Challenges of landuse decision making in an increasingly nested and networked would



Jack Shroder and Thomas Kohler

This session was quite challenging and full of good new observations and information concerning the many new changes abroad in the world that in this increasingly networked and well-informed world we see ever more useful interactions that add to people’s capabilities to join in world’s cultures. We had six papers, instead of the usual eight, which relieved temporal pressures and allowed all the speakers freedom from the pressures of too hurried presentations.

The first paper by Stephanie Jaquet and her eight collaborators was on “Does migration lead degradation? How a labor shortage is affecting land management in two selected watersheds in Nepal.” Her presentation was quite noticeable in that to investigate the links between outmigration, farm labor availability, and land management, using the example of two watersheds in the hill region of Nepal. And her methods studied: Land degradation and sustainable land management practices mapping: WOCAT (World Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technologies) mapping methodologies.

The second paper was delivered on “New challenges in land use in Nepal.Reflectings on the booming real estate sector.” Dr. Upreti reported on Setting the context through political changes and, Land as structural cause of conflict; Land in Peace Comprehensive Agreement; Situation of real estate in Nepal; Earthquake effects on land and real estate; and his conclusions. Land as a cause of conflict Highly skewed land ownership, social structure and land-based power relation; Land used for political benefits (land for tillers and landless) and frustration; Extremely poor land governance (corruption, manipulations, etc); Land in 40-point demands of the Maoist before insurgency; Land 75 point programme of war time parallel overnment of the Maoists; Land capture and redistribution in war time. The land use situtaion in Nepal involves:Commercial land acquisition ; rapidly expanding in urban areas that increasingly occupying productive agricultural land . The most affected were: Kathmandu Valley, Chitwan District (the study sites) + all urban centres and surroundings; Rapid increase in acquisition: driven by a nexus of politicians, land brokers, and real-estate actors; Indian investment in real estate is rapidly expanding.

Conclusions were that the global boom in real estate was one of the major factors for expansion of the rrealestate sector in Nepal; the investment in the land sector for real estate goes beyond national boundaries; Post-earthquake provisions are recalculating the free-riding of real-estate sector; Land became a broad-based socio-economic reform agenda in the CPA and IC and therefore contributed to environmental peace building; The recent earthquake brought both challenges and opportunities.

The third paper by Jack Shroder concerned the mineral-resource bonanza in mountains in general as a result of the powerful geologic processes that occur there, and specifically in Afghanistan. In order to avoid the so-called ‘resource curse, wherein rich resources do not necessarily lead to robust development of the country, which would actually need the extractive industry transparency initiatives (EITI)to protect the environment, as well as freedom from the quite corrupt warlords, opportunists, and criminal gangs so that mineral royalties can accrue to the government. Failure is actually a distinct possibility in this war-torn place.

The fourth paper by Sandra Lee Pinel and several coauthors spoke on, “ When “local is not enough in climate change adaptation planning? Perspectives on regional institution building from three peri-urban and rural mountain landscapes of the Americas.   The climate change adaptation literature recognizes the complex challenge of achieving inclusive and resilient adaptation strategies at multiple scales. This challenge is especially pronounced in mountain systems, which are critical sources of water, and where indigenous peoples, migrants, and natural resource industries compete for resources. International agencies are recommending a stronger role for local communities and governments that can presumably involve citizens in challenging decisions for infrastructure, land-use, and water (UNDP, 2010; Moser, 2009). The concept of governance and institutions has expanded from formal structures to socially constructed rules and processes within and among users and agencies and to recognize the importance of complexity and scale. However, the continued focus on “local” in theory and practice neglect the multi-level nature of institutional linkages (Anderson and Ostrom, 2008) and the jurisdictional and community conflicts over rights and resources in rapidly changing human landscapes (Ratner, et al., 2013). In addition, local institutional capacity and authority to address complex drivers of vulnerability is limited in rural mountain systems, where national sectorial agencies determine much development (Ribot and Larson, 2005; 2012), and which often extend across political and cultural boundaries.

United National Development Program strongly recommends that Millennium Development goals be fundamental to climate change adaptation planning through decentralization with provinces, municipalities, and communities to “foster people’s capacities … and increase participation in economic, social, and political activities” (reference * & page) and make public administration institutions more responsible to needs by involving public, private, and civil sectors. We conclude that local governments cannot be expected to achieve all this without state enablement of regional institutions, something regional planners have long known. In regards to scholarship for advancing adaptive governance, as suggested by Clements, ideas of polycentric governance should be expanded to address the actors, dynamics, and politics of institution building processes. Legal pluralism theory presents a way to understand how actors use both social and legal institutions to govern what is often a contested landscape.

