Community-based Natural resource management within climate change perspectives: With Emphasis on Nile Basin Communities

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ElSiddig, Elnour
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University of Khartoum
The paper is an overview covering the inter-relationships between the communities and the natural resources that people depend upon for subsistence and livelihood support. The overview puts emphasis on the Nile Basin communities using examples from some countries and giving definitions to the different categories that use the resources. The paper highlights the challenges that the communities are facing with respect to the resource management and climate change risks. Examples of successful practices and long term studies are provided to enhance progress of the road map towards sustainable community-based natural resource management in order to facilitate mitigation of climate change impacts. Assessment of the benefits, cost, and environmental impacts of projects and activities may enhance advocating and up-scaling small-scale pilots. A range of production systems, basically farming, pastoral practices and wood harvesting, support the communities living within the Nile Basin area. The resource base and activities differ across the different production systems and so the challenges and opportunities for development. Management of the natural resources is a threatening challenge to the development and sustainable use of the different resources in the area particularly under tropical dry conditions and changing climate. Climate in the Nile Basin area exhibits increasing temperature and decreasing trends in annual amount of rainfall and variation in rainfall distribution over time during the 20th century (1919 – 2008). Water-related development practices show particular vulnerability to environmental changes within this large territory. Forest cover, bio-diversity, land productivity, lakes levels, streams flow and floods have observable responses to the pressure exerted upon the resources by the different categories of users. Observed decline in lakes levels and river flow regime resulted in various impacts including reduced capacity of irrigation systems and hydropower generation at national and regional levels. Annual average river flow and water supply are projected to decrease during the next ten years by 10 – 30% under conditions of increasing demand for water, particularly in dry tropical area, resulting in increased water stress and vulnerability to poor conditions. The Nile Basin forest cover is continuously declining as a result of deforestation for agriculture and fuel. Deforestation and forest degradation in the Nile Basin area have various negative impacts on agriculture environment, range resources, biodiversity, soil erosion and land loss. People needs are not satisfied and hence more pressure on the remaining resources. According to the IPCC (2007) these aspects have implications on sustainable development. 2 Forests and range resources of the Nile Basin play significant role in the basin protection and development. The situation requires land use policy reforms in the Nile Basin area where 70 – 80% of population depends on agriculture, forests and natural range and 90 % of these land-use types depend on rainfall. The paper aims at indicating the role of partnerships between communities and institutions and agreements between countries of the region in enabling the local communities and governments to develop regional and trans-boundary cooperative management that target community-based natural resources management to enhance mitigation of the vulnerable conditions.
Natural resource,Emphasis,Nile Basin Communities