Economics, Management and Sustainability by Unknown

Economics, Management and Sustainability by Unknown

Language: eng
Format: epub
ISBN: 9789811318948
Publisher: Springer Singapore

Part III

Sustainability and Corporate Governance

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Partha Ray, Runa Sarkar and Anindya Sen (eds.)Economics, Management and Sustainabilityhttps://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-1894-8_9

Sustainable Eco-Management: Participatory Mechanisms and Institutions

Sarmila Banerjee1

(1)University of Calcutta, Kolkata, India

Sarmila Banerjee

Email: [email protected]

Participatory approach in managing development projects and programs in poor countries has emerged in response to global demands for greater individual and societal control over the activities of state and private agencies, and especially to the overt failures of traditional ‘top-down’ management systems in LDCs (Brett 2003). Beneficiary participation is a special form of decentralized development management where the development projects are locally implementable and the micromanagement is coordinated with the macro-priorities to ensure long-term sustainability. Here, not only do the local authorities take decisions at the local level but there is a harmonious interaction among the provider, regulator and the service recipient (Chopra and Kadekodi 1991; Paul 1989). In fact, it is a cooperative management approach where all stakeholders would take up an active role and enjoy equal status in the process of decision making and execution. The programs are motivated mostly by livelihood approach with high values attached to an enhanced access to social capital. Drawing examples from Canadian inland small-scale fisheries, it has been shown by Berkes (2003) that instead of a top-down experts-know-best type control-oriented management strategy, a participatory approach can guarantee better sustainable livelihood where social and ecological combination of governance practices through coping, learning and adaptation is capable of delivering more resilient outcomes.

However, it has been shown by many social scientists that though the participatory approach is conceptually more democratic, its success potential is highly dependent on the local conditions. Experience shows that co-management regimes can set into motion new conflicts or cause old ones to escalate. Instead of contributing to local empowerment, such arrangements may further marginalize communities and resource users (Castro and Nielsen 2001). Sarkar and Sinha (2015) proposed an exploratory framework to study development management from the perspective of strategic interventions where the specific requirements for the success of the participatory approach have been nicely schematized. The participatory approach commonly fails in contexts where local conditions make cooperative and collective action very difficult, or where it is manipulated by implementing agencies to justify their own actions and/or poor performance. In practice, the result may not be power sharing but rather a strengthening of the state’s control over resource policy, management and allocation. Instead of contributing to local empowerment, such arrangements may further marginalize communities and resource users and make the program non-viable.

This chapter draws on a number of studies conducted by the present author and her co-researchers between 2007 and 2014 on different rural, peri-urban and urban pockets of the state of West Bengal, India, focusing on ecologically sustainable management of natural resource and environment like social forestry, wetland fisheries and municipal solid waste disposal in a co-management framework with active beneficiary participation.1 Since the contexts are distinct, there was variation in the notion of sustainable management itself and in the composition of the stakeholder groups. The design of


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