The project aimed to analyse the complex linkages between population, environment and development processes, addressing the questions of environmental change occurring in specific local socio-economic and ecological contexts; community management of resources; livelihood options available at the local level; and the role of external forces, such as the state, aid agencies and markets, in promoting alternative livelihood opportunities.
In-depth case studies were carried out in Costa Rica, Pakistan and Uganda. In each country two or three major ecological zones were chosen and, within each zone, researchers selected two communities which were comparable in terms of certain population and environmental variables. These local level situations were also analysed in the context of broader national, regional and international settings.
The project was carried out jointly with the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). In Costa Rica: two independent experts. In Pakistan: specialist associated with the World Conservation Union (IUCN). In Uganda: General Agriculture and Forestry Consultants Limited, Kampala.