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CREED Paper #33: Land Tenure, Land Use, Environmental Degradation and Conflict Resolution: A PASIR Analysis for the Narok District in Kenya

Author(s)Anantha K. Duraiappah, Gerrishon Ikiara, Mutsembi Manundu, Wilfred Nyangena, Rueben Sinange
Serie(s)Creed Working Papers


The origins of many conflicts in parts of the developing world can be traced to disputes over land – over land ownership, rights, access, use and degradation. In this paper, we test the hypothesis that information asymmetries among various principals in land tenure and market systems have caused the marginalisation of some principals by others, leading to confrontation and, frequently, violent clashes. We begin by observing the interdependencies among the various principals in the Narok district in Kenya, which has been the scene for prolonged social unrest over the last decade. A PASIR (Pressure, Activity, State, Impact, Response) framework is developed to model the causality links among the principals in the district that may provide an explanation for these conflicts. Preliminary results suggest that a lack of understanding of new institutions for land tenure, land use and market exchange by some groups in the area often lead to their exploitation and marginalisation by the rational choices of other groups who are more informed. The drop in social welfare levels together with widening equity gaps and degradation of the resource base they depend on for their livelihood may provide a more rational answer to the conflicts than just ethnic differences.


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