Policies for Sustainable Development: The Roles of Watershed Management

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"The basic points made in this policy brief are that: * Watershed management and upland conservation provide a means to achieve sustainable land and water resource management. * Poor management of natural resources on watersheds is a major cause of land and water degradation and rural poverty in the world today. * The main cause of such mismanagement is lack of appropriate policies that encourage application of known watershed management principles and practices, including both structural and vegetation management options. * Because watershed boundaries seldom coincide with political boundaries, the environmental point of view that favors watershed boundaries often conflicts with the political point of view that logically favors political boundaries. * The main policy challenge is to move toward greater integration of the two points of view. * This involves establishing and implementing policies so that people become responsible for the impacts of their actions on others outside their normal decision-making context (internalize the externalities, as economists say). * We show several ways to internalize the externalities."



watersheds, sustainability, resource management