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Property Rights and the Marginal Wildebeest: An Economic Analysis of Wildlife Conservation Options in Kenya

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  • Independent Consultant in WIldlife and Conservation Economics

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This paper discusses policy responses to the potential loss of biodiversity in the Mara Area of Kenya from the conversion of essentially wild and undeveloped rangeland to developed agriculture. Property rights are central to the debate, and raise two fundamental issues. First, to what extent do the Maasai, the traditional users and owners of the land, have the right to benefit from the development potential of their land to further their economic, social and political standing, even if by so doing they create domestic and global externalities through the loss of biodiversity. Second, if the state alienates their development rights in the name of conservation, then to what extent should the state compensate the Maasai for their lost economic opportunities. To the Maasai, conservation as implemented through Government policy is a publicc bad: they are denied access to resources, their costs of production are significantly increased, and development is slowed down or actively discouraged. A cost:benefit analysis suggests that it is neither supportable nor sustainable to condemn the Maasai to a poverty trap on behalf of conservation, and that it is instead socially prolitable for the Kenyan Government to meet in full their opportunity costs of forgone economic benefits.
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Property rights and wildlife conservation Page 1
Biodiversity and Conservation
5, 1557-1577 (1966)
0960-3115 © 1996
Chapman & Hall
Property rights and the marginal wildebeest: an economic
analysis of wildlife conservation options in Kenya
MICHAEL NORTON -GRIFFITHS
Centre for Social and Economic Research on the Global Environment, University College London,
Gower Street, London WCI 6BT, UK
Received 27 April 1995; revised and accepted 16 October 1995
Abstract
This paper discusses policy responses to the potential loss of biodiversity in the Mara Area of
Kenya from the conversion of essentially wild and undeveloped rangeland to developed
agriculture. Property rights are central to the debate, and raise two fundamental issues. First, to
what extent do the Maasai, the traditional users and owners of the land, have the right to benefit
from the development potential of their land to further their economic, social and political
standing, even if by so doing they create domestic and global externalities through the loss of
biodiversity. Second, if the state alienates their development rights in the name of conservation,
then to what extent should the state compensate the Maasai for their lost economic
opportunities. To the Maasai, conservation as implemented through Government policy is a public
bad: they are denied access to resources, their costs of production are significantly increased,
and development is slowed down or actively discouraged. A cost:benefit analysis suggests that it
is neither supportable nor sustainable to condemn the Maasai to a poverty trap on behalf of
conservation, and that it is instead socially profitable for the Kenyan Government to meet in full
their opportunity costs of forgone economic benefits.
Keywords:
property rights; biodiversity conservation; marginal costs and benefits; GEF.
Introduction
Loss of biodiversity arises from three main causes: first the over-
exploitation to extinction of individual species (e.g. the dodo, the great auk, and
probably in time the African rhino and the Asian tiger); second, the pernicious
degradation and modification of habitats by pollution, spot development,
transport infrastructure and the like; and third, the wholesale conversion of
habitats from an essentially undeveloped and natural state to a developed state.
Pearce (1991), Pearce and Moran (1994) and others (e.g. Cervigni, 1993)
consider this third cause to be the most important and present a unified theory of
market and Government failures as the underlying fundamental cause, arguing
that it is the lack of appropriate pricing mechanisms coupled with inappropriate
government interventions which leads to the failure to capture the true
externalities of biodiversity loss at local, domestic (national) and global levels.
This paper considers policy and land management responses to this third
cause of biodiversity loss in Kenya, the conversion of essentially wild and
undeveloped land to developed agriculture. Debate on the most effective policy
response revolves around a number of key issues, including environmental ethics
Property rights and wildlife conservation Page 2
and human rights, the nature of the property rights, the nature of the
externalities involved, the opportunity costs, and the private, social and
economic optima for conservation.
The fundamental ethical issue surrounds the extent to which traditional
users and owners of land have the right to benefit from the development
potential of their land to further their economic and social progress (Bromley,
1989), even if by so doing they create domestic and global externalities through
the loss of biodiversity. Alternatively, to what extent should they be
compensated if the state denies them these rights.
Property rights are also central to the debate (Bromley. 1989;1991), for
policy responses will be quite different in the case of state owned land such as
forests, or ungazetted land under traditional communal tenure like the savannas
of eastern Africa, or privately owned land on which the owners have, within
reason, the absolute discretion to do what they wish. Here we discuss the
interaction between three competing property rights: the state over its own
land, private Maasai land owners over their land, and the state over individual
wild animals which migrate between state and privately owned land.
The issue of externalities also underlies an appropriate policy response.
On the one hand, the development decisions of private landowners create both
national and global externalities through the loss of biodiversity. On the other,
the pursuit of conservation by the state creates externalities for private
landowners, in this case in the form of dangerous wild animals which greatly
increase their costs of production. To complicate matters further, individual
landowners can in principle shift these externalities onto other land owners
through defensive activities.
Opportunity costs provide the economic incentives either to develop or to
conserve land, depending upon the nature of the property rights. Broadly
speaking, the conservation values of land - no matter in whom the property
right is invested - can be maintained only by leaving the land undeveloped or by
freezing development at a particular stage. This imposes opportunity costs on
the owners of the property right by denying to them the benefits of developing
their land further, and they will only remain indifferent to the conservation:
development choice if these opportunity costs are met.
It is one thing to identify and quantify the market failure leading to a loss
of biodiversity: it is quite another to decide how much biodiversitv is needed, or
how much is enough, and debate on the conservation of biodiversitv is greatly
hindered by the failure to come to terms with this issue. Recently, great strides
have been made in the concepts of safe minimum standards, in terms of genetic
diversity, habitat size and patchiness, population sizes, ecosystem integrity and
maintenance of critical functionalities (for example May. 1994; Caughley and
Sinclair, 1994). Nonetheless, conservationists in eastern Africa still take all they
can while hanging on to what they have, with little debate on whether they
need more, or less (Anderson and Grove, 1993). This leads inevitably to policies
that are reactive rather than proactive and to a consistently adversarial socio-
political environment.
Property rights and wildlife conservation Page 3
Property rights and conservation values in the Mara Area
This paper examines these issues in the light of enforceable property
rights in the Mara Area in Kenya which forms the northern part of the 40000km-
Serengeti ecosystem (Sinclair and Norton-Griffiths, 1979). At its core (Fig. 1)
lies the 1368 km- Maasai Mara National Reserve (MMNR), formal conservation
estate owned and managed on behalf of the government of Kenya by the Narok
County Council, which is surrounded by 4566 km' of Group Ranches which are
owned and managed by the pastoral Maasai. The base year for this study is
1989.
KENYA
Mara Area
Figure 1. Schematic diagram of the Mara Area.
The MMNR was formally established in 1961, and the property right to
the MMNR was vested in the Narok County Council (NCC) which is itself an
institution of the Government of Kenya (GOK). In turn, the NCC manages the
MMNR on behalf of the Maasai of Narok District and fees earned from the MMNR
devolve to the NCC for social investment in the District (Talbot and Olindo,
1990). However, in practice funds to the NCC rarely go to social projects
(Monbiot, 1994; Anderson, 1995) and the result from the Maasai's viewpoint is
the alienation of resources and the diversion of benefit flows from landowners
to politicians.
