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Does social capital improve watershed environmental governance?

Abstract : In Brazil, water management has been both sectored and centralized. In the 1990s, a series of state level reforms granted substantial participation to civil society and water users' organizations by incorporating Integrated Water Resourse Management principles and Watershed Committees as its guideline. However, its full implementation should produce quite different outcomes, understood as improved or poorer watershed environmental governance. That means that the key reason why some of these new institutions fail while others succeed is a question that remains to be fully understood. This paper examines the institutional performance of two watershed committees in Sao Paulo's Metropolitan Area, in Brazil. Specifically, we analyze why do two watershed committees, facing very similar social, economical and environmental scenarios present distinct institutional performances. Two hypothesis were considered: a) the amount of social capital within the watershed committee has a direct impact on the overall institutional performance of these committees, and therefore on the watershed environmental governance; and b) the way civil society organizations, municipalities and State representatives articulate themselves within the committee – from a social network point of view – also impacts the watershed's environmental governance. Results showed that both social capital and the social organization have an impact on the governance of these institutions over the watershed. Likewise, it is highly advisable that policy makers working on watershed management and related issues should take into account the interactions and roles played by local policy networks, as well as the relationships among relevant actors
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Submitted on : Wednesday, June 13, 2007 - 4:33:30 PM
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  • HAL Id : cirad-00154451, version 1



Fernando Monteiro. Does social capital improve watershed environmental governance?. PCSI - 4e Séminaire international et interdisciplinaire, 2006, Montpellier, France. 10 p. ⟨cirad-00154451⟩



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