Participatory Natural Resource
Management Research: A New Integration Domain in the
Over the years, the focus of agricultural science has evolved. Some experts say this is because agricultural science is a “quasidiscipline”: research topics are not defined by the internal state of the field (as in physics or mathematics), but rather by problems defined outside of the field. Problems in real life are best solved through a multi-disciplinary approach. If new problems arise, different disciplines might be integrated to solve the problems.
The emergence of new domains depends on two critical factors: 1) an understanding of the interrelations between problems and the ability to deal with these interactions in the research methodology; and 2) public concern about major issues. Indeed the emergence of natural resource/ecosystem management (NRM) as a domain in international agriculture research is paralleled by the appearance of new tools and instruments for data storage and processing such as geographic information systems and modelling. At the same time, worries about food production and global hunger have been amended by an increased public concern about the rapid deterioration of the Earth’s ecosystems (particularly since the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio) and increasing levels of poverty.
Probst, K. and J. Hagmann with
contributions from Fernandez, M.
and J. A. Ashby. 2003.
Research in the Context of Natural
Paradigms, Approaches and
Typologies. ODI-AGREN Network
Paper No. 130. http://