The exact nature of the `Group Ranch' properly right also needs
clarification (Galaty, 1980; 1992). Whereas Maasai land was traditionally under
a communal tenure regime, the governments of eastern Africa were (and are)
notoriously prone to ignore usufruct rights and alienate such land for
development - for example, large wheat schemes in northern Tanzania (Lane
and Pretty, 1990). This made it effectively impossible for pastoralists to obtain
investment capital for land development. In the mid-1960s, under the aegis of
the IBRD Kenya Livestock Development Project, most land in Kajiado and Narok
Property rights and wildlife conservation Page 4
Districts (the major Maasai districts of Kenya) had been demarcated into Group
Ranches, owned under legally recognized, private title by a registered group of
members.1
The Government of Kenya uses the Mara Area for conservation. It
enforces its property rights to the MMNR, denying access to Maasai pastoralists
but admitting tourists, and preventing any development within the MMNR except
for tourism infrastructure. Outside the MMNR, the Kenyan game laws (Bragdon,
1990) enable the GOK to enforce its property rights to the wild animals resident
on the Group Ranches and to the migratory wildlife which move seasonally from
the MMNR onto the Group Ranches.
The MMNR and the Group Ranches accordingly support a great wealth of
both resident and migratory wildlife and their associated habitats, and the principal
conservation value of the Mara Area is the dry season grazing for the Serengeti
migratory wildebeest population (Maddock, 1979). The wildebeest number some
1.5 million animals and each year migrate over an area of some 30,000 km2, from
the short grassland of the Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Conservation
Area 150 km to the southeast to the open grasslands of the Mara Area. During the
dry season the wildebeest graze the Maasai Mara National Reserve, but also spill
out in huge timbers over the grazing lands of the Group Ranches.
The Mara Area has now become the premier destination in Kenya for wildlife
tourists. The MMNR attracts some 10% of all tourist bednights and generates
$20m in gross revenues (Douglas Hamilton, 1988). Wildlife tourism, along with
agriculture and traditional livestock management, is also very important on the
Group Ranches, where these land uses generate, respectively, gross annual
revenues of Win, $3.8m and $2.4m.
By enforcing their property rights to the land area of the MMNR and to the
wild animals on the Maasai group ranches, the GOK imposes significant
externalities on the Maasai. First, the Maasai are denied their traditional access to,
and use of, the MMNR (Talbot and Olindo, 1990). Second, the presence of wildlife
greatly increases the costs of livestock and agricultural production. For example,
wildlife (especially the migratory wildebeest, zebra and gazelle) compete directly
with the Maasai livestock for grazing,2 they also spread disease, and wildlife are
dangerous - they kill and maim livestock and people. In response, the Maasai must
undertake all sorts of defensive activities and expenditures, for example moving
away from wildlife to prevent disease transmission3, constructing large thorn
1 The Maasai of Kenya therefore have at least the possibility of benefiting from the development potential of their land, unlike
those in Tanzania where land alienation remains the prerogative of the government (Ndagala, 1982; Lane and Pretty, 1990;
Homewood and Rodgers, 1991).
2 The competition between wildlife and Maasai livestock can be approximated by converting the average density of each
wildlife species to metabiomass (Croze et.al., 1978; Caughley and Sinclair,1994) and expressing the results in cattle
equivalents (CEQU). Broten and Said (1995) present the results of 16 aerial censuses of wildlife on the group ranches
and the MMNR between November 1977 and April 1991. For each of the i wildlife species censussed, let d, be the mean
density across all censuses,
bwt
i
be the population mean body mass, 0.75 be the scalar for metabiomass, and 49.14 be
the average metabiomass for one Maasai cow, then
CEQU = 14.49* 75.0
1
=i
N
iibwtd
This indicates that on average the wildlife consume grazing and browsing resources equivalent to 18.05 cows km2
representing 30% of the average density of livestock on the Group Ranches.
3 In the early 1980s, in the course of aerial surveys covering 400,000 km2 of pastoral rangelands in Tanzania, Kenya and
southern Sudan (Norton-Griffiths, 1994a), the 25% of the area occupied by pastoralists at the time of the surveys contained
Property rights and wildlife conservation Page 5
bomas4 and protecting fields and agricultural plots. Third, these necessary
defensive activities also raise the costs of development.
However, the Maasai are also enforcing their property rights on their
privately owned land and are in turn imposing externalities on the Government of
Kenya and on the world. Although the Maasai can only directly destroy wildlife
(e.g. by shooting) in immediate defense of life and property, they can significantly
influence wildlife numbers and distributions through habitat modification (burning,
and conversion to cropland), by defensive expenditures on fencing around
properties, waterholes and fields, and by strategically siting new infrastructure
developments. Furthermore, they could actively deny access to tourists if they
so wished (as opposed to passive denial following agricultural developments).
The dilemma facing conservationists in the Mara Area is that despite the
seemingly vast revenues generated each year by wildlife tourism-$20m in the
MMNR and a further $10m on the Group Ranches - there is a clear trend on the
part of the Maasai both to develop their land and to sell land to developers, so
that land use is changing from traditional pastoralism to agriculture and
ranching (Douglas Hamilton, 1988; Parkipuny, 1991; Anderson. 1995; Norton-
Griffiths, 1995). Already some 15,000 ha along the western boundaries of the
Mara Area are farmed intensively by smallholders and commercial operators
(EcoSystems, 1985), mainly non-Maasai who have purchased land from the
Maasai,5 while within the Mara Area itself the land leased by the Maasai to
wheat farmers has increased from 18 000 hectares in 1973 to more than 27 000
hectares in 1987 (Douglas Hamilton. 1988). Elsewhere in Narok district, in
which the Mara Area lies, large-scale wheat and maize farming is now so
extensive that the district, which was formally entirely pastoral, now produces a
major share of Kenya's grains. These newly converted agricultural areas are
entirely bereft of wildlife and are no longer visited by tourists.
There persists a romantic notion that Maasai (and other) pastoralists co-
exist with wildlife in an harmonious relationship. The truth is, of course, quite
different and what one observes and interprets as co-existence is in fact a
shortage of capital and technology on the part of the pastoralists to change the
status quo. Perhaps in the past, when population densities were low,
pastoralists could indeed afford to ignore wildlife. But today, burgeoning human
populations and ever increasing financial requirements and economic
expectations create the absolute necessity to raise productivity per unit area of
land. Pastoralists simply can no longer afford the extra costs of production
associated with wildlife.
The wholesale eradication of wildlife from these pastoral areas is revealed
unambiguously by a series of aerial censuses of wildlife (Broten and Said, 1995;
GOK 1995a; 1995b) covering Narok District as a whole as well as the Group
Ranches and the Maasai Mara National Reserve individually. The censuses were
66% of all livestock yet only 3% of all wildlife - an almost complete separation from and avoidance of wildlife by the
pastoralists.
4 Although there are few quantitative data on the resources expended in building thorn fences, it is instructive to
compare accounts of livestock production among the Maasai (e.g. Bekure et al., 1991) with the pastoralists in the Ferlo
of Senegal (UNEP/FAO, 1988; Juul, 1990; Toure. 1990) where all wildlife and predators were exterminated years ago,
where the simplest of fences suffice and where herds can be left out at night attended only by a herd boy.
5 That the Maasai now realize the value of the development potential of their land is evidenced by the recent tribal warfare
in Narok District in which settlers on land purchased legally from the Maasai are being evicted by force of arms.
Property rights and wildlife conservation Page 6
made between January 1974 and December 1995 and demonstrate a
catastrophic loss of wildlife density and diversity (Table 1). Although the rates
of loss are significantly lower on the Group Ranches than for the District as a
whole, and are not yet statistically significant within the MMNR itself, 73% of all
wildlife has been eradicated from Narok District since 1977 and 50% from these
Group Ranches.
The contemporary rates of increase in wheat and maize hectares (Table
1) are astonishing and probably represent the root cause of the loss of wildlife,
along with a trend towards more modern methods of livestock production and
perhaps direct predation (poaching). The implication of such land developments
for biodiversity conservation is straightforward: while nomadic pastoralism is
still in principle compatible with wildlife conservation and eco-tourism,
developed ranching and agriculture is not, so development in the District and on
these Group Ranches is ultimately at the expense of wildlife. More specifically,
the numbers of migratory wildebeest are controlled primarily by their dry season
food supply (Sinclair and Norton-Griffiths, 1982; Sinclair et al., 1985) so any
reduction to the area of dry season grazing will lower the equilibrium level of the
wildebeest population and lead to a general reduction in the animal and habitat
diversity of the Mara Area.
