Learning to change, changing to learn : managing natural resources for sustainable agriculture in the Philippine uplands

D.M. Campilan

    Research output: Thesisinternal PhD, WU


    <p>The study explores problem situations in natural resource management in the Philippine uplands. It examines, through a knowledge systems perspective, the changing nature of development intervention that is required as sustainability becomes an important criterion of agricultural performance.<p>As the empirical case studies show, sustainable agriculture in the uplands not only requires introducing technological solutions to the biophysical degradation of natural resources. Equally necessary is that the different actors involved are able to seek ways of synergically managing these resources. The findings suggest that sustainability is an emergent property of intentional, sense-making actors who learn to reach a shared understanding of the problem situation, resolve conflicting perspectives and goals, decide on trade-offs, and agree to work collectively towards desired improvements.<p>A holistic understanding of the complex social processes in managing natural resources is therefore a precondition to develop effective intervention for sustainable agriculture. Client-oriented, participatory and systems-focused approaches have contributed to refocusing agricultural development in the country towards marginalised farming communities in upland areas. However, in order to better respond to emerging sustainability concerns, these post-Transfer of Technology (TOT) approaches will have to be further adapted to the multiple actors, realities and objectives that characterise problem situations in natural resource management.<p>Overall, working towards sustainable agricultural development in the Philippine uplands suggests a rethinking of dominant perspectives on: 1) <em>agriculture</em> , from being the management of production enterprises to that of natural resources; 2) <em>sustainability,</em> from being an objectively determined set of indicators, to being a product of social construction through learning; and, <em>3) intervention,</em> from being a positivist approach of knowledge generation and transfer, to being a tool for creating platforms for social learning.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • Röling, N.G., Promotor
    • Castillo, G.T., Promotor, External person
    Award date7 Jun 1995
    Place of PublicationS.l.
    Print ISBNs9789054854104
    Publication statusPublished - 1995


    • sustainability
    • natural resources
    • resource utilization
    • protection
    • rehabilitation
    • sociology
    • rural communities
    • philippines
    • agricultural extension


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