This theme examines our entire action-research program through the lens of security. It presents integrated information and research findings on security from four key perspectives: food, energy, disaster, and resilient livelihoods. We use Integrated Watershed Management (IWSM) as an overall framework for guiding multi-stakeholder processes about the management of land, water and other related natural resources in order to realize sustainable economic, ecological and social benefits within catchments and the broader region.
We contrast the ways in which different actors have framed environment and livelihood issues in uplands catchments. These actors span grassroots organizations representing the interests of ethnic minorities and academic experts through to bureaucrats in State agencies. We provide new opportunities for those usually excluded from policy and decision-making forums to better represent themselves and to debate upland and lowland issues and alternative options. We pay special attention to the role of ‘water’ and ‘watershed’ management in these discourses, policies and politics. Further, we anticipate making a contribution to ongoing and new dialogue processes that aim to reduce conflict.
Water resource issues begin at the watershed level; from floods arising from high runoff to droughts resulting from low rainfall. Superimposed upon this are the modifications to and uses of land and water resources by people, which introduce further potential for conflict situations. It is therefore necessary to consider the full complex of natural and human-induced factors that affect catchment water cycles when seeking solutions to water resources problems.
We expect that taking a ‘security lens’ approach compared to an individual sector approach will produce a more comprehensive integration of our research and action outcomes.