Table 1. Trends(a) (% per annum) in wildlife numbers and diversity, and
in maize and wheat hectares Narok District, Kenya 1977-94
Narok
district Group
ranches MMNR
Wildlife numbers Trend -4.32 -293 -1.88
p value <0.001 <0.02 ns
Lossc -73% -50% --
Wildlife diversityb Trend -0.71 -0.53 -0.41
p value <0.001 <0.02 ns
Agricultural hectares
Maize and wheat 1985-90 Trend +19.85 na na
p value <0.001
Wheat 1981-90 Trend +13.47
p value <0.001
Maize 1985-90 Trend +19.75
p value <0.001
(a) From OLS regression of wildlife numbers converted to natural logs (Broten and Said, 1995: GOK 1995a; 1995b).
(b) Shannon-Weiner function.
(c) Total % loss 1977-94.
Wildlife numbers: trend (% pa) for Narok District > Group ranches (p < 0.001) > MMNR (p < 0.03)
Wildlife diversity: trend (% pa) for Narok District > Group ranches (p < 0.04) = MMNR
Wildlife managers and conservationists in the Mara Area must therefore
address three critical issues. First, why are Maasai developing their land in the
face of these seemingly vast revenues from tourism? Second, is it cost effective
for the GOK to counteract these trends to develop this land? Third, is there an
economically optimum area and an economically optimum number of animals
which the GOK should strive to conserve?
Property rights and wildlife conservation Page 7
Why do the Maasai develop their land?
The net gains to the Maasai from alternative land uses was first analysed
from the perspective of a cost:benefit analysis (CBA) by Norton -Griffiths (1995)
who made a careful distinction in explicit money terms between gross and net
revenues. Gross revenues
(GR)
represent total annual revenues from agricultural
and livestock production while net revenues
(NR)
represent the gross revenues
less the direct and indirect costs of production, i.e. the annual profits. The gross
and net revenues generated for Kenya in the Mara Area (Table 2, A and B) clearly
support the view that tourism is the most economic form of land use, and from
the viewpoint of the Government or of a conservation NGO it is clear that:
NRConservation >> NRAgriculture > NRLivestock
However, the Maasai landowner sees the world from a quite different perspective.
He sees first the net revenues to himself as a landowner (Table 2, C) and
then, more importantly, the net revenues or profits from each hectare of
land devoted to each use (Table 2, D). For the Maasai landowner:
NRAgriculture >>> NRLivestock >> NRConservation
so the Maasai will always favour either of the alternative land uses
over tourism and conservation.6
Table 2.
Gross and net revenues in the Mara Area
Land use Gross and net revenues to KenyaaNet revenues to Maasai landownersa
(A) Gross
($ million) (B) Net
($ million) (C) Over the
total area of
group ranches
($ million)
(D) Per hectare
devoted to each
land use
($ million)
Tourism 30.0 9.6b 0.2 0.35
A
g
ri
cu
l
tu
r
e
3
.
8
1.4
0
.2
.2
c
Livestock 2.4 0.9 0.9 1.99
Totals 16.2 11.9 1.3 na
a Sources: Douglas Hamilton (1988) and Norton-Griffiths (1995)
b See section 4.2 Benefits
c per hectare cultivated
The reasons for this are straightforward. Agriculture is a very
intensive form of land use on relatively few cultivated hectares, so the rents
per hectare cultivated are far higher than are those from livestock or
6 Put somewhat more bluntly, if one Maasai family on one Group Ranch wished to raise the extra $10,000 required to put one child through
college, the ranch would have to increase current tourist revenues by 35%, or livestock revenues by 14% or the area under agriculture by
2%.
Property rights and wildlife conservation Page 8
tourism. Although the Maasai have as yet neither the capital nor the
expertise to carry out intensive mechanized cultivation of this kind, they are
becoming widely involved in cultivating smaller plots of maize and
vegetables and they effect control over large scale agriculture in the sense
that it is their decision as to how much land to rent to commercial farmers.
In contrast, livestock rearing is an extensive form of land use over the
entire area of the Group Ranches which the Maasai control themselves and
from which they accordingly benefit in terms of all revenues and profits.
Tourism. like livestock rearing, is also an extensive form of land use
but one whose revenues are generated largely by tour companies. The
Maasai landowners again have neither the capital nor expertise to
participate fully in the tourism trade, and they have little influence of any
sort over the numbers of tourists coming to the Mara Area. Their returns
(profits) are in the form of access fees, bednight fees and other minor
revenues. In 1989. these amounted to 1.6% of gross tourist revenues from
the Group Ranches or
0.5%
of all tourist revenues in the Mara Area. (A
similar situation occurs around the Amboseli National Park, Kenya, where
the landowners of the wet season dispersal zone received in 1990 only 1 %
of the
$15
million of wildlife revenues generated there). These tourism rents
(returns per hectare) are derisory, and are unlikely even to compensate the
Maasai for the grass eaten by wildlife let alone the added risks from disease
and predation.
Wildlife managers and tour operators in Kenya are keenly aware of this
disparity and have embarked upon a number of policy initiatives. First, the
Kenya Wildlife Service is diverting some $2.5 of the $20 daily visitor fee to the
MMNR directly to the landowners which effectively doubles their rents from
tourism. Second, individual tour and safari companies are negotiating sole use
contracts with individual Group Ranches in which the ranch owners, in return for
significant payments, restrict certain types of development and deny access to
other tourists.7
Sadly, however, these and similar endeavours are based upon a
fundamental misunderstanding of the true opportunity costs of the land, which
to the Maasai on the Group Ranches are the potential net revenues from full
development rather than from the particular stage of development that the land
happens to have reached at any specific moment in time. Norton-Griffiths and
Southey (1993; 1995) developed a concept for the opportunity costs of
conserved land in Kenya (National Parks, Reserves and Forests) which they
equated to the contemporary average net returns from agricultural and livestock
production on land of similar agro-ecological conditions (primarily climate and
soils). This concept has the dual advantage of reflecting the contemporary stage
of agricultural development averaged over Kenya as a whole while avoiding
7 These are essentially free market (Coasian) solutions, for the Maasai own the property rights to the land on which the
wildlife live while the safari companies wish access to the land for their clients. However, there are such manifest
inequalities between the initial endowments of the parties in terms of wealth. information, political connections and
experience in commercial negotiations that the free market approach cannot effect either an optimal or a sustainable
outcome. This is evidenced by the recent bargain struck on the Koyaki group ranch in the Mara Area, after which the
combined payments from the KWS and from private safari companies represent less than 10% of the true opportunity
costs of the Maasai owners -which, of course, is why the Maasai continue to develop the range to the annoyance,
confusion and bafflement of the other parties.
Property rights and wildlife conservation Page 9
absurd estimates of opportunity costs based on intensive irrigated production
(or full industrial development with highrise office blocks).
Applying this concept to the Group Ranches of the Mara Area, the
opportunity costs to the Maasai of not developing their land is equal to the
contemporary average net revenues from agricultural and livestock production
on land with the same agro-ecological conditions, but outside of Maasailand.
These opportunity costs (Table 3) have been calculated with the same two-step
procedure as described by Norton-Griffiths and Southey (1993; 1995).
Over the whole area of the Group Ranches, the potential net revenues are:
NRPotential = )*(
6
1z
zzNRHa
=
(1)
where the z are the six zones of land potential as defined by Norton-Griffiths
and Southey (1993; 1995), the Haz
are the hectares of each zone in each Group
Ranch and the NRz
are the average contemporary net returns from agricultural
and livestock production within each zone.8
Using this concept of opportunity costs reveals the full scale of the
problem facing wildlife managers (Table 3). There is an annual discrepancy of
some $26.8 million between the current annual net returns (i.e. profits) to the
Maasai landowners of $1.3 million and the potential annual net returns of $28.8
million if their land were fully developed.
