FISHERIES AND FORESTRY

Fishers, traders, farmers, wives: the life stories of ten women in a fishing village

AUTHOR(S): Illo, Jeanne Frances I. and Polo, Jaime B.
IMPRINT: Manila: Institute of Philippine Culture, Ateneo de Manila University, 1990. 136 p.
MATERIAL TYPE: Book, Case Study
LANGUAGE: English
SUBJECTS: Agriculture, Community Development, Fisheries

SUMMARY:
This book summarizes the findings of research conducted to develop a better understanding of rural women's work in the Philippines; in particular, the importance this work has in family survival strategies.

A profile of coastal communities is presented, as well as the extent of women's work, attitudes, economic patterns, education, etc. Women's survival strategies recognize the need for multiple sources of income, including the fishery, wage labour, and farming. Also, traditional gender segregated labour patterns are breaking down as women take on "male" jobs, and men accept more domestic work. Compared to other Southeast Asian countries, there is a relatively high female participation rate in education.

Lessons for development are provided, such as recognizing the need to focus development strategies on communities as a whole rather than single economic sectors. Focusing only on fisheries projects can ignore other factors that can upset a fragile balance developed by women to ensure economic security for their families and communitites. The researchers call for a greater understanding of women's roles in maintaining this balance, and how they adapt to changing conditions. Greater women's involvement in the design of projects is needed to promote projects that ensure that communities are sustainable as a whole.

COMMENTS:
Includes detailed case studies and brief statistical data.

Reviewed By: Catherine Irving, Coady


Gender and tribe: women, land and forests in Jharkhand

AUTHOR(S): Kelkar, Govind and Nathan, Dev
IMPRINT: New Delhi: Kali for Women; London: Zed, 1991. 187 p.
MATERIAL TYPE: Book, Case Study
LANGUAGE: English
SUBJECTS: Agriculture, Forestry, Land Tenure

SUMMARY:
This is a study of the deteriorating status of tribal women in India due to deforestation and displacement from traditional agricultural lands. The tribal bands in the region of study, Jharkhand, range from primarily foraging-based subsistence to primarily agricultural-based subsistence. A description of their varying practices, domestic and food production labour, communal land systems are described.

Women's traditional land rights and access to labour have been eroded through a number changes caused by colonial rule and modern development. Women have been excluded from most political movements, thus their voice is often actively repressed. Current strategies for "sustainable development" are ignoring women's historical role in the forest economy. Further, these strategies do nothing to challenge the capitalist structures that caused massive forest depletion in the first place. The authors argue that community ownership models are necessary to ensure the viability of forest management. Economic models of exchange rather than profit will have the primary goal of ensuring that community needs are met.

COMMENTS:
Detailed anthropological study.

Reviewed By: Catherine Irving, Coady


The Green Belt Movement: sharing the approach and the experience

AUTHOR(S): Maathai, Wangari
IMPRINT: Nairobi: Environment Liaison Centre International, 1988. 69 p.
MATERIAL TYPE: Book
LANGUAGE: English
SUBJECTS: Forestry, Environment

SUMMARY:
Maathai, a founder of the Green Belt Movement, presents a brief overview of this community-based tree planting programme in Kenya. Established by the National Council of Women of Kenya, the purpose of the programme is to address a range of socio-economic and environmental problems including: need for firewood, soil erosion & desertification, employment, and water supply.

Integral to the Movement's success is the recognition of the need to involve the community, including youth. School-based tree planting projects have been a major contributor to the Movement's success in reforestation. Maathai describes a number of strategies employed by the Movement to increase community involvement and motivation, through group formation and awareness raising. Recommendations are provided to assist interested groups in establishing their own green belt project.

COMMENTS:
Includes sample forms used by Green Belt Movement members to assist in communication between members and the Movement headquarters and to assess group activities. The experiences described are specific to Kenya, but the author briefly describes efforts to expand the programme elsewhere in Africa.

