Current tendencies and main drivers for the Térraba
River Basin, the Greater Kruger Park, the Warana
River Basin, Ba Be National Park and Na Hang
By Alexander López and the team
A scenario is a description of how the future
may unfold based on if-then proposition and
typically consists of a representation of an
initial situation and a description of the key
driving forces and changes that lead to a
particular future state.
Universidad Nacional, Escuela de
Relaciones Internacionales 3
Business as usual are constructed based on
future expectations of continuing present
Fast development is constructed base on the
improvement of current tendencies
The crisis scenario is constructed on how
condition might expect to deteriorate from the
Policy scenario refers to the future effects of
one given policy on drivers
A storyline is a narrative description of a
scenario, which highlights its main features
and the relationships between the scenarios
driving forces and its main features.
Fast development Policy
Crisis Business as usual
What are the (cultural-spiritual, socio-economic, and environmental) drivers that
influence the relationship between biodiversity conservation and sustainable
Foreign oriented market economy.
Development of infrastructure.
Low level of human development.
Protected areas (terrestrial reserves)
Land change cover (vegetation cover)
Tourism and real state development.
External exposure ( handicraft).
Dependency on natural resources.
Syncretism in cultural practices.
A main concern is the trend of ownership
passing to foreign investors through the
purchase of lands by developers or
international real estate firms looking to build
large-scale residential complexes or hotels
which constitute an abrupt and extreme change
in land-use and demand on natural resources.
A total of 18 protected areas are located within
the Grande de Térraba River basin, making up
37.4% of the catchment´s territory .
The International Friendship Park located
within the upper and middle sections of the
basin, is the largest protected area stretching
from the limits of Chirripo National Park
(Costa Rica) to the Panamanian border.
The Térraba-Sierpe National Wetlands has a great
biological variety that supports the subsistence of
surrounding communities. The wetland contains
the largest and most significant quantity and
variety of mangroves in Costa Rica.
The wetlands are also important to the non-
indigenous communities living in and around the
park area who depend on raising livestock and the
extraction of shellfish species like piangua,
Census data from 1973, 1985 and 2000 shows
that the Basin has experienced population
growth of approximately 50.6% over the past
35 years .
Population density in the year 2000 was around
31.9 inhabitants per square kilometer, a
relatively low density when compared to the
national average of 87 inhabitants per square
The area has been historically used for agriculture,
especially extensive farming with a foreign oriented
model, which, over the years, has altered the natural
landscape of the zone.
Pineapple is the recent example. PINDECO produced
around 65% of the pineapple. Starting in 1990 the
company transformed from simple production and began
purchasing portions of the export crops from local
The pineapple industry in the Brunca Region currently
accounts for about 21% of national production, with a
total of 10,815 hectares of plantations and has gone from
its place as the number one zone for pineapple production
to the fourth largest producer in today’s national market.
The introduction of African Oil Palms as cultivars (Elaeis
guineensis) has had a positive impact on the area’s
economy, absorbing labor that would have otherwise
been unoccupied after the disappearance of the large
banana and cacao companies
The Diquís Hydroelectric Plant, PHED, will be the largest dam in
Central America, with a reservoir measuring about 6,815
hectares, of which 800 hectares are currently classified as
Approximately 1,100 people must be relocated to higher ground
within the basin in order for the project to go forward
The Diquís Project has budgeted financial compensation for
those displaced, but the cultural and social attachment of these
inhabitants to their lands remains a significant factor of
opposition to the project, with many claiming that their identity
would be lost if they were forced to be relocated.
Consequences for agriculture in the Basin with the
construction of the Diquís Hydroelectric Project would
be concentrated mainly in modifications of land-use.
Agricultural and livestock production would be most
affected by the flooding of certain areas used for
permanent and seasonal crops, as well as grazing
zones for cattle.
The case study area has been greatly impacted by
real estate development along the Costeña Ridge.
From January 2007 to September 2008 the amount of
construction permits granted has grown 202%, from
around 100 per year to over 735 construction projects
in a span of approximately 20 months.
This real estate “boom” is indicative of a lack of
control and regulation on the part of Osa’s
municipal government (Redondo y Villalobos, 2008).
Socioeconomic indicators for the Brunca
Region indicate very low levels of
development, due to socioeconomic problems
that have impacted the area over the past 25
years, including the closure of the banana
The Brunca Region today is the poorest area of
Costa Rica, with 40.4% of the population living
below the poverty line.
