, Volume 35, Issue 2, pp 185–196 | Cite as

Indigenous resource management and external development interventions in the Dry Zone of Sri Lanka: From conflicts to synergies?

  • Geiser Urs


An argument is presented that environmental problems in the Dry Zone of Sri Lanka are caused, among other reasons, by conflicts between the exogenously influenced modern strategy of land resources management, and the incompatibility of the modern approach with aspects of the physical environment. This conclusion is obtained through a comparative analysis of both strategies using an actor-oriented methodology. Concerning the potential of indigenous technologies under present-day conditions it is argued that the rationale guiding them is highly relevant and has actually been internalized into the vocabulary of many development interventionists because negative effects of the dominant development discourse are becoming obvious. A shift in power relations (including the acceptance of local knowledge within innovative “development” ventures) is required if the potential of the indigenous strategy is to be tapped. It remains an open question whether this power shift can take place from within the development enterprise alone.


Resource Management Environmental Problem Physical Environment Power Relation Local Knowledge 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Geiser Urs
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GeographyUniversity of Zürich-IrchelZürichSwitzerland

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