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Community Resource Management: The Case of Grazing Lands in Crop-Livestock Mixed Systems in the Highlands of Northern Ethiopia

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Gebremedhin, Berhanu; Pender, John; Tesfay, Girmay
Conference: The Commons in an Age of Globalisation, the Ninth Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property
Location: Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Conf. Date: June 17-21, 2002
Date: 2002
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/1251
Sector: Grazing
Land Tenure & Use
Region: Africa
Subject(s): IASC
common pool resources
collective action
community participation
land tenure and use
Abstract: "Communal grazing lands are important sources of feed in developing countries. The uncontrolled and free grazing system prevalent in many developing countries has caused sever degradation of the grazing lands. Several alternative management options have been recommended to solve the degradation of common property resources, including state ownership, imposition and enforcement of use rules and regulations by external organizations such as the government, private ownership, and community resource management. This paper examines the nature and determinants of collective action for grazing land management in the highlands of Tigray, northern Ethiopia. Results are based on a survey of 100 villages in 1998/99. Indicators of collective action used in the study include area of grazing land under use rules and regulations per household, whether community pays for guard to protect the grazing land, average value of household contributions for grazing land management, whether community established penalty system for violations of use rules and regulations, and whether violations of use rules and regulations occurred. Total number of households per village, involvement of external organizations, distance to nearest market town, if cattle rearing is second most important source of livelihood in village, total number of local organizations in village, heterogeneity in oxen ownership and total area of village were used as determinants of collective action for grazing land management. Analysis of descriptive information, and Tobit and Probit statistical models have been employed. We find that collective action for grazing land management is widespread in the highlands of Tigray and reportedly contribute to sustainable use of the resource. Most collective action is locally initiated land is organized at the village level. We find evidence for an inverted U-shape relationship between population and collective action. Market access detracts from collective action as does wealth heterogeneity of community. Community experience with local organizations favour collective action. These results imply that collective action for grazing land management may be more beneficial and more effective in areas with intermediate population that are far from market places, and with higher social capital. In communities with higher wealth heterogeneity and closer to markets, alternative resource management arrangements such as privatisation may be more effective."

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