Wednesday, February 18, 2009



Meeting at the Senior Divisional Office

-discussion of watershed committee, community and caretaker responsibility vis-a-vis the water catchment area.
-what is a water catchment area? defined as the appropriate buffers around a spring or stream
-importance of trees to water catchments and consequences of bush-fires on such areas. thus, the importance of preventing the effects of bush-fires on water catchment areas.

-one of the delegate's [for agriculture and rural development, i think] and a representative of local graziers warned that land-grabs in the name of protecting water catchment areas from bush fires could encroach on the graziers' way of life.

-the delegate called for "cultural sensitivity for the sake of common development." communal grazing and bush-fires are long-standing land tenure and management system for these people. still unsure whether large cattle population can be sustained on improved pasture.

-hmmm... these are farmer-grazier tensions thinly-veiled behind discussion of bush-fires vs. water catchment protection.


  1. these are my notes from a meeting i attended at the SDO office... uncanny how timely this meeting, and the issues it raises about trees and watersheds, was in regard to what maggie and i were teaching our students.

    see the series of posts on farmer-grazier tensions in wum for more background information:

    all this makes much more sense to me after several more years of community-based development work and a couple graduate courses on the anthropology of environment and development.

    the most dangerous (cultural or political) biases are the ones you can't see. they're veiled behind notions of environmental protection or development... and when people they affect protest, we're all supposed to wonder why?

    there's much more to this farmer-grazier issue, of course... and it'll come up again. all sides had/have their biases. including me. just wish i knew a little more about managing and mediating these issues back then. i just listened and learned.


  2. this entry has savory's holistic management written all over it.


    doesn't it? just wish i had the book back then... though i'm not sure how much it would've helped without knowing what i know now about the cultural issues behind conservation & development.

    that said, HM is (finally) next on my book list! ;)

  4. if you read it while working on this blog, would be interesting to see how it affects your retrospective. i've actually been applying some HM concepts to a non-environmental issue lately.

  5. tell me more!... via email, if you like.

    as for blogging and reading HM... i'm sure that'll be the case. i still have another year in cameroon in my journals!

    sometimes i get the urge to sit down and bang out a couple months of blog posts / journal entries at a time.

    peace :)