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Governing landscapes towards multifunctionality – Contradictions, Tensions & Windows of Opportunities

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Governing landscapes towards multifunctionality – Contradictions, Tensions & Windows of Opportunities

  1. 1. Per Knutsson Senior lecturer Environmental social science School of Global Studies Governing landscapes towards multifunctionality: Contradictions, Tensions & Windows of Opportunities
  2. 2. Multifunctional landscape (Forman & Godron 1995): • A physical unit that fulfills several purposes (possess several functions) for society • A landscape houses several spatial units that fulfill different purposes (different functions) • Multifunctionality as a proper response to increasing demands (social, environmental, economic).
  3. 3. Tensions related to multifunctional landscapes: • De facto qualities or a new paradigm (overlap between multifunctionality & landscape)? • Scaling-up or intersecting scales? • Synergies & interrelations or conflicts?
  4. 4. Multifunctional landscapes: 3 research implications (Helming & Wiggering 2003) 1. Inventory of landscape functions and demands 2. Analysis of interrelations between landscape functions and identification of land use conflicts 3. Addressing decision making processes to achieve consensus on land use combinations
  5. 5. What decision making processes are required to make land use combinations of multifunctional landscapes possible? What are the political implications of multifunctional landscapes? Multifunctional landscapes and governance:
  6. 6. Two potential theoretical contributions • Ostrom: Polycentric governance • Cleaver & Koning: Institutional bricolage
  7. 7. Moving from Communal to Private: The Institutional Dynamics of Land Tenure Change in West Pokot, Kenya Per Knutsson & Laura Saxer Forthcoming in Agrarian Change
  8. 8. The Triple-L Initiative (Land, Livestock & Livelihoods • Umeå University (Tropical forestry and Economics) • SLU (Livestock research) • University of Gothenburg (Qualitative social science) • Lund University (Quantitative social science) • Chalmers (Physical Resource Theory – Geography) • ICRAF (World Agroforestry Centre) • ILRI (International Livestock Research Institute) • University of Nairobi (Ecology, Economics) • JKUAT (Soil Science, Natural resource management) • VI Agroforestry • County authorities
  9. 9.
  10. 10. University of Gothenburg, November 2013 Julia E. V. Wernersson 10.3. Transformation visualised in two photographs Chepareria 1987 (Nyberg and Wangari Muthuri 2012).
  11. 11. Chepareria 1987 (Nyberg and Wangari Muthuri 2012). Chepareria 2013 (Knutsson 2013).
  12. 12. The Chepareria Case • Privatization within a complex tenure system • A new constitution
  13. 13. What are Institutions? • Formal or informal ‘rules of the game’ that mediate relations between people and the environment and facilitate wider social relations and interactions • Institutions are dynamic and change through the discursive as well as physical practices of a variety of actors in a constant process of interpretation, negotiation and contestation.
  14. 14. Evidence from Chepareria • The practice of enclosing land • The role of community elders • Land registration & administration • The emerging land market • New land-conflicts • Inequality
  15. 15. Concluding reflections • New, semi-formal, indigenous institutions • The dynamic functions and meanings of enclosures • The irrevocable nature of private title deeds • The new constitution as a new game rather than new rules

Editor's Notes

  • Polycentric governance: considering the interaction between actors at different levels of governance and the complexity of resources and governance systems at local, regional, national, and global levels
    Institutional bricolage: considering the complexity of institutions entwined in everyday social life, their historical formation, the interplay between formal and informal, traditional and modern arrangements, and the power relations that animate them. the process through which people change institutions by modifying old arrangements and inventing new ones. Institutional bricolage can be understood as the outcome of processes, through which institutional arrangements are continuously reused, reworked and refashioned in order to respond to shifting challenges (Cleaver and de Koning 2015). These processes are embedded in daily practices of natural resource use through traditional ways of doing things, habitual practices that have been adapted to new conditions, as well as new procedures that have been borrowed from external contexts. Institutions that are fitted together in this dynamic way are seldom organized in accordance with a single purpose, but are instead multifunctional (Verzijl and Dominguez 2015)

  • (e.g. Lambin, Geist & Lepers 2003)
    (e.g. Mureithi et al. 2015)
    (eg. Ayantunde et al. 2011)
    (Catley, Lind & Scoones 2013)
    Socio-technical transitions, resilience, landscape etc.

