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Water, watersheds, forests and poverty reduction: a Carribbean perspective

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Small Island Developing States like the Caribbean islands face a challenge in securing watersheds and freshwater to service competing water demands from various economic sectors. Processes of prioritisation for access to water often lack equity, represent the interests of industrial demands, and marginalize interests and water needs of the poor. Regional Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers are based on traditional economic indicators and give scant attention to the poverty and forest resource nexus and therefore inadequately reflect the actual and potential role of forest resources in alleviating rural poverty. Poverty related issues were once perceived as solely the domain of government ministries responsible for social affairs. However, there has been a shift and many sectors, including the forests and watershed management sector, now strive to incorporate poverty reduction elements in policy formulation. The challenge remains one of coordinating strategies under various portfolios for poverty reduction while ensuring access to water and forest resources by the poor.
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Keywords: Caribbean; Small Islands Developing States; forests; poverty; watersheds

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI), Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.

Publication date: December 1, 2005

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