Lessons from Bulgarian Transition for Environmental Governance in Central Asia
16 Pages Posted: 21 Jul 2008
Date Written: October 2007
This paper presents lessons from environmental management in Bulgarian agriculture for Central Asian countries. Comparative institutional analysis is employed to evaluate potential of diverse governing modes to deal with environmental problems and risks, protect absolute and contracted eco-rights, stimulate eco-investment, intensify and coordinate eco-activities. Firstly, we assess efficiency of market, private and public modes in Bulgarian agriculture and identity major environmental challenges. Next we withdraw lessons how positive and negative experiences from Bulgarian transition could be used in modernization of environmental management in Central Asia. Post-communist transformation of Bulgarian agriculture has been associated with relaxation of general environmental pressure but also brought about significant new problems such as degradation and contamination of farmland, pollution of surface and ground waters, loss of biodiversity etc. Central Asian countries should adapt Bulgarian experience to their specific economic, institutional and natural environment. More particularly, they have to modernize institutional structure introducing new eco-rights, redistributing rights on natural resources, liberalizing eco-activities, and improving systems of enforcement of eco-rights. Next, they have to apply integral approach in governing of public support, research, education and extension programs embracing economic, social, environmental etc. aspects of agrarian sustainability. They also are to select more effective modes for public intervention (regulation, assistance, financing, partnership with private sector) and enhance direct public involvement is environmental preservation and improvement. Furthermore, different forms of public and international assistance should incorporate environmental measures in dominating modes of farming governance in each country; take into consideration all advantages, disadvantages and impacts of individual forms; commit to and effectively fund achievement of long-term goals; secure equal access of all type farms to support programs; and involve farmers and other stakeholders in program management and implementation.
Keywords: environmental management, governing modes, agrarian sustainability, Bulgarian transition, Central Asia, New Institutional Economics
JEL Classification: O13, O17, O19, O12, O11, P27, P31, P32, D23, D62
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