Reviewed By: Catherine Irving, Coady


Tribal women and forest economy: deforestation, exploitation and status change

AUTHOR(S): Fernandes, Walter and Menon, Geeta
IMPRINT: New Delhi: Indian Social Institute, 1987. 178 p.
MATERIAL TYPE: Book, Case Study.
LANGUAGE: English
SUBJECTS: Agriculture, Community Development, Economics, Environment, Forestry, Health.

SUMMARY:
The authors present the findings and analysis of an extensive survey of the role of women in the tribal forest economy in India. The research was conducted in the Orissa region of India. The rapid pace of industrial deforestation of the tribals' homelands has led to a significant deterioration in the quality of life among tribal peoples, particularly women. Increased workload, and diminished availability of traditional foods and medicinal herbs have led to serious health problems. The shift to a market economy is concentrating control of the land away from the women into the hands of companies and the government.

Current attempts to alleviate the situation are examined. Reforestation programmes are aimed at producing commercially exploitable plantations, not toward restoring indigenous species. The authors call for the implementation of social forestry programmes at the local level to encourage the development of sustainable forests. Voluntary organizations are critiqued for exhibiting a male bias that fails to recognize the interests of women. A number of organizations that are working toward effective change are described and recommendations are presented for further action. A radical change in thinking is needed to promote the economic viability of living forests. Grassroots social forestry programmes are considered key to the survival of the forests and the tribal people.

COMMENTS:
Includes detailed statistical information on food, health, education, economic activities, agriculture, etc., based upon the research data collected in the mid 1980s. A concise overview of the analysis and recommendations from this research has been produced by Supriya Dasgupta (separate entry included in this bibliography).

Reviewed By: Catherine Irving, Coady


Understanding the tribal dilemma: tribal women and forest dweller economy

AUTHOR(S): Dasgupta, Supriya
IMPRINT: New Delhi: Indian Social Institute, 1988. 40 p.
MATERIAL TYPE: Book, Case Study
LANGUAGE: English
SUBJECTS: Agriculture, Community Development, Economics, Environment, Forestry, Health.

SUMMARY:
Drawing from the research conducted by Fernandes & Menon (1987) on tribal groups in the Orissa region of India, Supriya presents an overview of the adverse effects of massive deforestation on the lives of tribal peoples. The tribal forest economy is primarily a women's economy, and it is women who are most directly affected by the corporate exploitation of their traditional lands. An overview of the local economy, the religious importance of the forests, and traditional sustainable forest management activities are described. The breakdown of this system has led to increased workload, health problems, and environmental destruction as monoculture forestry is replacing indigenous species. Organizations are now working to try to assist tribal women to regain a measure of control over the forests upon which they depend for survival. Recommendations are presented which could help community-based organizations become more effective.

COMMENTS:
A clear, concise overview of the conditions described. Comprehensive results of this research have been compiled by Walter Fernandes & Geeta Menon (see entry in this bibliography).

Reviewed By: Catherine Irving, Coady


Women in joint forestry management

AUTHOR(S): Das, P.K.
JOURNAL: Social Action, Vol 44 No 2, 1994, 56-68
MATERIAL TYPE: Journal Article
LANGUAGE: English
SUBJECTS: Forestry

SUMMARY:
In 1988, the National Forest Policy in India was released, calling for increased community participation in forest management. However, as with many such policies, women's participation in the design, or a consideration of effects on women are often not included.

A description of women's participation in forestry in various regions of India is presented, followed by recommendations to ensure women's concerns are addressed. It is often assumed that increasing women's involvement in existing organisations is the preferred route; however in practice, separate women's organisations are usually more effective in ensuring women's voices are heard. These organisations enable women to gain experience in management that will place them in a stronger position when they later move on to larger organisations. There is a need for more field staff training. Suggestions for achieving this are presented, so that field staff may work more cooperatively with women.

Reviewed By: Catherine Irving, Coady