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New Books – Securing Land Rights

Agroecology and Advocacy Innovations in Asia

Agroecology and Advocacy: Innovations in Asia

Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) and the Asian Farmers’ Association for Sustainable Rural Development (AFA); October 2011; available at www.asianfarmers.org and www.iatp.org.

Rising food prices, climate change and food riots have put agriculture high on the international agenda. Too much of the current policy debate focuses narrowly on increasing the volume of food, and assumes that industrial agriculture and biotechnology are the only options for feeding a growing global population. Alternatives do exist. The Asian Farmers’ Association for Sustainable Development and the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy have produced a new report documenting successful approaches in three countries – Cambodia, Phillippines and Indonesia.

These cases illustrate effective local and national actions. International advocacy is also needed, both to establish the norms that define sustainable agriculture and to influence funding priorities.

The Rio+20 Summit in 2012, for example, focuses on how best to define the Green Economy, including sustainable agriculture. New initiatives at the UNFCCC, and by international financial institutions and donors, to address the impacts of climate change on agriculture will also serve to establish the kind of agriculture best suited to confront environmental challenges while feeding the planet. The Asian Farmers Association and the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy hope that these studies will contribute to work with allies in the farm, faith and development communities to influence these processes and support agroecology around the world.

Facilitating Infrastructure Development in India ADB’s Experience and Best

Facilitating Infrastructure Development in India: ADB’s Experience and Best Practices in Project Implementation

Asian Development Bank, October 2011, ISBN: 978-92-9092-455-5 (print), 978-92-9092-456-2 (web)

Asian Development Bank (ADB) has been working in partnership with the Government of India, state governments, and executing agencies to facilitate infrastructure development towards meeting the nation’s economic and human development goals. It has supported almost 160 projects across eight infrastructure sectors in over 20 states of the country. During the course of project implementation, ADB has encountered a number of challenges which have been addressed and resolved over time through consensus-based interventions and practices. This publication presents a compendium of such interventions and best practices conceived through joint portfolio reviews and consultations between ADB, GOI, and executing agencies. It is a valuable source of information and guidance for functionaries in infrastructure development and service provision.

Gender and Green Governance

Gender and Green Governance

The Political Economy of Women’s Presence Within and Beyond Community Forestry

Bina Agarwal; ISBN-978-0-19-956968-7, Oxford University Press; Hardback; 469 pages; July 2010

Economists studying environmental collective action and green governance have paid little attention to gender. Research on gender and green governance in other disciplines has focused mainly on women’s near absence from forestry institutions. This interdisciplinary book turns that focus on its head to ask: what if women were present in these institutions? What difference would that make?

Would women’s inclusion in forest governance – undeniably important for equity – also affect decisions on forest use and outcomes for conservation and subsistence? Are women’s interests in forests different from men’s? Would women’s presence lead to better forests and more equitable access? Does it matter which class of women governs? And how large a presence of women would make an impact? Answers to these questions can prove foundational for effective environmental governance. Yet they have hardly been empirically investigated.

In an analysis that is conceptually sophisticated and statistically rigorous, using primary data on community forestry institutions in India and Nepal, this book is the first major study to comprehensively address these wide-ranging issues. It traces women’s history of exclusion from public institutions, the factors which constrain their effective participation, and how those constraints can be overcome. It outlines how strategic partnerships between forestry and other civil society institutions could strengthen rural women’s bargaining power with community and government. And it examines the complexities of eliciting government accountability in addressing poor rural women’s needs, such as for clean domestic fuel and access to the commons.

India Development Report 2011

India Development Report 2011

D.M. Nachane; ISBN: 978-0-19-807153-2; Oxford University Press; Paperback; June 2011; 304 pages.

The Indian economy continues to baffle and defy any facile analysis. On the one hand, we see a remarkable success story in India’s growth record and macroeconomic stability. On the other, there are fault lines in the reforms strategy that have resulted in growing inequalities, low levels of employment, and agrarian distress. This India Development Report (IDR) takes on the ambitious task of a critical assessment of two decades of structural reforms, with some prognostication about the face of the future. This volume, the sixth in the IDR series, examines:

• Food security and agrarian crises
• Poverty and inequality
• Energy insecurity
• Disasters and environmental challenges
• Industrial performance and regional disparities in manufacturing growth
• Role of auditors in governance
• Performance of the telecommunications industry
• Trade liberalization and India’s export sophistication
• Capital inflows and policy choices
• Outreach of banking services
• Employment and industrial relations

 

Poverty and Social Exclusion in India

Poverty and Social Exclusion in India

The World Bank; ISBN: 978-0-8213-8690-3;Paperback; 188 pages; April 2011 contact books@worldbank.org.

Despite India’s record of rapid economic growth and poverty reduction over recent decades, rising inequality in the country has been a subject of concern among policy makers, academics, and activists alike.

Poverty and Social Exclusion in India focuses on social exclusion, which has its roots in India’s historical divisions along lines of caste, tribe, and the excluded sex, that is, women. These inequalities are more structural in nature and have kept entire groups trapped, unable to take advantage of opportunities that economic growth offers. Culturally rooted systems perpetuate inequality, and, rather than a culture of poverty that afflicts disadvantaged groups. It is, in fact, these inequality traps that prevent these groups from breaking out. Combining rigorous quantitative research with a discussion of these underlying processes, this book finds that exclusion can be explained by inequality in opportunities, inequality in access to markets, and inequality in voice and agency.

This report will be of interest to policy makers, development practitioners, social scientists, and academics working to foster equality in India.

Towards a Green Economy Pathways to Sustainable Development and Poverty

Towards a Green Economy: Pathways to Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication

UNEP, 2011, ISBN: 978-92-807-3143-9  www.unep.org/greeneconomy

Towards a Green Economy is among UNEP’s key contributions to the Rio+20 process and the overall goal of addressing poverty and delivering a sustainable 21st century. The report makes a compelling economic and social case for investing two per cent of global GDP in greening ten central sectors of the economy in order to shift development and unleash public and private capital flows onto a low-carbon, resource-efficient path.