Table 3
Current and potential net returns to the landowners
of the group ranches
Land uses Units (A)
Current
net
returns
(B) Potential
net returnsb =
opportunity
costs
Net
opportunity
costs (A - B)
Tourism $ ha-
1 0.35 0.00c 0.35
Total production from
Agriculturea and
livestock
$ ha-
1 2.43 61.55 59.12
Total $ ha-1 $ ha-
1 2.78 61.55 58.77
Total $ millions $ 1.27 28.81 26.83
a now averaged over all hectares
b from Notion -Griffiths and Southey (1993; 1995) as modified by Norton -Griffiths (1994b)
c no tourism if the land becomes developed
8 Norton-Griffiths (1994b) has made two important modifications to his initial estimates of contemporary net returns
(NR,) in each land potential zone (Norton-Griffiths and Southey. 1993; 1995). First. agricultural production in each zone
has been weighted by the probability distributions of growing season rainfalls to accommodate between year variations
in yields (from multiple cropping, average cropping and crop failure). Second, the net values of the timber, fuelwood
and charcoal obtained from the rural landscape (from woodlots, hedgerows, riparian strips, communal free and bush
cover etc.) have been included. The potential net returns reported here for the group ranches are accordingly somewhat
larger than those previously reported by Norton -Griffiths (1995).
Property rights and wildlife conservation Page 10
This discrepancy provides a massive financial incentive for the Maasai to
develop their land at the ultimate expense of conservation values, and in the
face of the current returns from conservation and tourism it is inevitable that
the Maasai will select the development path. This discrepancy also provides a
financial incentive to outsiders to acquire land from the Maasai for agricultural
development.
Is it cost effective to meet the Maasai's opportunity costs?
Introduction
If we acknowledge the basic rights of the Maasai to benefit from the
development potential of their land and if we also acknowledge the rights of the
Government of Kenya to promote conservation for the benefit of all Kenyans
and the world at large, then these $26.8 million represent the compensation
due each year to the Maasai for freezing their land development at its present
stage. This sum is not trivial: it represents 89% of the total tourist revenues of
$30 million generated in the Mara Area and is equivalent to approximately $80
per visitor per day. This immediately raises the question as to whether it is cost
effective to meet these compensation payments - in other words is it socially
profitable for Kenya to meet the opportunity costs of the Maasai not to develop
their land any further.
This can be approached by a social cost:benefit analysis of conservation in the
Mara Area. The opportunity costs to the Maasai (OCMaasai) are a function of the
potential net revenues from their land (Norton- Griffiths and Southey,
1993;1995), while the net benefits of conservation (NBConservation) are a function
of local, domestic and global net benefits (Norton-Griffiths, 1994b), each of
which are in turn functions of direct and indirect use values, option and
existence values (Pearce and Moran, 1994). In principle, therefore, it will be
socially profitable (CE=cost effectiveness ratio) to meet the opportunity costs of
the Maasai if the ratio of net benefits to opportunity costs is greater than unity:
CE= NBConservation / OCMaasai > 1.0 (2)
Parameters for a cost:benefit analysis (Table 4)
Area to be conserved
(Table 4.1). The CBA in Table 3 treated the Group
Ranches as a single entity. However, the ranches differ fundamentally in
development potential (Norton-Griffiths, 1995) and to reflect this the Mara Area
is now divided into the core conservation area of the MMNR and into the `inner'
and `outer' Group Ranches (Fig. 1). The inner group ranches are of much
poorer agro-ecological potential so the opportunity costs to the Maasai of
leaving their land undeveloped - and therefore of the required compensation
payments - are significantly lower than on the outer group ranches. The CBA
now compares opportunity costs and net benefits within each of these three
sub-divisions, but from the perspective of the Government of Kenya rather than
that of the Maasai.
Property rights and wildlife conservation Page 11
Property rights
(Table 4.2). The property rights to the MMNR belong ultimately
to the GOK and are neither transferable nor divisible, in that it is not possible
(except by act of parliament) to sub-divide the MMNR or to develop any part of
it. In contrast, the property rights to the Group Ranches belong to the Maasai
and are both transferable (they can sell part or some of their land) and divisible
(they could transfer the development rights to all or part of their land).
However, for this CBA all property rights within these three distinct and
contiguous areas of land are treated as non-transferable and non-divisible.
Table 4.
Elements of the cost:benefit analysis
MMNR
Inner
Group
Ranches
Outer
Group
Ranches
1 Area conserved (km2) 1368 1665 2901
2 Property right
GOK Maasai Maasai
3 Wildebeest conserved (million) 0.173 0.210 0.367
Costs
4 Opportunity cost to land ($m) 8.127 3.069 25.036
Benefits
(a) Gross revenues from tourism ($m) 20.000 4.700 5.300
(b) Net revenues (32%) from tourism
($m) 6.400 1.504 1.696
5
(c) CE ratio (5b/4) ($m) 0.787 0.490 0.068
6 Other domestic benefits ($m) 2.740 3.335 5.811
(a) Total domestic benefits (5b+6) ($m) 9.140 4.839 7.507 7 (b) CE ratio (7a/4) ($m) 1.125 1.577 0.300
8 Global benefits ($ million) 16.416 19.980 34.812
(a) Total benefits (7a+8) ($m) 25.556 24.819 42.319 9 (b) CE ratio (9a/4) ($m) 3.145 8.087 1.390
Net transfer to meet opportunity costs
10 Current net revenues ($m) 6.400 0.546 0.716
11 Net transfer (4-10) ($m) 1.727 2.532 24.320
Wildebeest to be conserved
(Table 4.3). The size of the migratory wildebeest
population is controlled primarily by the dry season food supply (Sinclair
et al.,
1995) which is in turn dependent mainly upon rainfall during the dry season.
The long-term equilibrium level of the wildebeest population, here taken to be
1.5 million animals, is accordingly a function of rainfall fluctuations and other
events such as fire, poaching and outbreaks of disease (Hilborn, 1995). The
Hilborn model assumes a proportional effect between the equilibrium level of
the wildebeest population and any reduction in dry season grazing area, so
loosing 10% of dry season grazing area will,
ceterus paribus,
lower the
equilibrium population by 10%.
Property rights and wildlife conservation Page 12
The importance of the Mara Area for the wildebeest is itself a function of
both their numbers and the actual patterns of rainfall. When numbers were low,
200-300,000 as in the early 1960s, the Mara Area was quite unimportant; once
numbers had risen to some 600-800,000 they were spending over 40% of the
dry season there (Pennycuick, 1975; Maddock. 1979); and with numbers now at
around 1.5 million they spend perhaps 60% of the dry season grazing in the
Mara Area (Huish and Campbell, 1990). The long-term average proportion of
dry season grazing provided by the Mara Area is therefore taken as 50%. The
numbers of wildebeest (N) lost from the equilibrium population (
Pop
) by
developing any part (a) of the Mara Area (A) is accordingly given by
N =
Pop
(a * 0.5/A)
The MMNR and the Group Ranches hold many other animals and habitats
as well as the wildebeest. However, the wildebeest can be considered here to
be a flagship species, in that by conserving their dry season range these other
wildlife and habitats will be conserved as well.
Opportunity costs to land
(Table 4.4). To the GOK, as to the Maasai on the Group
Ranches. the opportunity cost of not developing their land for the sake of
conservation is the potential net returns from full development. These
opportunity costs have been recalculated for each of the three sub-divisions
with the same two-step procedure (1) as described above, by multiplying the
Haz in each sub-division by the
NR
z
.
