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Role of Social Norms in Natural Resource Management: The Case of the Communal Land Distribution Program in Northern Ethiopia

Author

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  • Shunji Oniki

    () (Social Sciences Division, Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8686, Japan)

  • Melaku Berhe

    () (Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, College of Dryland Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mekelle University, Mekelle, Tigray Region, P.O. Box 231, Ethiopia)

  • Teklay Negash

    () (Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, College of Dryland Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mekelle University, Mekelle, Tigray Region, P.O. Box 231, Ethiopia)

Abstract

The increasing population pressure in the rural areas of Sub-Saharan Africa has caused land degradation as well as an increase in the number of landless farmers. To promote a conservation-oriented utilization of communal lands and increase the livelihood of poor farmers, the Ethiopian government introduced a program to distribute less-utilized communal lands to landless farmers. This study identified the social norms related to natural resource conservation that affect the participation in this program. Using data from 477 farmer households in northern Ethiopia, we estimated probit models with endogenous regressors for the determinants of social norms and their impacts on program participation. The results show that social norms related to conservation positively affect program participation. Regarding policy implication of the findings, an intervention to improve the social norms of local farmers leads to sustainable resource conservation without reducing intrinsic motivation of the local people. A conservation-oriented utilization of the communal lands would be more effective if the land distribution program was accompanied by other programs to improve the social norms in the villages.

Suggested Citation

  • Shunji Oniki & Melaku Berhe & Teklay Negash, 2020. "Role of Social Norms in Natural Resource Management: The Case of the Communal Land Distribution Program in Northern Ethiopia," Land, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(2), pages 1-17, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jlands:v:9:y:2020:i:2:p:35-:d:313132
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Shunji Oniki & Haftu Etsay & Melaku Berhe & Teklay Negash, 2020. "Improving Cooperation among Farmers for Communal Land Conservation in Ethiopia: A Public Goods Experiment," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(21), pages 1-1, November.
    2. Shunji Oniki & Melaku Berhe & Koichi Takenaka, 2020. "Efficiency Impact of the Communal Land Distribution Program in Northern Ethiopia," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(11), pages 1-1, May.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    natural resource management; norms; collective action; hillside distribution;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q24 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Land
    • Q28 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • R14 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Land Use Patterns
    • R52 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Land Use and Other Regulations

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