  • The new constitution recognizes three classes of land: private, public and community land. This means a decentralization of power in relation to trust land/community land from national government to county government. But it is not completed yet. Also, the constitution recognizes the right of all citizens to own and inherit land, including women.
  • Not a new phenomenon as such. It has a long tradition. But gained momentum through VI-forest program as a tool for land rehabilitation. Seems to have started in the upper, more productive areas and spread across the lowland. In the upper areas demarcation is done through barbed wire and wood and has often been turned into private property through formal title deeds. On group ranches living fences have been applied (VI-forest technology) but most often without gaining a private title deed, while on Trust land the land has often been divided into private land, but without fencing or demarcation, and without recognition in terms of private title deeds. The differences in the sequence of demarcation and the fencing techniques employed evidently show a variation in how the claim for private land is being physically manifested within the framework of an embedded system of different tenure regimes at different locations.
    During the process of increasing enclosing and privatization of communal land in all areas of Chepareria sub-county, community elders has remained instrumental for how private land use rights are distributed. Despite constituting a relatively new tenure practice, the authority of elders has largely remained intact throughout the process of enclosing communal land. Or in other words, privatization is taking place through the interplay between traditional and modern institutional arrangements, as the authority of the elders form an institutional bridge between the practice of community members (externally introduced by a Swedish NGO) and the formal land tenure regulations provided by the state. Several respondents describe the task of the elders as to mediate between a growing demand for private land among the community members and formal land tenure regulations, represented by county government officials.
    On group ranches, as land is officially registered under communal title deeds, people established their own institution to administrate the demarcation of land, called Group Ranch Committees. The committees are entrusted with land measurement and the handing out of ownership agreements for privatized land, physically demarcated by living enclosures. Those ownership agreements are however not yet acknowledged by a legal institution, as land is officially registered as a group ranch. Group ranch residents are therefore currently in negotiations with county and state departments to de-establish the group ranches and have their private land registered with individual title deeds. On land officially registered as trust land in Shalpogh in northern Chepareria, the residents have informally divided nearly all available trust land among each other. A local institution called the Location Land Committee have been established to regulate the demarcation process through measurements of people’s private land and issuing agreements for land adjudication. However, in contrast to the privatization process on group ranches, few residents on the Shalpogh trust land have yet set up any form enclosures to physically demarcate their claim for private land. While the reason for this is not completely clear, common explanations given to us by the respondents is that fees have to be paid to involve the Location Land Committee, the prevalence of land disputes and conflicts in relation to the demarcation of land, and a perceived uncertainty in terms of if and when the agreements settled by the Location Land Committee can be formally processed into individual title deeds. Why the pushing for private title deeds? Through individual title deeds the informal and communal entitlement of private access to land can be transformed into a formally recognized private property that grants the land owner the right to use the land as security to obtain a bank loan.
    whether residents command over official title deeds or informal ownership agreements, they are also increasingly engaging in selling, buying and renting of land. The emerging land market constitutes a new institution through which access to land is distributed in new ways. People tend to sell parts of their land in order to to cover school or medical fees, to purchase food during draughts or famine, in situations when they have don’t have enough livestock in relation to the size of the their land, or in few cases, to pay for an alcohol addiction. Some people sell all their land in order to purchase land in another, often more fertile area or to settle in an urban area in order to start a business. The possibility to use private land as a source of financial capital is however of course restricted to persons whose name is on an individual title deed or an informal agreement. There are also people who buy land in order to expand their land for cultivation or pasture, or as a form of financial investment. People also buy land in situations of landlessness or when they for different reasons need to move to or within Chepareria. People tend to rent land when their own land is not big or fertile enough to support the household’s need for cultivation or pasture. People rent out land in situations where there is not enough money for school or medical fees or to purchase food or drugs for livestock. In areas with title deeds, our respondents mentioned that some people have considered it more viable to rent out their land rather than to use their land for livestock or crop production. Since almost all land in Chepareria is sub-divided and privatized, there is hardly any communal land available for grazing during the dry season. Instead, there is a new way of dealing with this situation: people rent land for pasture in upper and more fertile areas in Chepareria, in the highlands of West Pokot, or in the neighboring counties of Trans Nzoia, to which they can seasonally move their livestock. However, households who do not have the financial means to rent land for pasture during the dry season are forced to migrate long distances, often under unsafe conditions (e.g. the risk of cattle raiding), across the border to Uganda in order to access open access grazing land.
    Our respondents’ accounts of their engagement with land market suggest that while it provides a few well-endowed households with opportunities to intensify or expand their land-use, it offers others a way to access to financial capital through selling or renting out their land in times of resource scarcity. The institutional process of turning previously communal land into private title deeds is subsequently by no way the end-point of the ongoing land tenure change in Cheparera, as land resources are continuously transferred and re-distributed through land-market.
    Most of the respondents testify that while the ongoing privatization of communal land has decreased the overall number of land-conflicts, privatization of land has generated new types of conflicts, such as new forms of land-boundary disputes, conflicts related to the trespassing of livestock on private land that was previously communal, and internal family disputes where sons are fighting about what piece of land to inherit from their father. There are also stories about conflicts associated with the commodification of land through the emerging land market where the legitimacy of this relatively new institution is contested. Stories of people claiming land rights in legal processes to gain the recognition by state, even in cases where county officials are accused of denying rights due to corruption.
    Almost all respondents seem to be aware and informed about the formal rights to own land that is granted by the new constitution. However, at the same time it is evident that rights provided by the national constitutions co-exist with informal and traditional regulations that are excluding certain people, especially women, from owning land. However, not a static or uniform situation. Stories of women inheriting or buying land, and stories of slowly changing norms and practices. While the new constitution does open up for and stimulates new practices, its relevance is simultaneously dependent on the degree to which it is seen as legitimate according to the rationale behind existing, habitual practices.
    There are also people who for different reasons are landless, excluded from the privatization process. However, despite the fact that landless people are excluded from owning land property for different reasons, all but one of our landless respondent have access to land through informal, social arrangements that makes access to land and at least some benefits from this land possible. The land-market does evidently not only enable and mediate distribution of land in a new way, it also effectively excludes people who for different reasons have not been entitled a piece of the previously communal land and who cannot access the financial “entry-fee” required to engage in the market.

