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Open AccessArticle

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

1
Social Sciences Division, Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8686, Japan
2
Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, College of Dryland Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mekelle University, Mekelle, Tigray Region, P.O. Box 231, Ethiopia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 December 2019 / Revised: 14 January 2020 / Accepted: 20 January 2020 / Published: 25 January 2020
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: natural resource management; norms; collective action; hillside distribution natural resource management; norms; collective action; hillside distribution
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MDPI and ACS Style

Oniki, S.; Berhe, M.; Negash, T. Role of Social Norms in Natural Resource Management: The Case of the Communal Land Distribution Program in Northern Ethiopia. Land 2020, 9, 35.

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