Locally developed institutions that include rules and regulations, common values and mechanisms of conflictresolution are increasingly regarded as adaptive solutions to resource management problems at the grass-rootslevel. Since they are rooted in community social capital rather than in external, top-down decision making, theyare seen as being dynamic, flexible and responsive to societal and environmental change and, as such, theypromote sustainability. Within this context, this chapter examines the case of local institutions for wetlandmanagement in western Ethiopia. It discusses how the structure and functioning of these institutions haveevolved in response to a changing external environment, and the extent to which this has facilitated the sustainableuse of wetlands. It is suggested that these local institutions do play a key role in regulating wetland use, yetthey have, uncharacteristically, always relied on external intervention to maintain their local legitimacy. Nowthere are concerns that the institutional arrangements are breaking down due to a lack of support from localadministrative structures and current political ideology. This has major implications for the sustainable use ofwetland resources and food security throughout the region.
|Title of host publication||Community-based Water Law and Water Resource Management Reform in Developing Countries|
|Editors||B.van Koppen, M. Giordano, J. Butterworth|
|Number of pages||16|
|Publication status||Published - 16 Nov 2007|