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National Science Foundation (USA) 2008

Land Use on Privatized Pastoral Land in Kenya : The Impact of Household Strategies on Livelihoods and the Environment

Pastoral Livlihoods Environment

NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION

Titre : Land Use on Privatized Pastoral Land in Kenya : The Impact of Household Strategies on Livelihoods and the Environment

Organismes NSF : Division Of Behavioral and Cognitive Sci (BCS)

Durée : September 1, 2008 — August 31, 2012

Description
African livestock herders depend on natural resources for their survival in difficult, semi-arid environments. Management of land historically was shared among community members but in the 1980s, some communities privatized their land, transferring decision-making from councils of elders to individual land owners. In the community studied here, new rules recently have emerged that restore a degree of communal control over individual land use decisions. Such a reassertion of community authority following privatization is unusual and provides an opportunity to investigate processes of institutional change and their impact on household decisions regarding land use as well as their broader environmental impact.
Three questions will be addressed in the study : (1) How and why have new rules regarding individual land use decisions emerged at this time in the community ? (2)To what extent and in which ways do the new rules influence household decision-making regarding land use ? (3) How do household decisions on land use and livestock production aggregate and impact the overall environment and livelihood possibilities for pastoralists in this region ? The study combines anthropological field research methods with computer simulation modeling of the natural environment and human decision-making. Ethnographic interviews, observations, and surveys will be used to investigate the processes of institutional innovation leading to the new grazing rules and the impact of the rules on household land use and grazing practices. These data as well as ecological information will be used to build simulation models of the Samburu ecosystem and households. The models simulate the aggregate effects of household decisions on the environment and the feedback from the environment to household welfare.
The importance of this research lies in the new insight it will provide into the social process through which institutions emerge and become established, with particular implication for understanding institutions for managing natural resources. The modeling component of the project will contribute to making the results more generalizable beyond this particular research context and perfecting new resarch tools that can be employed by other social scientists. The results have policy implications for governments designing land tenure and management strategies for semi-arid rangelands in Africa and elsewhere.

Partenaires : Carolyn Lesorogol clesorogol wustl.edu (Principal Investigator) Michael Coughenour (Co-Principal Investigator) Randall Boone (Co-Principal Investigator)

Financement : $226,575.00

Présentation (National Science Foundation)

Page publiée le 4 juin 2017, mise à jour le 6 novembre 2017