The protection of river catchment areas often turns into a political affair. In the developing nations, people have a natural tendency to settle in the river catchment areas. When this happens, a point comes where they have to be evicted from such areas. This is because it is very hard – actually it is pretty much impossible – to protect river catchment areas if there are people who have settled there. Such people have to be evicted, before any meaningful protection of the river catchment areas can take place. Yet the people, backed by their political leaders, are likely to resist such eviction. So you end up, on one hand, with the authorities that are in charge of river catchment area protection trying to evict the people who have settled in such areas. And on the other hand, you have the people who have settled in the river catchment areas, backed by their political representatives, resisting the eviction. And that is how the politics of river catchment area protection comes to be.
River catchment area protection politics: understanding the motivations
The politicians who encourage their people to stay put in river catchment areas tend to be motivated by the desire to gain political mileage. So you have to keep this at the back of your mind, while dueling with them. They are not driven by concern for the people per se, but rather, by the desire to gain political mileage.
How to navigate the politics of river catchment area protection
It is not easy to navigate the politics of river catchment area protection. It is definitely not as straightforward an affair as, say, visiting the gift cards portal (at mygiftcardsite.com), and reviewing your transaction history there. It is definitely much more complex than logging onto the Mygiftcardsite portal and reviewing your gift card’s transaction history there. It is, on the contrary, a labyrinth. To successfully navigate the politics of river catchment area protection, you need to come up with highly persuasive arguments – backed by facts and figures. You have to demonstrate how the encroachment of river catchment area is having a negative impact. Then you need to show the protagonists – both the people who have encroached and the politicians urging them to stay put – how it would be in their best interests, now and in the future, to support the protection of the river catchment areas. You may also need to lobby politicians from other areas to support the protection of river catchment areas. If you can get a critical mass on the other side, they may be enough to ‘shout down’ the politicians who happen to be against the protection of the river catchment areas.
How to avoid the politics of river catchment area protection (in the first place)
It is simple: if you want to avoid the politics of river catchment areas in the first place, ensure that you don’t allow people to settle/encroach on the river catchment areas. Fence off the river catchment areas. Employ guards to protect the river catchment areas. Do whatever it takes to ensure that people don’t settle there in the first place. For once they settle, evicting them becomes a politically complex issue.