Benefits
(Table 4.5-4.9). The benefits from conservation are classified here as
local, domestic and global to highlight the policy implications of these different
scales of benefits and the possible market failures associated with each. They
represent benefits to Kenya and to the Kenyan wildlife managers rather than
benefits to the Maasai landowners, for the essence of this CBA is the conflict
between the benefits to society and the world on the one hand and the private
opportunity costs of traditional land users on the other.
In this analysis, the local benefits (Table 4.5) are considered to be those
deriving solely from the gross revenues from tourism (Table 4.5a) which amount
to $20 million in the MMNR and $10 million on the Group Ranches, apportioned
$4.7 million and $5.3 million between the inner and outer ranches respectively
(Douglas Hamilton, 1988). These gross revenues cannot be used directly in the
CBA for what is needed are the net economic returns from tourism, in other
words the gross revenues less the costs to Kenya of earning those revenues.
Estimates of net economic returns from eco-tourism in Kenya range from 24% -
40% of gross revenues (Norton-Griffiths, 1994b), so the average of 32% is used
here to estimate the net local benefits from tourism (Table 4.5b).
Domestic benefits (Table 4.6) reflect all the other benefits that accrue
domestically to Kenya from biodiversity conservation in the Mara Area. They
include net benefits from forestry, from watershed services (erosion and flood
control), from the potential value of as yet undiscovered pharmaceutical
products, from the potential consumer surplus of wildlife tourists (Moran, 1994),
and existence values as manifested by the direct support to biodiversity
Property rights and wildlife conservation Page 13
conservation in Kenya from the international community. A mean value of
$20.03 per hectare for all net domestic benefits was derived from a stochastic
simulation model of biodiversity values in Kenya (Norton-Griffiths, 1994b). This
mean value was applied to each sub-division in turn. Total domestic benefits
(Table 4.7a) therefore represent all the direct net benefits to Kenya from
conservation in the Mara Area.
The global benefits (Table 4.8) represent the benefits to the rest of the
world, that is benefits accruing not to Kenya but outside of Kenya, generated
from biodiversity conservation in the Mara Area. They include consumer surplus
from tourism, existence and option values, and the values of carbon
sequestration. A stochastic simulation model of biodiversity values in Kenya
(Norton-Griffiths, 1994b) generated a mean value of $120 per hectare for these
global benefits, which was applied in turn to each sub-division. Total benefits
(Table 4.9a) show all benefits derived from conservation in the Mara Area -local,
domestic and global.
Cost effectiveness of meeting the opportunity costs to land
The cost effectiveness
(CE)
decision rule (2) compares the net benefits
from conservation with the opportunity costs to the land. The total annual
benefits from biodiversity conservation in the Mara Area (Table 4.9a) amount to
some $93 million compared to annual opportunity costs of $36 million (Table
4.4), giving a cost effectiveness (CE) ratio of 1:2.6. Clearly, conservation in the
Mara Area is socially profitable to Kenya and to the world at large: but a closer
examination reveals a more complex and interesting situation.
If we look first at the Maasai Mara National Reserve itself, it is clearly not
in the least socially profitable on the basis of local (tourist) benefits alone: the
MMNR contains land of excellent agricultural potential, so the opportunity costs
to land of $8.13 million are significantly higher than the net tourist benefits of
$6.40 million, giving a
CE
ratio of 0.79. However, when all the domestic benefits
of conservation are included ($9.14 million), the
CE
ratio becomes 1.13. The net
benefits to Kenya from keeping the MMNR under conservation are therefore
greater than the opportunity costs to the land. The picture improves
dramatically when global values are taken into account: the world gains $16.4
million annually from conserving the MMNR.
The inner Group Ranches show a similar picture. Even though the
opportunity costs to land are much lower, so too are net tourist benefits, giving
a CE ratio of 0.49. However, when domestic benefits are taken into account the
inner Group Ranches are clearly socially profitable, with a
CE
ratio of 1.58. As
with the MMNR, the global benefits from conservation on the inner Group
Ranches are larger still. In contrast, the outer Group Ranches are problematic.
They are of such high agricultural potential that it is only socially profitable to
Kenya to conserve them when global biodiversity values are taken into account.
The CBA shows that the net returns from tourism alone are clearly
inadequate to justify conservation in the MMNR or on any of the Group Ranches.
However, when all domestic benefits from conservation are taken into account
the CBA suggests that it would be socially profitable for Kenya to conserve both
the MMNR and the inner Group Ranches, and to meet the opportunity costs of
the Maasai on the inner Group Ranches for not developing their land any
Property rights and wildlife conservation Page 14
further. The CBA would accordingly support a policy decision to maintain both
the Maasai Mara National Reserve and the inner Group Ranches for
conservation. In contrast, it is clearly not socially profitable for Kenya to prevent
the development of the high potential land on the outer Group Ranches for the
sake of conservation, unless of course some mechanism can be devised through
which Kenya can realize the significant global benefits associated with these
areas.
An effective economic policy instrument
Any actual transfer to make the Maasai indifferent to the conservation:
development choice would be based on their net opportunity costs, namely the
difference between opportunity costs (Table 4.4) and current net revenues
(Table 4.10). Current net revenues for the inner and outer Group Ranches were
derived from the current land uses (Table 2. C) on each as reported by Norton-
Griffiths (1995). The annual net transfers (Table 4.11) would therefore amount
to $2.5 million on the inner Group Ranches and $24.3 million on the outer
Group Ranches.
It is only relevant to discuss here the broad characteristics of an effective
policy instrument. The principle is that a transfer of $2.5 million each year
should be paid directly to the Maasai of the inner Group Ranches as
compensation for not developing their land any further: in return, the Maasai
would continue to live on their land and follow their traditional livestock culture,
but they must transfer the development rights to their land back to the state -
or to some conservation organization acting on behalf of the state.
An effective economic instrument might therefore consist of a lump sum
payment and an annual incentive payment. The lump sum payment would
represent the once-and-for-all transfer of the development rights of the inner
Group Ranches, and could be based on an agreed proportion of the net present
value of the annual compensation payment: for example, a lump sum payment
of $20 million would represent the net present value of $1 million per year (out
of the $2.5 million) at a 5% rate of discount. This capital sum could be raised
from the national exchequer, or from the donor and conservation NGO
community.9 In contrast, an annual incentive payment of the remaining $1.5
million would maintain the active cooperation of the Maasai in conservation and
tourism and would provide incentives to them to become more involved in the
commercialization of eco-tourism on their land. If it were tied to the numbers of
tourists visiting the Mara Area and or to those visiting the inner Group Ranches
it would represent a modest increase of $5 to the current daily visitor fee of
$20.
Optimal size of protected area and wildebeest population
The previous CBA was based on the total costs and benefits in each area and so
says nothing about the optimal size of area to be protected or the optimal
number of wildebeest to be conserved. The question now is: given that the
9 While it is clear from Table 4 that the payment of $2.5 million compensation to the Maasai produces clear global
benefits of $20 million, the project would not necessarily qualify for GEF funding since the incremental cost of $2.5
million is significantly less than the incremental domestic benefits of $4.8 million.
Property rights and wildlife conservation Page 15
State will fully compensate the Maasai for not developing their land, what is the
optimum area of land for the State to conserve? This requires an analysis of the
marginal costs and benefits to the state from conserving land, which can be
derived (in principle) from the data in Table 4.
First however we must release the constraint on the property rights and
assume they are both divisible and transferable. Second, we must impose a
spatial constraint to the “with” and “without” conservation scenario. The
conservation scenario can be implemented only in the order of conserve the
MMNR first, followed by the inner and then the outer Group Ranches (Fig. 1).
In contrast, the development (without conservation) scenario can be
implemented only in the reverse of outer Group Ranches first, then the inner
Group Ranches, and finally the MMNR itself.