Third, although community-based and adaptive management now recognizes institutional linkages and recommends nesting institutions and managing at multiple scales simultaneously (Berkes 2010, p. 317; Armitage 2008), advocates require “loosely nested” voluntary approaches that build social capital over “governance with higher-level institutions” (Wyborn and Bixler 2013. P. 59). The success of multi-level governance is measured by government transparency and inclusion, to building social capital, reducing conflict among resource users, perceived fairness in addressing social and ecological values, and environmental sustainability (Conley & Moote, 2003). However, adaptive management and community-based approaches neglect the role of formal organizational structures, enabling statutes, resources, and personnel across larger scales (Gerlak & Heikkila, 2007). “Governance panaceas”, such as decentralization and adaptive management cannot substitute for careful comparative analysis of the social and cultural context and the legal and institutional variables that matter to implementation (Ostrom and Cox, 2010).

The adaptive management literature largely favors participation and collaborative processes over an understanding of formal and informal institutional contexts…. (Adger 2015, page. ). The United Nations (reference) assigns three climate change adaptation roles to local governments, a) investment in services such as infrastructure and ecosystem service maintenance, b) setting the incentives and disincentives for resource conservation through fiscal policy, and c) land and wateruse regulation through instruments such as zoning (reference)

“The continued focus on the local in theory and practice neglect the multi-level nature of institutional linkages” and the jurisdictional and community conflicts over rights and resources in rapidly changing human landscapes (Anderson and Ostrom 2008).

Common characertistics and challenges of these cases

Two questions are addressed: How do legal and historical contexts affect local capacity and how are barriers to capacity and collaboration being addressed by efforts to build regional institutions? What are the implications for environmental governance design?

What are the limitations of municipal approaches when smaller local governments are dealing with complex social drivers across scales and sectors? What functions might be supported by formal and state-authorized sub-national regional institutions?

About water management, which is important to climate change.

What are the implications for environmental governance design?

Scott Slocomb next spoke on “Dimensions of scale and connectedness, and land and resource decision making in Southwest Yukon, Canada” were very much a competition by many different stakeholders, from multi-national to local governance, to first nations native Americans, private mining companies, and environmentlists, as well as the small local popukations with many competing interests.. The core issues of the Kluane rgion are that it is part of the broader transboundary St. Elias region; part of the Kluane National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary, it has a huge area and a small population spread thinly through the mountainous land, with major scenic and wildlife resources, settled and unsettled First Nations land claims, the Alaskan Highway, much tourism and mountaineering, as well as great forestry and mineral wealth. Once it was largely federally managed, but that has devolved as land claims from first nations have been settled and much co-management has been occurring.

Opportunities for new directions have caused increasing uncertainty in pushing industry to be a supported of change, even while the fit of old and new institutions with land and resource management needs have had to be carefully examined.

Finally, Sandra Echert and her colleagues examined ,” Large scale land acquisitions in mountain areas – through analysis of land-matrix data.”   Land grabbing was seen as:

Global phenomenon (peak in 2009); with a great variety of involved actors, and each deal has a specific characteristics; with ittle knowledge about short- and long-term effects; Different investment motives (speculations,   expectations of rising prices, “water grabbing”, export); Targeted land: Lack of transparency on land governance; matters (land use planning, decision-making processes, contractual agreements, community involvement and compensation); and the Investors: emerging countries, Gulf states, “Global North”, strong trend of intra-regional transactions (e.g. RSA companies invest in ANG, MOZ); public and private; often partnerships between foreign investors and domestic companies; with the targeted countries: that are among the poorest, are poorly integrated into the world economy, having high incidences of hunger, and weak land institutions; with Africa being the most targeted region, followed by Asia and South America.

Geospatial analysis of LSLAs (large-scale land acquisitions in mountainous countries) reveals that most targeted areas are:

    • Densely populated and rather easily accessible cropland with high competition for land often leading to conflicts (e.g. Ethiopia)
    • Sparsely populated and remote forest land with reported severe negative impacts for indigenous peoples in mountain regions of Cambodia
    • Moderately populated and moderately accessible shrub- and grasslands often leading to negative impacts for pastoralists (e.g. Tanzania)

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