESCWA region. Land degradation and the low productivity of agriculture are a serious threat particularly in rural areas, where there is heavy reliance on natural resources. Climate change is pushing rural livelihoods beyond their adaptive capacity. Global economic forces including the terms of trade are not conducive to rural development and the growth of small producers. The 2008 food crisis triggered a rapid expansion and intensification of agricultural land use and raised the level of pressure on the natural resource base. The current financial crisis is also playing a role in promoting unsustainable practices.
There is a web of interlinked factors affecting natural resource use and the livelihoods of rural
communities in the Region and there is a need for a comprehensive approach to rural development which enables a comprehensive understanding of the social, economic and natural factors within which rural communities make their decisions regarding natural resource use and livelihood strategies in order to protect both the natural resource base and the livelihoods of the people it is supporting.
A variety of approaches have been promoted to enhance sustainable resource management and poverty eradication. The 'Sustainable Livelihoods Approach' (SLA) concept and framework adopted by the Department For International Development (DFID) in the late 1990s represent a new way of thinking with regard to the objectives, scope and priorities for development. SLA places people and their priorities at the centre of development. It focuses poverty reduction interventions on empowering the poor to build on their own opportunities, supporting their access to assets, and developing an enabling policy and institutional environment. Livelihood thinking can make a valuable contribution to help meet the Millennium Development Goals - particularly MDG 1 (Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger) and MDG 7 (Ensure Environmental Sustainability) - as well as the developmental and environmental objectives of Agenda 21.
The origins of livelihoods approaches are linked to the evolution of natural resources management (NRM) thinking. Together with more participatory approaches in NRM, livelihoods approaches have changed the emphasis from focusing primarily on natural resource productivity to placing people at the centre of development. In the past, development initiatives in NRM focused on building natural capital.
Livelihoods approaches highlight the importance of understanding how natural resources combine with other assets, such as financial, physical, social and human capital to sustain and improve poor population livelihoods. Such approaches also address resource governance issues through advocating the need to understand natural resource use in the context of the complex policies, institutions and processes affecting poor population lives.
In order to promote rural development in the region, the Sustainable Development and Productivity Division (SDPD) at ESCWA is organizing an expert group meeting (EGM) on "Adopting the Sustainable Livelihoods Approach for Promoting Rural Development in the ESCWA Region" to advocate the SLA concept and promote its consideration within the region. The meeting will bring together experts from within and outside the region to debate and provide guidance on ways to sustain and improve the livelihoods of the poor in the region.