The struggle between nature and development: Linking local knowledge with sustainable natural resources management in Al-Jabal Al-Akhdar Region, Oman

Al-Busaidi, Mohammed (2012) The struggle between nature and development: Linking local knowledge with sustainable natural resources management in Al-Jabal Al-Akhdar Region, Oman. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Increasing awareness about the necessity for natural resources protection represents worldwide recognition of its importance as an important tool in mainstream development. This growing recognition is accompanied by a growing awareness about the importance of activating natural resource management systems to achieve greater sustainability. At present, experiences and studies in this field show the need for the participation of all stakeholders in the processes of decision making in natural resource management. There is also a need to initiate natural resource governance that ensures effective management to benefit sustainable development, the later representing a key foundation for environmental and natural resources management. Moreover, investigations of the prospects of applying traditional knowledge systems and their integration with Western scientific knowledge produces numerous calls to revisit this knowledge where it has proven useful in environmental and natural resources management, both in theory and practice.

In this spirit, this thesis investigates the effectiveness of the natural resources management system in Oman using Al-Jabal Al-Akhdar Region (AAR) as a case study, and linking this management system with the local people’s practices, which rely on their traditional environmental knowledge. Based on theories and concepts of natural resource management and sustainability, multiple research methods were used to explore the strengths and weaknesses in the system of natural resources management in the region, to analyze the advantages of traditional practices and knowledge systems, and thus, to deepen the understanding of the continuous struggle between nature and development. Results indicated that although Oman is rich in environmental policies, represented by laws and legislation that theoretically govern protection of the environment, the transformation of these policies into practice is troubled by practical obstacles. On the natural side, there are volatile climatic conditions, and on the human side, there is inefficiency of planning and a lack of means and tools to implement sustainable natural resources management programmes. Both obstacles expose environmental sustainability to uncertainty. However, as this research points out, traditional environmental knowledge and management practices systems used by local people in the AAR are characterized by useful interpretations of environmental dynamics to guide the direction of resource utilisation and management, and to address any uncertainty on the course toward sustainability.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: natural resources, Local/indigenous Knowledge, environmental and natural resources management,sustainable natural resources management, sustainable development, AL-Jabal Al-Akhdar, Oman.
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
Colleges/Schools: College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences > Geography
Supervisor's Name: Briggs, Professor John and James, Dr. Hansom
Date of Award: 2012
Depositing User: Dr Mohammed Saif Al-Busaidi
Unique ID: glathesis:2012-3906
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 30 Jan 2013 09:45
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2013 09:50

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