Wages within the Grande de Térraba Basin are
among the lowest in the country, with an
average monthly income of around USD $150.
The national average for monthly income is
USD $554 (MIDEPLAN 2008).
This disparity reflects the quality of
employment available within the area of study,
where benefits and job stability are volatile or
Cultural and spiritual value systems are very closely
related to the way of life with a community, that is to
say forms of subsistence and adaptation to
uncertainty and vulnerability.
Value systems are subject to change over time.
A first element is exposure that in cultural terms
refers to external elements that have a direct impact
in the way of life and natural resource base for the
subsistence of this population.
The external exposure can be seen in the fact that
Costa Rican indigenous communities are quite
integrated in national and international markets for
livestock production and the service sector,
especially those related to tourism.
A second element is syncretism can be seen in the
belief systems. Thus, Sibü (Translation of God in
Boroca language) Cúastram who is a solar deity
who can only be seen by the chiefs.
But ,when the question was asked about Who or
what create nature…they say God, he is the only one
that can make everything.
Autonomous communities with traditional belief
systems have found themselves integrating market
processes, and a new susceptibility to values based
on the accumulation of wealth and consumption
A third element is dependency on natural resources
which can be seen in the production of handicraft.
Handicraft is one of the principal productive
activities in the Boruca community, employing the
majority of the working population.
The “overproduction” of craft items also has a
negative impact on the environment, contributing to
the scarcity of natural resources used in their
fabrication, such as dyes extracted from mangrove
trees as well as from mollusks native to the littoral
The production of Boruca textiles is an economic
activity maintained by many artisans who use
pigments extracted from plants and trees as well as
from shellfish and sea snails in order to create their
own home-made dyes.
The traditional cultural practice of extraction of
natural pigments and dye-making take place in two
areas: gardens or cultivated areas where plants and
flowers were extracted within indigenous
settlements, and the seashore, outside of settlement
Poverty and socio economic stagnation mainly in the
Agriculture development .
Water shortage and water competition.
Health problems related to HIV-Aids.
Water shortage and water competition.
Land use change
Poverty and unemployment.
Poor local governance.
Role of religion and traditions
Dependency on natural resources
Old ways of life versus new one (tradition vrs
The Luvhuvhu Catchment can be divided into
the following four main areas based on land
tenure and type of land use practice 1)
Agriculture; 2) Forestry; 3) Rural settlements;
and 4) the natural reserve
The upper catchment is characterized by its
large scale commercial farming (e.g., irrigated
crops, dry land crops, and rangeland cattle
production), and forestry (mostly state-owned
plantations in the upper catchment).
Conservation areas (including the Kruger
National Park) are found in the lower reaches
of the river and the middle and lower reaches
of the catchment is so-called communal areas.
Intensive irrigation farming is practiced in the upper
Luvuvhu River catchment. Thirteen percent (13%) of
the catchment are privately owned commercial farms
while the majority of plantations, with the exception of
a few small ones, are state-owned.
Approximately 2.8% of the catchment area is covered
with commercial forestry estates and indigenous
Approximately 35% of the land area in the lower
portion of the area falls within the Kruger National
There are two main issues:
The quantity of water which relates to the imbalance
between the supply and demand for water which in turn
also speaks to the effect of floods and droughts
The water quality which speaks to the inappropriate land
uses in the river valleys, the impact of fertilizers and
pesticides as well as the high concentrations of pit latrines in
The competition dynamics of water resources in the
catchment is not solely due to transboundary competition
between the neighboring countries.
Large-scale commercial farming and small-scale farming,
uneven rainfall patterns, agriculture and urban demand, as
well as over-utilization and pollution by various sectors are
part and parcel of the predicament
Over utilization of water resources and pollution arising
from high-density urban settlements, mining and other
industrial development are seen to have an impact on the
social, economic, political and natural environments
The Kruger National park is one of the largest
tourist attractions in South Africa and forms
the eastern border of the study area.
Makuya National park is another conservation
area where tourists can do game driving and
until recently hosted hunting.
The population of Vhembe is 98.74% black. Given
the history of South Africa (Apartheid), 99% of the
people living in Vhembe can be classified as
Previously Disadvantaged People.
About 813,467 people are classified as poor, which
amounts to 65.2% of the total population of Vhembe
The main sectors that employ people from the
Vhembe District are government and agriculture. In
addition, mining and tourism are two of the most
important economic sectors.
Theunemployment rate for Vhembe District stood at
49% in 2006. It rose to this level from 47.7% in 1996.
