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Utrecht University (2020)

The Linkage Between Land Tenure and Rangeland Restoration : Pastoral Practices in Socio-Ecological Rangelands Systems

Allreke Wählhammar, R.K.

Titre : The Linkage Between Land Tenure and Rangeland Restoration : Pastoral Practices in Socio-Ecological Rangelands Systems

Auteur : Allreke Wählhammar, R.K.

Université de soutenance : Utrecht University

Grade : Master 2020

Résumé
In this master thesis, the link between land tenure and rangeland restoration was studied. Rangelands are natural ecosystems that mainly consist of grassland and pasture that are used for grazing for both livestock and wild animals. They are of vital importance for pastoral communities whose livelihoods depend on them. Due to various natural and social factors, many rangelands are currently facing land degradation, an issue this thesis aims to tackle. By conceptualizing rangelands as complex socio-ecological systems (SESs) natural and social elements were integrated in a way that enabled the main link to be studied. Using a mixed-methods approach comprising of six in-depth case studies consisting of development projects from Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan, Jordan, Tunisia, Tanzania, and Ethiopia an SES-model was developed. The data from the cases was made up of project documents from the projects studied as well as interviews from general rangeland and tenure experts and experts involved in the projects. For Mongolia and Kyrgyzstan, a survey was given, remotely, to pastoral communities. This was done to get the perspective of pastoralists. In addition to the cases, a minor statistical study was done to make the result more generalizable. The main mechanism found was that the land tenure system and other social factors influence the practices of pastoralists that in turn influence the ecological health of rangelands. The research found that rangeland degradation is primarily caused by unsustainable practices such as continuous grazing, agricultural expansion, and extensive water use. Climatic factors have less of an impact but are predicted to increase in significance in the future. The implementation of sustainable practices is linked to functional communal institutions that are inclusive, have adequate financial and technical capacities as well as formal recognition. Consequently, the research shows that giving communities use rights is linked to rangeland restoration. This as it empowers them and results in a management system that incorporates local knowledge. These tenure rights should furthermore be secure as this fosters investment and inclusivity. Other tenure forms are linked to land degradation. Open access land leads to the tragedy of the commons that causes overgrazing and breaks down traditional institutions. Privatization also breaks down these institutions and results in land grabbing as well as fragmentation of rangelands, an issue that is also caused by leasing systems and results in overgrazing casing rangeland degradation

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Page publiée le 17 avril 2021