Intensification (reintroduction?) of the concept of social
Particularly in such unstable locations as marginal areas,
the acts of individuals may have a damaging effect on the
entire community and its basis for livelihood. In former times
such a occurrence was usually excluded by tribal rules and
norms, but due to the weakening and degeneration of the old
order there is now a lack of sufficient protection.
Here a revival of the old customs is urgently necessary; this,
however, will hardly be possible without the participation
of the population in self-help groups. The concept of social
responsibility must start from a broad base: A code of land
use must restrict the proprieter's usufructuary rights to
ecologically and socially sustainable levels. Private interests
involving resources belonging to the community may not be
pursued without limitation. The participation of all households
in measures of erosion fighting and water management must
be ensured. Forestry use must be adapted to existing possibilities.
These areas are to a large extent still uncharted territory.
All of these strategies will be sufficiently effective only
when implemented as a package.
Overall, sustainability requires a broad approach like that
of the regional development concept (or of sectoral projects
that extend beyond the limits of the sector). In marginal
locations, regional development as an approach is compulsory
for the preservation of sustainability. The sectoral approach
has no place here.
Author's address: Prof. Dr. Dr. Dr. h. c. F. Kuhnen, Institut
fur Rurale Entwicklung, Universitat Gottingen, Biisgenweg
2, 3400 Gottingen.