  • In contrast to the struggle between advocates of “modernizing” privatization and the elders as defenders of common property, as portrayed by Lesorogol (2008b) in the case of a Samburu pastoralist community, the widespread privatization across Chepareria has gained its legitimacy through its dependence on the authority of the elders and the establishment of new, semi-formal indigenous institutions. These institutions do not only serve to provide a locally accepted process through which previously communal land can be claimed and distributed, but are also institutional arrangements that works pro-actively to seek formal recognition by the state of informally claimed and agreed private land holdings.
    the institutional bricolage of land tenure change is illustrated by the practice of living enclosures, originally introduced by a Swedish NGO in the 1980s for purposes of sustainable land management in the 1980s to become a widely adopted land-use practice across the county during almost 30 years. Today, the practice of enclosures is functioning as an important physical manifestation of private user rights of communal land in negotiations with the state to turn local claims for private property into formal title deeds.
    it is the irrevocable nature of the formalization of private land-use rights into private title deeds, reinforced by an emerging land-market that through commodification of land provides the means to further de-link private land use from collective ownership rights, that more than anything else poses questions about the sustainability of the ongoing land tenure change. Our respondents’ accounts of households selling land to afford medicines or recover from drought illustrates how easily temporary economic problems can force vulnerable households to abandon their right to land in an exclusively private tenure system.

    While Lesorogol finds the call from pastoralist for privatization of communal land puzzling, considering the increasing appreciation given to pastoralist production on communal land by research and policy, we see the move towards private land tenure in Chepareria as an understandable local response, situated within a highly ambiguous political and economic discourse on pastoralist land reform in Kenya. As an expression of an ambiguous discourse, the new constitution creates room for local institutional initiatives and change rather than providing clear “rules of the game”. For example, Our analysis suggests that the structures that deny women their right to inherit and own land are unlikely to change due the recent granting of this right in the national constitution, but through the changing tenure practices at the local level that the rights in the constitution provides room for.