The conservation scenario - the optimal size of protected area
Table 5 shows the average costs and benefits for each additional square
kilometre conserved in the Mara Area. Table 5.1 shows the square kilometres
conserved in each sub-area and Table 5.2 the cumulative square kilometres
conserved under the conservation scenario. Referring next to Table 5.3, 5.6,
5.9 and 5.12, and using the opportunity costs to land as an example, for each
area in turn (A =1, 2 or 3) the average opportunity costs are given by:
Average costs =
=
A
a1Opportunity costs /
=
A
a1Area conserved
Table 5
Average costs and benefits of conserved land
From
table (1) MMNR (2) Inner
group
ranches
(3) Outer
group
ranches
(1) Km2 conserved 4.1 1368 1665 2901
(2) Cumulative Km2 1368 3033 5934
(3) Opportunity cost to land (OCL) 4.4 8.127 3.069 25.036
(4) Cumulative opportunity cost to land ($m) 8.127 11.196 36.232
(5) Average OCL ($m) per km2 (4/2) 5941 3691 6106
(6) Net revenues from tourism (NRT) 4.5 6.400 1.504 1.696
(7) Cumulative net revenues from Tourism 6.400 7.904 9.600
(8) Average NRT ($) per km2 (7/2) 4678 2606 1618
(9) Domestic benefits (DB) ($m) 4.7 9.140 4.839 7.507
(10) Cumulative domestic benefits ($m) 9.140 13.979 21.486
(11) Average DB ($m) per km2 (10/2) 6681 4609 3621
(12) Global benefits (GB) ($m) 4.9 25.556 24.819 42.319
(13) Cumulative global benefits ($m) 25.556 50.375 92.694
(14) Average GB ($) per km2 (13/2) 18681 16609 15621
Property rights and wildlife conservation Page 16
The average cost (AC) curve (Table 5.5) is clearly quadratic, and a quadratic
solution gives:
AC = α + βX + γX
2
(3)
where X is the area conserved. From (3) a total cost curve (TC) is derived by
multiplying through by X:
TC = αX + βX
2
+ γX
3
and, by differentiation, a marginal cost (MC) curve:
MC = δTClδX = α + 2βX+
3γX2 (4)
In contrast. the average benefit (AB) curves (Table 5.8, 5.11 and 5.14) are
clearly linear, so:
AB = α + βX (5)
where X again is the area conserved. Multiplying through by X gives total
benefit
(TB)
curves:
TB = αX + βX
2
and by differentiation the marginal benefit
(MB)
curves
MB = δTBlδX = α + 2βX (6)
The marginal cost curve (Fig. 2) shows the point solutions for the MMNR,
inner and outer Group Ranches. Marginal costs decrease sharply when the land
of poor agricultural potential on the inner Group Ranches is included, but rise
steeply again in the face of the high potential land of the outer Group Ranches.
In contrast, the marginal benefit curves all decrease with land area due to the
lower tourism potential of the outer Group Ranches.
Conserving the MMNR on its own is clearly sub-optimal, with marginal
costs considerably less than even the marginal local benefits. The solution to
Equations 4 and
6
for local tourist benefits is 2800 km' which, as would be
expected from the CBA, is less than the combined areas of the MMNR and the
inner Group Ranches (3033 km2). Solution of Equations 4 and 6 for domestic
benefits gives 3400 km2 as the optimal area which would take in some 370 km2
of the outer Group Ranches, while the solution for global benefits yields
5200km2 which would take in some 75% of the outer Group Ranches.
The conservation scenario - the optimal size of the equilibrium wildebeest
population
The average costs and benefits for each additional wildebeest conserved
(Table 6 and Figure 3) were derived from Table 4 in exactly the same way as
for Equations 3-6 only using wildebeest as the numeraire. Also shown are the
Property rights and wildlife conservation Page 17
point solutions equivalent to the areas of the MMNR, the inner and outer Group
Ranches. Solving Equations 4 and 6 for local benefits gives an equilibrium
population of wildebeest of 1.11 million animals, which increases to 1.19 million
and 1.41 million, respectively, when domestic and global benefits are taken into
account.
Table 6
Average costs and benefits of conserved wildebeest
From
table (1)
MMNR (2)
Inner
Group
ranches
(3)
Outer
group
ranches
(1) Wildebeest (wld) conserved (millions) 4.3 0.173 0.21 0.367
(2) Cumulative wildebeest (millions) 0.173 0.383 0.750
(3) Cumulative opportunity cost to land ($
million) 5.4 8.127 11.196 36.232
(4) Average OCL ($) per wildebeest (3/2) 47 29 48
(5) Cumulative net revenues from tourism ($
million) 5.7 6.400 7.904 9.600
(6) Average NRT ($) per wildebeest (5/2) 37 21 13
(7) Cumulative domestic benefits ($ million) 5.10 9.140 13.979 27.486
(8) Average DB ($) per wildebeest (7/2) 53 37 29
(9) Cumulative global benefits ($ million) 5.13 25.556 50.375 92.694
(10) Average GB ($) per wildebeest (9/2) 148 132 124
In this specific analysis, the marginal costs of conserving wildebeest are
derived from the opportunity costs of the land required to conserve a wildebeest
population of a given size, while the marginal benefits (local, domestic and
global) of each successive wildebeest conserved are derived from the benefits
accruing to the additional land needed to conserve that extra wildebeest. This
approach may well provide a general solution to the problem of estimating
marginal costs and benefits of individual or flagship species, and appears to be
a more straightforward approach than some used elsewhere (e.g. Montgomery
et
al., 1994).
Discussion
This analysis clearly requires a much finer spatial resolution than the
three contiguous land areas used here10. Nonetheless, the problem of finding a
socially optimum area to conserve, or a socially optimum population to
conserve, is clearly tractable and open to straightforward solution. Furthermore,
differentiating between the opportunity costs of land to society as opposed to
land owners and users, and itemizing local, versus domestic and global benefits
10 Using standard geographical information system (GIS) technology, it would be possible to divide the Mara Area into
contiguous blocks, for example into 5 x 5 km UTM grid cells, and calculate opportunity costs and benefits within each.
The 'with conservation' model would then entail an expanding perimeter of contiguous grid cells from the inner core of
the MMNR.
Property rights and wildlife conservation Page 18
clearly strengthens the analysis and would allow, for example, the full extent of
the various market failures to be calculated. More land and more wildebeest are
conserved when global versus domestic versus local benefits are taken into
account.
It is clear that when all the domestic benefits to Kenya from biodiversity
conservation are considered, the optimal area to conserve (and therefore in this
analysis the optimal number of wildebeest) includes both the Maasai Mara
National Reserve, the inner Group Ranches and some 370 kmz of the outer
Group Ranches. It is, however, quite unlikely to be worth the while of the KWS
to pursue this policy option, given the potentially high transaction costs
associated with the complexity of Maasai property rights and the difficulties of
subdividing Group Ranches.
Conserving the optimum area to capture full global benefits is much more
problematical, and depends ultimately on how the Government of Kenya views
its responsibilities to global environmental welfare and whether it considers it
could ever capture some or all of these global values. Optimising on global
benefits (5200 km2) requires an incremental area of 1800 km2 over the optimum
for domestic benefits (3400 km2), all on the outer Group Ranches. This would
cost the GOK a further $16 million annually in compensation payments (from
Table 5.3) to secure incremental domestic benefits
of
$5 million (Table 5.9)
and global benefits of $26 million (Table 5.12). Technically this would qualify
for funding under GEF rules for the 'incremental' domestic costs of $
19
million
produce net incremental global benefits of $21 million ($26-$5million).
However, the cost effectiveness ratio of 1:1.1 might not be particularly
attractive, neither is the GEF structured to provide streams of payments in
perpetuity (NortonGriffiths and Southey, 1995; Norton-Griffiths, 1995).
