Logo Tropentag

Tropentag, October 5 - 7, 2004 in Berlin

"Rural Poverty Reduction
through Research for Development and Transformation"

Conflicts, Entitlements, and Natural Resource Management in the Yerer Valley, Ethiopia

Ayalneh Bogale1, Konrad Hagedorn2, Benedikt Korf2, Fekadu Beyene1

1Alemaya University, Ethiopia
2Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Chair of Resource Economics, Germany


In view of remaining ambiguities in the literature on common-pool resources (CPR), this paper makes a twofold argument: first, it proposes a methodology to study the emergence of institutions that govern CPR use employing the analytic narratives approach which combines game theoretical reasoning with empirical narratives and thus combines inductive and deductive research methods. Secondly, we want to bridge the gap between efficiency and equity considerations in the CPR literature. Given the ecological constraints and the variation of resource users over space and time, institutional arrangements for resource governance may be ad hoc, ambiguous and overlapping. Hence, it may be particularly useful to study processes of entitlement mapping and the negotiation over resource access, because this can illuminate how institutions of resource governance come into being. We will analyse a case study of conflicting resource claims to grazing pasture in the Yerer/Daketa valley in eastern Ethiopia under conditions of particular resource scarcity (drought) where outsider pastoralists seek to encroach grazing resources which are customarily claimed by the agro-pastoralists inhabiting the valley. In fact, pastoralists enter in the agro-pastoralists grazing resources without violence occurring, although the increasing resource pressure harms livestock assets of the agro-pastoralists. We develop a sequential game- theoretical model which suggests the following explanation: Asset-poor members of the agro-pastoralist community in Yerer/Daketa valley without own livestock enter in mutual agreement with outsider migrant pastoralists and trade their resource entitlements against asset transfers. This agreement weakens the bargaining power of livestock owning agro-pastoralists who become more reluctant to fight. The theoretical propositions of the model will then be validated and confined based on empirical narratives consisting of a survey of 78 randomly selected households as well as focused group discussions in the study area.

Keywords: Common-pool resources, conflict, Ethiopia, pastoralism, resource access

Contact Address: Benedikt Korf, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Chair of Resource Economics, Luisenstraße 53, 10099 Berlin, Germany, e-mail: pfudili@gmx.de

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