How can collective action and customary laws help to manage
 conflicts over natural resource commons in rural communities?...
Outline of presentation
• Background

• Objectives

• Processes for the formulation of the bi-laws

• Implementation and e...
Challenges in southern Africa
• Challenges:
  – decreasing per capital food due to low soil fertility
  – conventional lan...
What is known about N-fixing trees

 Technically feasible confirmed by several studies
   Increase crop yield and improv...
Sesbania sesban




Normal field              Burnt field
Gliricidia sepium




Normal field                       Burnt field
How were the bi-laws formulated?
• Farmers highlighted the constraints of fire & grazing in the regular
  Consultative For...
Farmers' assessment of the effectiveness of bylaws
                                                                  FIRE ...
Results
                Farmers' awareness of the existence of the
                                bylaws

               ...
Implementation & effectiveness of bi-laws
 By-laws have succeeded in some (but not all) cases to
  resolve the problems o...
Implementation and effectiveness of the laws
• Economic interest and power structure among different
  sections of the com...
Implementation and effectiveness of bi-laws (contd)

• Cost of monitoring compliance with the bi-law
   who pays this cos...
What are the effects of the by-laws on households &
                    communities?
• Identify “winners” and “losers” of ...
Table 1: Composition of the households who assessed the impacts of the
                                  by-laws

        ...
Benefits of the by-laws in communities
• Intended benefits:
   – Risk of fires and grazing now reduced
   – Reduced confli...
Downsides of the bi-laws
• Bi-law on grazing:
  Increases workload of animal care                    39%
  Economic/liveli...
Table 2: Individuals who communities mentioned were mainly
                      affected by the bi-laws

                ...
Key messages
• Existing traditional structure & institutions can serve as entry points for
  policy intervention to manage...
Conclusion
Good NRM technology = good adoption at community
level??? Not necessarily so. In addition to improving
technica...
ZIKOMO KWAMBILI
 Thank You
      !!!
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How can collective action and customary laws help to manage conflicts over natural resource commons in rural communities? Case study of Zambia

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Presented at the CAPRi International Workshop on Collective Action, Property Rights, and Conflict in Natural Resources Management. June 28th to July 1st, 2010, Siem Reap, Cambodia.
http://www.capri.cgiar.org/wks_0610.asp

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How can collective action and customary laws help to manage conflicts over natural resource commons in rural communities? Case study of Zambia

