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Economic Reform, NGOs and Cranes in Russia and ChinaEPA Grant Number: U915411
Title: Economic Reform, NGOs and Cranes in Russia and China
Investigators: Herrold, Melinda Kay
Institution: University of California - Berkeley
EPA Project Officer: Edwards, Jason
Project Period: September 1, 1998 through September 1, 2001
Project Amount: $79,020
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (1998) RFA Text | Recipients Lists
Research Category: Fellowship - Sociology , Economics and Decision Sciences , Academic Fellowships
The objective of this research project is to answer the following questions: (1) How have international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), in cooperation with higher levels of government, thwarted the potentially environmentally destructive economic development programs of local governments? (2) To what extent have the rural development and education initiatives of NGOs mitigated natural resource conflicts between local people and nature reserve managers? This project will examine two protected areas, Cao Nature Reserve in southwestern China and Muraviovka Park in the Russian Far East.
The approach recognizes both the macrolevel forces and microlevel politics that lead to changes in natural resource use; thus, the methods of this research project are heavily informed by political ecology. A hallmark of political ecology is the combination of anthropological field research and political economic analysis (Bryant and Bailey, 1997, p. 17). This approach begins with the concrete actions of resource users, and examines how these actions are influenced by the larger political and economic context (Neumann, 1992, p. 87). My methods include anthropological methods such as interviews, oral histories, and participatory mapping with those individuals directly involved in the use of natural resources (e.g., farmers, fishermen, local government officials, and nature reserve managers) at the two project sites. The objective of these activities will be to learn how local people use resources; the decisionmaking process of local people concerning resource use; how these uses have changed over time; and what external factors (e.g., government policies, NGO programs, and market conditions) influence their behavior. In addition, archival research and interviews with government officials and NGO representatives will provide information about the larger political-economic context in which natural resource users make decisions.