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Ecological-Economic Considerations in Resource Use Impact Assessment and Management at the Local Level: A Case Study of Nakkhukhda Watershed, Middle Mountains, Nepal

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Tiwari, Dirgha N.
Conference: Common Property Conference, the Second Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Conf. Date: September 26-30, 1991
Date: 1991
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10535/4984
Sector: Water Resource & Irrigation
Region: Middle East & South Asia
Subject(s): IASC
mountain regions
watersheds
resource management
Abstract: "Integration of ecology and economics has increasingly been a major concern towards environmental assessment and management of natural resources for a sustainable future. This paper attempts to adopt the concept of institutional economists on integration of ecology and economics by presenting a case study of Nakkhu watershed in the Middle Mountains of Nepal. The impacts of change in resource use patterns on the physical environments (e.g. change in surface runoff, soil erosion rates) are estimated with application of empirical models using Geographical Information System techniques. Local peoples' perceptions on the changing environment and the effectiveness of government conservation policy and management actions are presented. A cause and effect loop diagram is developed, to determine whether the cause is ecological or economic in nature. Inappropriate government policies and programs lacking a clear definition of property rights and enforcement of the formulated policies, rather than the ignorance of the local people, were found to be the major causes of resource degradation. Carrying capacity of the watershed is estimated, policy challenges are presented and resource management actions are outlined. The carrying capacity analysis indicated a relative and absolute scarcity of the natural resources. The scale of the problem identified is very large in comparison to the government's present management efforts. Therefore, a farmer-based solution with the involvement of the local communities and the required administrative and legal processes to share the power and resources with them are suggested."

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