Social capital and connectedness: Issues and implications for agriculture, rural development and natural resource management in ACP countries: a review paper for CTA
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Pretty, Jules. 2003. Social capital and connectedness: Issues and implications for agriculture, rural development and natural resource management in ACP countries: a review paper for CTA. CTA Working Document Number 8032. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/63614
Abstract Social capital is a new term that refers to the value of connectedness and trust between people. It is a pre-requisite for sustainable management and development of natural resources. For as long as people have managed natural resources, they have engaged in forms of collective action. As a result, constructive resource management rules and norms have been embedded in many cultures and societies. But in recent agricultural and rural development, it has been rare for the importance of local groups and institutions to be recognised. Social capital is one of five key assets for sustainable livelihoods. Although some believe that the term ‘capital’ does not add anything to existing social theories and practice, it does nonetheless draw clear attention to the problem of depletion of assets. Sustainability implies maintaining or improving renewable assets for future generations. As it lowers the costs of working together, social capital facilitates cooperation. People have the confidence to invest in collective activities, knowing that others will also do so. They are also less likely to engage in unfettered private actions that result in negative impacts, such as resource degradation.