Aquatic agricultural systems in developing countries face increasing competition from multiple stakeholders over rights to access and use natural resources, land, water, wetlands, and fisheries, essential to rural livelihoods.
The Barotse floodplain is an ecosystem characterized by a paradox of widespread poverty amidst high ecological and agricultural potential. The CGIAR Research Program on Aquatic Agricultural Systems (AAS) seeks to address this paradox on the assumption that the rural poor have the potential to transform their lives using the aquatic resources in their environment.
In late 2012, a governance assessment was carried out as part of the diagnosis phase of rollout of the CGIAR Research Program on Aquatic Agricultural Systems (AAS) in Malaita Hub in Solomon Islands. The purpose of the assessment was to identify and provide a basic understanding of essential aspects of governance related to aquatic agricultural systems in general, and more specifically as a case study in natural resource management.
Where access to renewable natural resources essential to rural livelihoods is highly contested, improving cooperation in resource management is an important element in strategies for peacebuilding and conflict prevention. While researchers have made advances in assessing the role of environmental resources as a causal factor in civil conflict, analysis of the positive potential of collective natural resource management efforts to reduce broader conflict is less developed.