At the provincial level the rate of unemployment
rose from 44.4% in 1996 to 45.1% in 2006.
While the situation in the Mutale River valley is not
well known, HIV/AIDS is known to severely affect
subsistence agriculture, adding significantly to the
problems of agriculture and food security.
For subsistence agriculture, production depends very
heavily on labour and in poor rural households,
AIDS causes severe labour and economic constraints
that disrupt agricultural activities and aggravate
Limpopo is one of the country’s prime agricultural
regions recognized for the production of a large
variety of products and can be said that is very likely
that continue playing an important role for
agriculture development in the near future.
Of the total land area in Limpopo of 11 960 600 ha,
farmland constitutes about 88.2%, while arable land
comprises 14% estimated that there were about 5000
commercial farming units in the Province.
One area to see the governance problem is the
management of the Makuya park because the
government and the community representatives had
very different views in terms of management of the
park. The main objective of the tribal authorities was
(is) to obtain payment of rents.
The aim of the provincial government on the other
hand was quite the opposite. To hand responsibility
of the Park over to the local communities and with
that end the government’s responsibility for rent,
wages and other costs associated with running it.
Land tenure is a example of governance problems. In the tribal
areas, chiefs and headmen are responsible for the allocation of
land to individuals as well as the demarcation of land.
However, in areas under the jurisdiction of the municipality
(such as Thohoyandou), individuals can purchase land and
obtain private ownership.
The demise of the Apartheid state and the abolition of the
homeland government led to the re-assertion of the autonomy
of individual chiefdoms in the Venda region. Renewed
emphasis was placed on the independence of each Venda
Today, Venda is still made up of 25 traditional authorities, each
constituting a separate Chiefdom.
The role of beliefs involving natural resources. Fors
instance the legend of the python god who lives in
the Lake who cares for their crops.
The Phiphidi Waterfalls is also a well known sacred
site of the Vhavenda as well as the Big Tree which is
the world’s oldest and biggest Baobab tree.
Dependency on natural resources. Many local chiefs make
a point to support older traditions which make provision
for the control and monitoring of the use of natural
resources, particularly the use of wood for firewood, the
use of roots and plants for medicinal purposes.
Some tree species may not be brought home
Some trees are planted to protect the homestead
Important trees that may not be cut (fruit trees, trees
that attract rain)
WARANA RIVER BASIN (INDIA)
Expansion of market economy.
Increasing conflicts and contestation
Increasing identity politics.
Land use changes.
Changing rainfall patterns.
Expansion of market economy.
Infrastructure development .
Human animal conflicts.
Increasing identity politics.
Agriculture traditions (rice)
Traditional law…Dependency on natural
Zone 1 which forms the western part of the
basin is mostly covered with forest, Zone 2, the
central portion, has agricultural land along
with wastelands; and Zone 3, the eastern part
of the basin, is predominantly agricultural
The rainfall pattern in the area is highly variable. The
rainfall is very high in the Western parts of the basin
adjoining Konkan and comprising the Western Ghat
portion of the basin and falls rapidly as we traverse
from West to East.
According to the 2001 census the population density
increases as we go from the West to the East within the
basin. Zone 1, the Westernmost portion of the basin
had a population density of about 130 persons/sq km
while Zone 3, the easternmost portion had a
population density of about 530 persons/sq.
In terms of population growth, the average growth rate
is about 14%, with Zone 1 showing lowest and Zone 2
showing the highest growth rate between 1991 and
The declaration of Chandoli National Park has
increased human-animal conflicts, basically because
crops are trampled or eaten by animals.
In the past, the number of animals entering fields
was significantly less according to respondents, and
the increase of wildlife is making life difficult for
Farming is the main livelihood avenue for the people in the
basin as agriculture has been the most important economic
activity. Nearly 70 per cent of the working population is
engaged in agriculture.
The expansion of the market economy can be seen in zone 3
where commercial farming is dominant. Here sugarcane is
the dominant cash crop.
There is a distinct class of rich farmers or capitalist farmers
who are also in the process of accumulating more and more
agricultural land. Irrigation percentage is high.
The Warana dam is the major dam in the area
with a height of approximately 77 m from the
river bed. Its catchment area is around 301 sq
Another important dam on Potphugi river (a
tributory of Kadavi) is known as the Kadvi
dam. There are also two smaller irrigation
projects are in Paleshwar.
