A new GWP perspectives paper outlines that the governance of land and water needs to be coordinated in order to feed the world’s growing population. The aim of the paper is to galvanise a discussion within the GWP network and the larger water, land, and development community.
The authors are GWP Technical Committee Member Madiodio Niasse and International Land Coalition expert Jan Cherlet. They argue that we need to become better at thinking, planning, governing, and managing land and water, taking into account the inseparable and symbiotic nature of these resources.
Land and especially water are still subject to management practices that prioritize technocratic solutions (geared at increased yields, water productivity) within the boundaries of the resource in question.
These technocratic approaches ignore the unequal power relations surrounding land and water resources, at local and international level, which result from the uneven distribution of these resources and competition over them. The availability and quality of farmland and water are not only overlapping but also interconnected – the way land is managed affecting water use and quality and vice versa. In addition, food price increases and market volatility add to the growing uncertainty about whether and how the world will be able to feed itself in the future.
The full paper is available online, and it can also be ordered free of charge by using the GWP online order form.