Conflicts at the land-water interface

Can integrated coastal management solve agriculture–fisheries–aquaculture conflicts at the land–water interface? A perspective from New Institutional Economics.

The principles of integrated coastal area management have been widely adopted and advocated by the international community. However, integrated coastal management has been less successful in practice and, in many areas, conflicts over resource use still prevail. This chapter explores the causes for such conflicts from the perspective of New Institutional Economics (NIE). It argues that conflicts are not only the result of competition for resources, but predominantly the outcome of institutional failures, that is, the ability of institutions in place (if not their simple absence) to address coastal zone issues. The case of shrimp culture development in India is used as an illustration of the NIE concepts presented. Decentralization and devolution, when meeting specific institutional requirements identified with NIE as a framework of analysis, are suggested as a suitable reform process to stimulate environmentally and socially sustainable coastal zone development. In this respect, sectoral capacity building of user groups followed by strengthening of local government capacity to integrate and adequately address sectoral concerns are considered as practical measures for improving the efficiency of current coastal zone management schemes.

Brugere, C. (2006) Can integrated coastal management solve agriculture-fisheries-aquaculture conflicts at the land-water interface? A perspective from New Institutional Economics. In: C.T. Huong, T.P. Tuong, J.W. Gowing and B. Hardy (Eds) Environment and Livelihoods in Coastal Tropical Zones: Managing Agriculture – Fishery – Aquaculture conflicts. CGIAR Comprehensive Assessment Series, CABI International, Oxon, pp. 258-273.

The full chapter is available here.

Environment and Livelihoods in Tropical Coastal Zones: Managing Agriculture-Fishery-Aquaculture Conflicts. 
Comprehensive Assessment of Water Management in Agriculture Series. Edited by C Hoanh, Senior Water Resources Specialist, IWMI-SEA, Lao, T Tuong, International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Philippines , J Gowing, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK , B Hardy, International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Philippines. July 2006. CABI, Oxon.




This book contains 22 selected papers focussing on the challenges people face in managing crops, aquaculture, fisheries and related ecosystems in inland areas of coastal zones in the tropics. A priority issue that emerges from the case studies presented in this book is the impact of change on poor people whose livelihoods depend upon open-access resources.

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