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Rheinischen Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn (2016)

Pastoral Practices, Economics, and Institutions of Sustainable Rangeland Management in Kenya

Kihiu, Evelyne Nyathira

Titre : Pastoral Practices, Economics, and Institutions of Sustainable Rangeland Management in Kenya

Auteur : Kihiu, Evelyne Nyathira

Université de soutenance : Rheinischen Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

Grade : Doktorin der Agrarwissenschaften (Dr. agr.) 2016

Rangelands contribute greater value than is generally acknowledged. The ecosystems provide a significant portion of the world‘s biodiversity and culturally diverse habitats and are also of great ecological and economic importance. In spite of their significance, rangeland resources continue to be degraded, especially in the arid and semi-arid environments of Africa and Asia. This study seeks to contribute to the formulation of strategies for taking action against rangeland degradation. The study examines the dynamics, causes, and methods of promoting sustainable management of the terrestrial ecosystems with possible positive feedback on improved livelihoods of the majority of the rural poor who depend on these resources. Dynamics of land use/land cover changes in global livestock grazing systems over the last six decades are identified in this work through comprehensive literature searches, remotely sensed global satellite images, remotely sensed data, and relevant secondary statistics. The analysis shows that native grazing systems are declining, with significant losses to other land uses/covers. Although some conversions are related to biophysical factors such as climatic factors, the key driving forces behind native grazing lands conversions are related to human activities. Many of the land use/land cover changes consist mostly of the conversion of grazing vegetation to agricultural uses, invasive bush vegetation, bare cover, and persistent decreases in productivity of static grazing vegetation.
In Kenya, the estimated adoption rates of sustainable land management (SLM) practices in rangelands are alarmingly low (14.2%), despite the declining productivity of the ecosystems. This necessitates the identification of factors conditioning the adoption of SLM practices. The econometric approach chosen in the analysis accounts for potential endogeneity of explanatory variables. The estimation shows SLM adoption highly occurs in response to land degradation as an intervention measure to reverse and restore degrading lands. Additional factors influencing adoption of SLM practices include access to extension services, agro-ecological and land characteristics, access to output markets, capacity of a household to invest in sustainable practices, and human capital endowments.
The analysis of the influence of livestock market access on land use decisions and productivity of rangelands fails to reject the hypothesis that market inefficiencies characterizing livestock markets represent a major risk that rangelands face. By employing a positive mathematical programming model and a dynamic ecological-economic rangeland model, the study reveals that improved livestock market access will likely lead to higher livestock producer margins and fewer conversions of rangelands to other land uses/land covers.
The assessment of basic capabilities, among other factors, on households‘ decisions to participate in collective management of pasture using a Zero-inflated beta model confirms the key role of the capability concept in explaining the management of natural resources. While increased capabilities reduce cooperation levels in collective management of pastoral resources, they liberate participants to pursue their individual interests. In addition, increased capabilities reduce the problem of interdependency and transaction costs of monitoring and the adherence to the rules associated with collective action. On the other hand, increased basic capabilities are likely to weaken the social cohesion, cultural values, and customs of the communities involved.
Findings from this study suggest that key policy actions to achieve sustainable management of rangelands include facilitating sustainable intensification of livestock production ; empowering livestock producers to participate in value-added livestock production and access to high value product markets and market opportunities ; raising awareness of, promoting, and training on best practices for SLM in rangelands ; creating policies enhancing extension services through appropriate training of trainers and research initiatives ; and creating policies promoting collective action through capacity building and economic benefits associated with cooperation.

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Page publiée le 15 octobre 2016, mise à jour le 31 décembre 2018