CGIAR Research Priorities for Marginal Lands
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Three reports prepared for TAC on marginal lands: the report of a panel asked to look at research priorities, and follow up studies on prioritizing land types, and the relationship between rural poverty and land degradation. The document contains an excerpt from the summary of CGIAR ICW 99, a transmittal from the TAC Chair, and TAC's commentary.'The Report of the Study on CGIAR Research Priorities for Marginal Lands' (March 1997) by a panel chaired by Michael Nelson explores the interaction between poverty and land quality. Faced with conceptual and data problems, the panel rejected the assumption that poor people were overly concentrated in low potential areas, and focused on how the CGIAR might more systematically address poverty alleviation. It recommended creation of a database linking poverty to biophysical land conditions. New forms of partnership and new approaches would be needed to address the needs of poor people living in marginal areas, the impacts of agriculture, forestry and fisheries on natural resources, the linkages between poverty and resource degradation, and the reasons why improved technology often remained unused. The panel recognized that it was recommending a broadening of research that would require increased resources.'A Framework for Prioritizing Land Types in Agricultural Research' (August 1998) prepared on behalf of TAC by Ted Henzell, develops the principles of land classification from the Marginal Lands Study into a conceptual framework for more general use in CGIAR priority-setting.'Rural Poverty and Land Degradation: A Reality Check for the CGIAR' (August 1998) by Sohail Malik reviews the literature on the relationship between rural poverty and land degradation, and implications for priority setting by CGIAR centers.This subject was on the agenda of TAC at every meeting from TAC 70 through TAC 77, and was considered at the CGIAR meeting in October 1999.