TRUEPATH: TRansforming UnsustainablE PATHways in agricultural frontiers: articulating microfinance plus with local institutional change for sustainability in Nicaragua
The project uses an innovative pathways approach to inquire into the global-local institutional dynamics that generate the dominant socially and environmentally unsustainable cattle development pathway, a major driver of deforestation in Latin America and contributing to climate change, destruction of critical biodiversity stocks and dispossession of indigenous people. Addressing the key concern of T2S, the deeper understanding of the socio-institutional dynamics characterizing processes at the agricultural frontier enables to identify in-roads for policies of institutional entrepreneurship. This contributes to a transformation of powerladen institutional processes in order to change today’s pathway in the direction of a more sustainable, equitable and climate-smart agriculture without a need to incorporate ever more land resources. The research consists of an action-research process in Nicaragua in cooperation with the microfinance organization Fondo de Desarrollo Local (FDL) and the environmental NGO Centro Humboldt (CH), focused on the potential of a Green Microfinance Plus (loans + technical assistance + Payments for Ecosystem Services) connected to a citizen science approach to local climate data generation, processing and use as well as broader reflections in local deliberative fora. In terms of research methodology, a multidisciplinary mixed methods set-up is adopted, combining inputs from development sociology and economics with the Agrarian Systems approach, and making use of an original simulation game informed by local data. We develop scientific outputs and policy proposals that contribute to change towards sustainability in the Nicaraguan pathway and beyond, in particular for Green Microfinance.
Prof. J. Bastiaensen, University of Antwerp
Dr. S. Flores, Universidad Centroamericana
Dr. N. Garambois, Paris Institute of Technology for Life, Food and Environmental Sciences