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Do you have experiences of ways to reduce changes in land use or examples of land policy changes? (1 answer)

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Sometimes women and orphans lose land when the male head of the household dies. In some countries organizations are working to improve land policy, or the way it is practised, to develop stronger rights for women and orphans, and maintain land for them so they may have a source of livelihood. In many countries AIDS-affected households have changed their farming practices because loss of labor – for example, not maintaining terracing which can result in soil erosion, or using fire to clear land. Responses have included development of less labor-intensive methods of farming, for example through use of draught animals.
-- Updated Mar 30, 2011 --

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    Nov 11, 2008
    DAY 2: REDUCING IMPACTS -- What is the role for agriculture, conservation? by Purged User on 03-08-2007 
    Purged User

    Yesterday I asked Jacques about a statement in one of his papers that “the agriculture sector should not attempt to carry out health work for which it is ill equipped, but concentrate on activities in which it has a comparative advantage i.e. agriculture”-  I was wondering if there could be some lessons to learn for conservation.

    See below his interesting response. – An interesting series of publications is at www.hivdevelopment.org.

    Dear Anna,

    Thanks for your response and for posting the papers. I was not really thinking of the “Agriculture and HIV/AIDS” one but thought the paper entitled “Environment and Agriculture Interactions: Implications for HIV and other infectious diseases” would be more appropriate. It can be found at the same address www.hivdevelopment.org

    As to the point you raise on agriculture focussing on what it knows to do rather than trying to become a health agent is based on several reasons.

    Why agriculture should not play at doctor:

    Agronomists, veterinarians or extension workers already have difficulties carrying out their jobs, diverting their time and energies to do HIV IEC or distribute condoms leaves them less time and energy for their job and they jeopardize it.

    The issue is that health services are insufficient, particularly in rural areas and other sectors are being requested to substitute: this does not give good results in HIV nor in health. Health services need to be boosted, but food security should not be further put at risk.

    Experience also shows that agricultural staff often do not feel at ease with HIV/AIDS or reproductive health issues and therefore do not do this kind of activity well or willingly even after training.

    Why agriculture should focus on agriculture as HIV/AIDS prevention and mitigation strategies:

    Food insecurity is one of the factors fuelling the epidemic through transaction sex, etc. If the agriculture sector does its own job better and reduces food insecurity it contributes to decreasing vulnerability, especially economic vulnerability which is behind a lot of the multiple partners, etc.

    Nutrition is also important to boost the immune system or increasing the effectiveness of ARVs, improving home gardens can therefore improve nutrition and mitigate the impact of AIDS.

    Introducing appropriate labour saving technologies can help compensate for the reduced or lost labour of sick household members, etc.

    So the agriculture sector has a crucial role in HIV/AIDS in modifying root causes of vulnerability and in mitigation.

    The question therefore is whether this kind of approach can be usefully transposed in NRM?

    For example, forest products. But also less obvious issues such as fishing: generally men do the fishing and women the processing and trade of the fish. In areas where there are shortages of fish, women compete among themselves in order to buy the fish and this can lead to trading sex… So better management of the fish resource and of the fish trading and processing could have an impact, of course this can take some time, but the epidemic has been going on for decades and will continue…

    Early warning and rapid response systems (EWRRS) come in when roads are built through forests and expose previously isolated communities to HIV infection: roads are planned years in advance and therefore there is time to inform and prepare the communities which will be affected. This can be done through partnerships with the health and the transport sectors.

    I hope this is helpful
    Jacques
    -- Updated Mar 30, 2011 --

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Date CreatedTuesday, November 11, 2008 5:49 PM
Date ModifiedWednesday, March 30, 2011 9:34 AM
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