  1. 1. How can collective action and customary laws help to manage conflicts over natural resource commons in rural communities? Case study of Zambia Ajayi OC, Akinnifesi FK, Sileshi G, Ajayi AO, Mng’omba S Ajayi@gmx.net o.c.ajayi@cgiar.org World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) Southern African Regional Program, Lilongwe Presented at the CAPRi Workshop “Collective Action, Property Rights, and Conflict in Natural Resources Management” 28 June - 03 July 2010, Siem Reap, Cambodia
  2. 2. Outline of presentation • Background • Objectives • Processes for the formulation of the bi-laws • Implementation and effectiveness of bi-laws • Impacts of the laws • Lessons and conclusion
  3. 3. Challenges in southern Africa • Challenges: – decreasing per capital food due to low soil fertility – conventional land use & soil fertility technologies not affordable to smallholder farmers – Encroach into marginal lands- agric & charcoal – Annual deforestation in Southern Africa is high- 55,000 ha in Malawi, 264,000 ha in Zambia (Geist, 1999). • “Fertilizer tree systems” allow farmers to produce their own N nutrients and reduce deforestation
  4. 4. What is known about N-fixing trees  Technically feasible confirmed by several studies  Increase crop yield and improves the environment  but,…  …property rights, customary practices on bush fires & uncontrolled grazing constrain adoption and scaling up  Non adopters cited:  grazing problem (43%)  risk of bush fires (29%)
  5. 5. Sesbania sesban Normal field Burnt field
  6. 6. Gliricidia sepium Normal field Burnt field
  7. 7. How were the bi-laws formulated? • Farmers highlighted the constraints of fire & grazing in the regular Consultative Forum on Agroforestry (CFA). • Special sessions on approaches to involve the local communities • Consensus: Traditional chiefs as custodian for conflict resolution, much respected • Two key powerful and influencial traditional authorities identified: – matrilineal system led by paramount chief of the Chewas in Zambia/Malawi/Mozambique – patrilineal system led by the paramount chief of the Angonis ethnic group. • Promulgation of bi-law on fire and grazing
  8. 8. Farmers' assessment of the effectiveness of bylaws FIRE Initial period Post bi-law 70 66 60 50 44 42 40 Percent 30 21 20 13 14 10 0 Effective Average "Not working" General improvement in effectiveness of the by-laws Initial period Post bi-law compared to the previous five 70 GRAZING 64 years 60 50 46 40 Greater rate of improvement for 34 Percent 30 grazing than fire 20 16 20 20 10 0 Effective Average "Not working"
  9. 9. Results Farmers' awareness of the existence of the bylaws 57 Fire 60 49 Grazing 50 37 40 34 Percent 30 17 20 10 6 0 Not aware it exists Aware but doesn’t Aware it exists and at all know date the date
  10. 10. Implementation & effectiveness of bi-laws  By-laws have succeeded in some (but not all) cases to resolve the problems of fire outbreaks & browsing  Implementation and effectiveness varies depending on:  specific type of by-law (fire or grazing)  type of cultural community (better in patrilineal than matrilineal)  level of agro-pastoral farming
  11. 11. Implementation and effectiveness of the laws • Economic interest and power structure among different sections of the community  Economic interests of the powerful livestock owners and the less powerful agroforestry farmers (can even afford fertilizer)  Power base and social status of the two groups • Enforcement of the by-laws  Fear to report wealthier livestock farmers to Chief  … punishment  “taking revenge”  social relationship  … emphasis on moral persuasion
  12. 12. Implementation and effectiveness of bi-laws (contd) • Cost of monitoring compliance with the bi-law  who pays this cost ?  assigned to “everybody”  nobody  Resources to back up bi-laws? • Ambiguous interpretation of the bi-laws  Extent of compensation for the aggrieved  Clear compliance procedure  House of Chiefs within Zambia political structure?
  13. 13. What are the effects of the by-laws on households & communities? • Identify “winners” and “losers” of enactment of by- laws in communities & within households • Sample of agroforestry and livestock farmers  195 households in five agricultural districts (103 Agroforestry and 93 non- agroforestry households) • Formal surveys  Perception of the fairness of bi-laws by rural households  Who is affected by the bi-laws and how?
  14. 14. Table 1: Composition of the households who assessed the impacts of the by-laws Number Variable Description Percentage (n=196) Tree planting household 103 52 Tree planting Non-tree planting household 93 48 Total 196 100 Female 107 55 Gender Male 89 45 Total 196 100 Chewa (Matrilineal) 125 64 Ethnic group Agoni (Patrilineal) 61 31 Other ethnic groups 10 5 Total 196 100
  15. 15. Benefits of the by-laws in communities • Intended benefits: – Risk of fires and grazing now reduced – Reduced conflict between agroforestry and livestock farmers – Social equity-: pro women & pro poor households • Unintended benefits – Reduced theft of livestock – Helped tobacco farmers • Grasses readily available for making tobacco barns • Prevent burning of tobacco curing sheds
  16. 16. Downsides of the bi-laws • Bi-law on grazing: Increases workload of animal care 39% Economic/livelihood of livestock farmers 20% Illiteracy among children 20% Longer distance in search of fodder 19% • Bi-law on fire: Denial of relish 27% Children are/feel restricted 23% Parents suffer conflict of their children’s action 11% More labour spent clearing land next season 10%
  17. 17. Table 2: Individuals who communities mentioned were mainly affected by the bi-laws Percentage of households who mention that the by- laws negatively affected the individuals Group of individuals Tree planting Non- tree planting Overall* households (n=103) households (n=93) (n=196) Men 19 16 17 Women 6 2 4 Children (boys) 48 39 43 Mice hunters 25 26 25 Livestock owners 41 49 45 Other individuals 31 30 31
  18. 18. Key messages • Existing traditional structure & institutions can serve as entry points for policy intervention to manage social conflicts over common resources in Zambia. • Assess equity and fairness, but also pay attention to power structure existing in the community • Build consensus among different stakeholders affected by by-laws and willingness to review them when & where necessary • Enacting bi-laws help to reduce social conflict but, need to carefully examine the impacts of their implementation: – Who is affected, how, extent (quantify), etc? – What is the cost, existing structure, ease/challenges of implementation, etc?
  19. 19. Conclusion Good NRM technology = good adoption at community level??? Not necessarily so. In addition to improving technical characteristics of NRM interventions, the prevailing property rights and nature of power structure are important for their sustained and widespread up-scaling in rural communities. The impacts and distribution of the benefits (or costs) associated with NRM technologies among different social groups in rural communities are critical for enhancing (or inhibiting) the implementation of by-laws to manage social conflicts over natural resource commons.
  20. 20. ZIKOMO KWAMBILI Thank You !!!

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