Discussion
Central to this discussion of conservation versus development are the
nature of the property rights and the nature of the externalities. Both the
Government of Kenya and the Maasai have clear, legal and enforceable rights to
the benefit streams from their land, the GOK to the MMNR and the Maasai to
their Group Ranches. The Government of Kenya produces conservation on its
land and, to some extent, on the Maasai's land as well. To the consumers of
conservation, namely the international community of eco-tourists and the vast
array of users of the global commons, these actions of the Government of
Kenya are perceived as a public good. In contrast, conservation is perceived to
be a public bad by the Maasai, for both its production and its consumption
greatly increases their costs of production and hinders their development.
The dilemma facing the GOK and the international conservation
community is that if they wish to maintain the conservation values of the Group
Ranches then the land must be kept at a relatively undeveloped state. However,
like other Kenyan pastoralists and like other traditional users and owners of land
elsewhere in the world, the Maasai are comparatively poor: their one asset is
their land, and their main route to political, economic and social progress is to
profit from its potential for development, be it for tourism, for the consumptive
utilization of wildlife, for agriculture or whatever.
Property rights and wildlife conservation Page 19
Given that tourism and wildlife use are broadly compatible with
conservation aims and values, then there are all sorts of possibilities to involve
the Maasai more in the tourist and wildlife utilization industries so that the rents
received by them for the use of their land become significantly larger. But the
potential rents from development will always be larger still, even on the more
marginal areas of the Group Ranches, so the Maasai will always be able to `do
better' by taking the development option.
Governments have two standard policy responses to this situation, both
of which are at the ultimate expense of the traditional users and owners of the
land. First, they can simply alienate the development rights and declare the land
to be 'development free' or `conservation areas'; second, they can tax
development in some way so that the developer would meet the full social costs
(in terms of lost biodiversity benefits) of developing their land.
The potential political fallout in Kenya from either of these policy
responses would be very severe. First, while the concept of zoning or
development restrictions on land is widely accepted in the developed world (and
that a landowner cannot always build what and where he wills, or remove trees
and woodlands to plant crops), the situation is quite different in developing
countries, especially with traditional owners and users of land. In Kenya there is
very little zoning of land outside urban and industrial conurbations and there are
at present no easements of any kind on the Maasai property rights.
Second, the cost benefit analysis shows clearly that (1) the Government
of Kenya is providing conservation far too cheaply to the consumers of
conservation; that (2) it is the Maasai who are providing the hidden subsidies;
and that (3) it is socially profitable for the Government of Kenya, or for
international conservation organizations, to meet in full the potential
development benefits of the Maasai's land.
The transfers (tax or compensation) are the same, but who should
transfer what and to whom? It is manifestly clear that it is the consumers of
conservation, who up to now have been getting their conservation far too
cheaply, who should meet the full opportunity costs of the Maasai. It would be
a gross abuse, and neither equitable nor sustainable, to deny to the Maasai
the potential benefits of their land and to condemn them in the name of
biodiversity conservation to a perpetual poverty trap.
Property rights and wildlife conservation Page 20
Property rights and wildlife conservation Page 21
Property rights and wildlife conservation Page 22
Acknowledgements
The author acknowledges with thanks the helpful (though often
scathing) comments on the manuscript from D. Pearce, D. Moran, D. McCoy, S.
Fankhauser, A. Papandreu and I. Parker.
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... Pushed to the drier peripheries of Laikipia in a large-scale relocation scheme in 1914 (Hughes 2006), Laikipia Maasai have experienced significant population growth since the early 1990s, and their small, communallyowned land parcels called group ranches struggle to maintain pasture, water, and other subsistence resources (Lengoiboni et al. 2010). Pastoralists throughout Kenya are being aggressively incentivized by conservation organizations to forfeit natural resources in exchange for social services and employment, though these benefits are often more meager than promised (Norton-Griffiths 1996;Igoe 2006;Little 2014). When accused of hoarding land, Gallmann has drawn attention to the number of people her ranch employs, and the fact that a corner of Ol Ari Nyiro is permanently allocated for her neighbors during droughts (Telegraph, April 23, 2017). ...
... Though elephant populations throughout Kenya have recovered substantially since the 1980s, conservation practitioners continue to struggle to make African people understand the value of conservation first-hand (Norton-Griffiths 1996;Neumann 1998;Büscher 2010). "The inequalities that exist between the foreigners (and descendants of white settlers) who are the global face of African wildlife conservation, and the Africans who sacrifice and work to make conservation a reality on the ground," says Garland (2008), "are a shockingly stable feature of the African wildlife field" (59). ...
Article
This article situates the shooting of white Kenyan landowner Kuki Gallmann within recent critiques of community-based conservation and the politics of whiteness in Kenya. I discuss how conservation has enabled white landowners to consolidate their influence over Laikipia County, as well as neighboring regions of Kenya via an organization called the Northern Rangelands Trust. The NRT is feared to be undermining regional livestock economies, while contributing to land shortages that have precipitated violence in Laikipia. I argue that the pastoralists implicated in these conflicts are subject to a maelstrom of livelihood stressors, some of which are aggravated by the efforts of white Kenyans to expand conservation throughout northern Kenya.
... These effects can be categorized in different areas. Direct impacts on humans lead to loss of human lives, damage, and destruction of crops, livestock losses destruction of properties (Conover 2002;Dickman and Hazzah 2016;Gemeda and Meles 2018;Norton-Griffiths 1996;Campbell et al. 2000). Similarly, the loss of lives and their habitats can be taken as a direct influence on wildlife. ...
... The opportunity costs of land allocated to wildlife conservation were valued and found to outweigh the estimated net benefits of wildlife-based tourism. Norton-Griffiths (1996) has followed this with a more focused cost-benefit analysis of the Mara Reserve in Kenya. ...
Thesis
The wildlife resources in Botswana were studied to determine their direct use values. Cost- benefit analysis was applied to develop models for wildlife viewing, safari hunting, community-based wildlife use, game ranching, ostrich farming, crocodile farming and ranching, elephant utilisation and wildlife product processing. Various planning and policy options were analysed within the wildlife sector. Contingent valuation was used to estimate economic characteristics of demand for wildlife-viewing tourism. A linear programniing model, which optimises the contribution of use activities to national income, within a framework of policy constraints, was developed for the whole sector. The findings confirm that wildlife in Botswana can contribute positively and sustainably to national income, and that this can happen without loss in biological diversity. Wildlife's potential contribution will not likely exceed four percent of gross domestic product. The likely flow of positive use values from the wildlife sector justifies anticipated public expenditures in it. In expansion of wildlife use, emphasis should be placed on wildlife viewing, and, to a lesser extent, ostrich production, crocodile production, and community wildlife use in high value areas. Later, as capital, labour and management resources become more abundant, the sector should be diversified to develop all uses fully. A ban on consumptive uses of wildlife would result in 16 percent less gross value added from wildlife in the sector, and would involve use of 75 percent less land. Even with consumptive use, some 88 percent of the wildlife estate cannot generate any direct use value from wildlife in the medium term. The survival of wildlife in Botswana depends largely on its ability to generate economic value. This can happen through an array of uses yielding direct use values, within a framework of land use zoning which precludes loss of indirect use and non-use values, which should also be captured where possible.
... Much of the literature celebrating and critiquing the conservation-pastoralism nexus involves specific conservation projects or discrete programs that overlap with pastoral communities or grazing areas. These studies often consider benefits and costs to communities, attitudes toward wildlife, or property rights issues associated with wildlife conservation areas (Norton-Griffiths 1996). A recurring issue is the failure of many conservation efforts to incorporate pastoralists' local knowledge for participatory management. ...