Majority of the people in Warana basin follow Hindu
religion. Hindu religion believes in re-birth and ones
actions in this world would determine what form the
life would take in the re-birth.
Another important demarcating feature is its belief in
social hierarchy and the caste system is closely
associated with the religion (and also access to natural
resources) and at the top of the hierarchy are the
Neo-Budhists constitutes another important religious
grouping in the basin. They are economically very poor
as most of them are landless and constitute the major
section of the landless labour population in the basin.
Over the last two decades or so there has been an
increase in the outward expressions of religion in the
sense of public performance of religious rituals and
But this does not mean that there is an increase in
religiosity or spirituality, because there is an increasing
element of commercialization amongst almost all
religions in the way they celebrate their festivals. One
driver of this is that religion has become an important
political constituency and most of the main stream
SUSTAINABLE LIVELIHOOD AND BIODIVERSITY IN VIETNAM
CURRENT TENDENCIES AND DRIVERS OF
BA BE NATIONAL PARK AND NA HANG
Even though it is difficult to point out the same current
tendencies for the two areas, it can be said that
Development of infrastructure and
Tourism potential are the fours common current
tendencies for the two areas.
Intensive agriculture and changing crop pattern.
Forest development (cover and loss) and
Governance of the protected areas.
Changes in local behavior (tradition vrs
Nomadic practices and shifting cultivation
Diversity of ethnic groups
Production forests are allocated to local
communities. The threat to biodiversity comes from
forest fire and cutting forest for making fields.
According to the government the forest cover will be
above 70% by 2020 en Ba Be and 60% in Na Hang.
The idea in both cases is to promote doing business
in forest. A combination between forest management
and proper forest exploitation.
The main driver in both areas is agriculture
development, people living in Na Hang and Ba Be
have a strong dependency on agriculture and this is
expected to continue in the near future.
Income mostly rely on wet rice plantation. Apart
from rice, maize is important crop.
However, in term of scenarios it is important to pay
attention to changes in crop patterns and there is a
government plan to restructure rural economy
towards commodity production.
In the ecotourism marketplace, Ba Be National Park
competes directly with other nature tourism
destinations in northern Vietnam, they are Halong Bay
(Cat Ba National Park) and the hill tribes of Sa Pa near
Ba Be’s two best comparative advantages are likely to
be the spectacular natural beauty of Lake and the
superior manner in which ecotourism in the Park is
There are also other opportunities for soft adventure
options, such as canoeing and kayaking itineraries and a
spectrum of multi-day hiking trails that will involve local
people and support conservation objectives.
The ecotourism potential of Na Hang Nature Reserve lies
almost exclusively in the opportunities for domestic visits
to Pac Ban Lake and Waterfall. Location factors and
resource constraints make it unlikely that Na Hang
Nature Reserve itself be considered for either
international or domestic tourism. The Lake has been
created by a man-made hydro dam and is therefore of
little significance in terms of conservation values.
Poverty is also a common factor in these two areas,
however the poverty rate in the Ba Be District is
quite high in comparison with Bak Kan Province.
Poverty rate for Ba Be is 54.89% and for Na Hang is
33.19%. The government plan is that after 2010,
every year poverty will be reduced by 1.5 – 2% .
Some of the main reason explaining poverty in both
zones are first, the lack of land production of rice
and maize, so people try to expand their production
area, even burning forest for cultivation if the
authorities do not take control strictly.
A second factor is the lack of knowledge and a third
factor is capital shortage.
Road network in those areas is a priority.
The other item in term of infraestructre development is
dam construction in Na Hang, Tuyen Quang province
started in very large scale the electricity production with
the dam on the Gam River.
The consolidation of Na Han as a National Park
The possible merging of the two parks and
increased benefits from tourism are likely to
result in changes in park management.
The government goal of having projects on
production forest development in every
districts, as well as project on protection forest
development until 2020 will have an impact on
the governance structure of these areas.
Ethnicity (5 main ethnic groups) in Ba Be and four
major ethnic group in Na Han.
In the province of Bac Kan, the Viet people live in
flat and mainlands, featured by wet-rice civilazation.
The Tay people (60% of total province’s population)
live along springs, livelihood mainly by wet-rice and
maize plantation. The Dao people live in mid-
mountains, the H’Mong people live in high
mountains, the Hoa people live in towns and
populous areas, doing business, trade.
In Tuyen Quang there are many ethnic minority
groups such as Tày (34.5%), Dao (26.2%), H’Mông
Alexander López R. Ph.D
+ (506) 22.214.171.124