Natural resources are of significance to the Food Security and Climate Change team because they provide the life support system and essential goods and services for the poor, and their sustainable management contributes to wealth creation. The way natural resources are managed significantly impacts on all development sectors that World Vision Australia is engaged in, including child well-being, water and sanitation, food security, economic growth, trafficking, conflict, health and education, whether in rural or urban settings. Natural Resources Management decisions affect short term development outcomes and the long term viability of interventions. As an example, mismanagement of China’s forests and river systems has resulted in severe water pollution and extremes of flooding and drought. This in turn not only affect the rural poor, their health, food security, welfare and migration rates, but also reduces access to clean water and cheap food in the cities while placing restrictions on China’s immediate and long term economic development capacity.
Primary industries (Agriculture, fisheries and forestry), which provide the bulk of employment in most World Visions’ Area Development Programs (ADP), play a pivotal role in stimulating and making possible, economic development. The sustained productivity of primary industries depends on Natural Resources Management impacts on ecosystem processes, (water cycle, mineral cycle, energy flow and population dynamics). These ecosystem processes build natural capital, the source of raw materials and many services essential for food production and ultimately economic activity.
The importance of natural resource management to sustainable development and wealth creation has generally not been well recognized by governments, NGOs or the public. As understanding grows on anthropometric climate change and on the relationship between human activity on landscapes and the natural disasters such as drought and flood, the significance of responsible Natural Resources Management is becoming more widely acknowledged. The Food Security and Climate Change team is demonstrating leadership in this area as it puts Natural Resources Management to work in its development programming.
To respond to the destruction of natural resources which make up the world’s life support system, we work with all stakeholders (communities, government, Non-government organizations civil society) in developing countries to restore their natural resource base and manage it in a sustainable manner.
Responses include the global promotion of a rapid, low cost and scalable reforestation method called Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration, soil and water conservation methods and community based water catchment management.