Thesis
This dissertation investigates pastoral women’s roles in managing livestock in southern Kenya. Although there is a rich body of literature on human-livestock-environment interactions in sub- Saharan Africa, scholarship has tended to focus primarily on herding activities in rangelands where livestock graze under the supervision of men. Pastoral women’s caretaking roles at home have tended to be overlooked, yet they are integral to decision-making about household economy. As such, I provide empirical evidence for pastoral women’s contributions to livestock management by examining milking activities in bomas (homesteads). Specifically, I examine women’s considerations to balance output (milk offtake for household needs) with investment (milk allocated toward young animals) and the spaces in which such decisions occur. Given that milk is a primary food source for much of the year, I find that women’s decisions have crucial implications for food security and herd health. This dissertation is based on 14 months of fieldwork conducted from 2014 to 2015 in a Maasai community in southern Kenya. I used mixed methods, including structured household surveys, intra-household surveys, and semi-structured interviews with men and women to understand the gendered nature of livestock management. Through an in-depth focal household study over ten months, I also collected quantitative and qualitative data during hundreds of milking observations with women and herding events with men. This dissertation presents several main findings. First, livestock management practices that determine livelihood outcomes occur within pastoral households in highly gendered, contested, and dynamic private spaces. Second, gendered, intra-household relations shape three central components of pastoral livelihoods: livestock productivity, food security, and adaptive and coping capacities. This means that intra-household relations, rather than grazing activities or household assets such as herd size, determine milk resources for individuals within households. Moreover, gender relations within households are co-produced through milking practices that emerge as women exercise their responsibilities to apportion milk and as men attempt to preside over these activities. Third, abilities to cope with and adapt to risks of climate change are gendered and vary within households. As evidence of this, an extreme drought in the region in 2014 resulted in milk yields dropping substantially, which forced most families to migrate some or all of their livestock. Based on a variety of intra-household dynamics, some individuals in certain households were left more food insecure and vulnerable than others. By applying a feminist methodology to the literatures on pastoral systems, livelihoods, institutions, and political ecology, this dissertation demonstrates the importance of focusing attention to women’s roles in livestock management in scholarship and policy. More broadly, my findings suggest that examining gendered, intra-household variation can be key for understanding livelihoods and human-environment interactions for communities in the Global South.
... The Mara River flows from the highlands of Kenya through the iconic Massai Mara National Reserve (MMNR) and Serengeti Natinal Park (SNP) ecosystems to Lake Victoria in Tanzania (Fig. 4). Water management challenges in the MRB have been linked to water shortage threatening livelihood of residents in the basin and sustainability of the Mara-Serengeti ecosystem Gereta and Wolanski, 1998;McClain et al., 2014;Norton-Griffiths, 1996). Recent water allocation studies in MRB were focused either on environmental preservation O'Brien et al., 2018) or cover limited areas in the basin (Metobwa et al., 2018). ...
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We present a new Priority Rated Optimization Model (PROM) for multi-sector water resource assessment, allocation and management. PROM utilizes flow duration curves (FDC), demand-to-supply ratio (DSR) and utility indices (UI) to evaluate and optimize priority based multi-sector water allocation. DSR links demand volume and priority with corresponding supply volume and likelihood derived from segmentation of FDC. The UI function assigns weights to ranges of DSR to assess the existing and potential alternative management scenarios. Supply reliability and UI values are used in a combinatorial optimization scheme to estimate allocated volume, flow rate and percent exceedance. PROM is applied in the Mara River Basin of Kenya/Tanzania, and results showed potential improvement over the current management practice towards sustainability of the Mara-Serengeti ecosystem. PROM bridges the gap between environmental and economic models while providing a user-friendly platform for direct stakeholder involvement to explore alternative water allocation scenarios.
... Given this history, much of the literature on the conservation-pastoralism nexus involves specific conservation projects or discrete programmes that overlap with pastoral communities or grazing areas. These studies often consider benefits and costs to communities, attitudes toward wildlife, or property rights issues associated with wildlife conservation areas (Norton-Griffiths 1996). A recurring issue is the failure of many conservation efforts to incorporate pastoralists' local (or traditional) knowledge for participatory management. ...
Article
Full-text available
Pastoralists have long overlapped with wildlife in rangelands of sub-Saharan Africa. With growing recognition of the importance of wildlife outside of protected areas, conservation efforts are increasingly managed through hybrid governance activities worldwide, activities which often involve pastoralists. These efforts are especially prevalent in East African rangelands where pastoralists, livestock, and wildlife commonly overlap outside of formal protected areas. Laikipia County, Kenya, is one region renowned for abundant and diverse wildlife species sustained outside protected areas through a collective of conservation activities among private landowners and pastoral group ranches. Little research has considered pastoralists’ roles in the region’s conservation efforts or the ways that those efforts shape local livelihoods. Based on data from interviews, surveys, and participant observation, this article uses a case study approach to demonstrate how some of Laikipia’s pastoralists are increasingly drawn into professional herding jobs with powerful landowners involved in joint commercial ranching and wildlife conservation activities. This has caused many pastoralists to shift from traditional livestock ownership in favour of livestock caretaking for other owners, with substantial implications for livelihoods. This study offers empirical evidence for the importance of considering how diversifying pastoral livelihoods entwine with hybrid conservation processes outside protected areas.
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Recent land conflicts in Laikipia County, Kenya, have re-ignited debates about the future of minority land ownership in eastern Africa. With climate change, foreign investment, and population growth placing unprecedented pressure on lands, Laikipia has become a “battleground” for land struggles involving some of Kenya's most alienated ethnic and racial groups. Providing ethnographic insight into land politics in Laikipia in the lead up to the 2017 general elections, this article examines the relationships between Laikipia's Maasai communities and three distinct private land parcels that neighbor them. While significant segments of land in Laikipia are owned by foreigners or Kenyans of European descent, the county is home to other minority landowners whose political significance is underappreciated. Though the owners of some large ranches in Laikipia see neighboring pastoralists as liabilities, others see them as a source of political capital or allies in the struggle to secure their land tenure. Overall, I show that Laikipia's political landscape is defined by actors who defy the black-white, rancher-pastoralist dichotomy, and make a case for the qualitative study of land politics at a time when Kenya's future is shaped by high-stakes alliances between historically dissonant communities.
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This paper focuses on extracts from a recent comparative analysis of livestock and land use surveys across a range of agro-climatic conditions in sub-Saharan Africa, based on information from systematic low level aerial reconnaissance and complementary ground studies in Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Sudan and Tchad, between 1980 and 1993. Results indicate a highly significant relationship between livestock biomass and the intensity of land use, and suggest that cultivation and human habitation are the best predictors of livestock distribution. These findings are consistent with expectations of the Boserup hypothesis, and are indicative of thèautonomous intensification' of agricultural production associated with the growth of human population, through closer interaction between livestock and arable farmers. The autonomous control of tsetse and trypanosomiasis is a further consequence of the environmental impact of human population growth, which has favoured the southward dispersal and year-round presence of cattle in the Nigerian sub-humid zone. This in turn has created circumstances which have favoured the spread of animal traction and livestock fattening, which are themselves indicative of the intensification process.
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Reviews the current process whereby Group Ranches under private title are being subdivided into unequal individual family holdings, and examines local political discourse through which protest is voiced. The factors behind the decisions of previous individual ranch holders to sell portions of their property on the open market are then analyzed. Many ranchers sold land to repay development loans taken out before serious herd losses resulted from drought (1979, 1984), but sales in one area were strongly correlated with lack of education and/or employment experience of opportunity; case studies are reviewed of those who used revenues profitably or squandered them. Concludes by supporting the recent call by some Maasai to revoke the Kenyan Group Representatives legislation under which individuation of rangeland occurs, and proposes that public policies encouraging current ranch subdivision should be reconsidered. -from Author
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The 16 Chapters are divided into 4 parts: conservation ideologies in Africa; wildlife, parks and pastoralists; conservation priorities and rural communities; and consequences for conservation and development. Papers are abstracted separately.-K.Riches