FORESTRY INTERVENTIONS FOR RURAL DEVELOPMENT: RESULTS FROM A LEARNING
PROCESS APPROACH IN HURULUWEWA
C M Wijayaratna* and A Widanapathirana**
**International Irrigation Management Institute, Colombo
The lack of forest cover in critical areas of the Dry Zone has been an
important issue affecting the sustainable management of other important
resources, including water (particularly for irrigation) and in fact the
productivity of the entire agricultural sector. In the meantime, forest
development programmes have an inherent constraint in their inability
to generate sufficient cash returns to the people, at least in the short
run. It is of paramount importance that developments in forestry should
be linked with the development of the entire farming system, so as to
ensure the sustainability of forest as well as other resources and to
lead to sustained socio-economic development. Studies indicate that approaches
to participatory reforestation can be made effective if such interventions
are designed on a farming systems perspective.
This paper presents the finding of a rural development exercise in Huruluwewa
watershed, which initially focused on reforestation under the Participatory
Forestry Project (PFP). It describes the process of transforming participatory
forestry interventions to general rural development facilitated by the
Shared Control of Natural Resources (SCOR) Project. It also discusses
the main advantages of this approach.
Among the key emerging issues of the learning process described in the
paper are: the benefits to local people resulting from participatory reforestation;
the process and the outcome of the transformation of interventions in
forestry to wider rural development; the outcome of the integration of
different projects operating in the same area; the role of agencies in
facilitating the rural development process initiated by people's organizations.
Finally, the paper discusses the programme and policy implications of
the above case study.
Department of Forestry and Environmental Science,
of Sri Jayewardenepura,Sri Lanka. 1999. All rights reserved.