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Institutional arrangements for integrated land and water managementWater users? organisations, river basin organisations, and land and water managemen  

Institutional arrangements for integrated land and water managementWater users? organisations, river basin organisations, and land and water managemen

This paper presents selected experiences and recent case studies on institutional arrangements for integrated watershed management. It explores coordination mechanisms and capacity building of relevant institutions which includes water users? organizations, river basin organizations, and land and water management institutions within government departments. Institutional arrangements and capacity development approaches at the national river basin and watershed levels are illustrated taking as a case study GTZ supported watershed management projects in India as well as examples from the MRC-GTZ watershed management program. The case study from India shows how a very successful model for local capacity building has been developed and implemented. The model illustrates that carefully designed-watershed management programs promote livelihoods and poverty reduction in poor rural communities. Participation and building up local institution like self-help groups, water users committees and the involvement of the local administration are success factors of this model. The model from India is limited to experiences from the local level while the examples from the MRC-GTZ watershed management program show how a multilevel approach to water and land management is established. This approach builds the institutional base for integrated water and land management. At the national level, a review of roles of actors, policies and plans, legislation and committees was undertaken. Institutional links between the watershed level with the river-basin level were developed. The third case study shows how local institutions develop a watershed plan of action and how higher level institutions support them. A fourth case study presents institutional arrangements for benefit-sharing and payment for ecosystem services based on royalties from hydropower which are implemented in Asia. Three major points have emerged out of the recent discussion reflected in the documents submitted to the conference and reviewed for the inception paper. The paper reveals that there is no ?one size fits all? approach to watershed management due to the varying institutional and regulatory settings in different countries. However, the more successful institutional arrangements for watershed management build on the involvement of all relevant stakeholders and address a wider socio-economic development process. The Indian model shows that poverty can only be addressed by participatory land and water management at the local level. Institutions like river-basin commissions or watershed development committees have been built up for the last years: but challenges regarding their mandate and competencies remain. Sometimes it is not clear, which problems those institutions shall address. The institutional settings can be formal and part of the government system often attached to mandated line agencies such as agriculture or water resources. In other cases, they might be more flexible structures that have no direct institutional linkages, but are based on guidelines provided by government or stakeholder groups. The main challenge in integrated watershed management is the horizontal coordination between institutions to ensure the integration of watershed issues into sector and development plans of different technical departments as well as local government administrations. The advantages of coordination are reduced transaction costs and improved quality of the service. Whilst in most countries national policies on institutional arrangements for watershed management exist, they hardly ever are implemented at a larger scale. Most often policies do neither provide clear mandates for the local level administration to coordinate watershed management, nor do they allocate the financial means for its implementation. Moreover, at local levels there is a general lack of technical and managerial capacities, necessary to promote successful watershed management. However, river basin organisations at the sub-national level with clear responsibilities and mandates are becoming more and more important players. The local level administration needs the mandate for decision making, the technical capacity and the financial means implementing land and water management. Community-based organisations play a major role at the local level because they allow collective action, demand-driven interventions and decentralised decision-making. Capacity building is necessary at all levels, especially at the local level. Challenges remain to develop new concepts for institutions. The case studies show that targeted interventions are necessary for the poor and for women. Institutions i.e. state programs and property rights have to be designed in a way that they set economic incentives for individuals. Institutions for conflict resolution are necessary because of the increasingly competing demands for water from different sectors or social groups. Benefit-sharing institutions or payment for ecosystem services are instruments to avoid or resolve upcoming conflicts about the use of water. This paper presents selected experiences and recent case studies on institutional arrangements for integrated watershed management. It explores coordination mechanisms and capacity building of relevant institutions which includes water users? organizations, river basin organizations, and land and water management institutions within government departments.

Published by: MRC-GTZ-Watershed Management Program -
Uploaded on: Feb 2010
File size: 614 KB - Language: English
Keyword(s): Capacity Building , Institutional Framework , Watershed Management
Category: Inland Waters

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