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«Dissertation Zur Erlangung des akademischen Grades Doctor rerum agriculturarum (Dr. rer. agr) eingereicht an der Landwirtschaftlich-Gärtnerischen ...»

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The Role of Property Rights

for Land Degradation and Land Use Conflicts.

The Case of Wetland in Gujranwala (Pakistan)


Zur Erlangung des akademischen Grades

Doctor rerum agriculturarum

(Dr. rer. agr)

eingereicht an der

Landwirtschaftlich-Gärtnerischen Fakultät

der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin


M.Sc. Tasneem Akhter

Präsident der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Prof. Dr. Jan-Hendrik Olbertz

Dekan der

Landwirtschaftlich-Gärtnerischen Fakultät

Prof. Dr. Frank Ellmer Gutachter: 1. Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Konrad Hagedorn

2. Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Harald von Witzke

3. Prof. Dr. Hafiz Zahid Mahmood (Pakistan) vii Acknowledgement First of all, I owe my profound thanks and deepest sense of gratitude to Allah Almighty, who blessed me with determination and ability to complete my research. I firmly believe that Allah never Spoil any effort. Every piece of work is rewarded according to the nature and degree of devotion for it. I also humbly say my thanks to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) who asked his followers to seek knowledge from the cradle to grave.

Apart from the efforts of me, the success of this task depends largely on the encouragement and guidelines of many others. I take this opportunity to express my gratitude to the people who have been instrumental in the successful completion of this dissertation.

It is a privilege and great pleasure to place on record my sincere thanks to Prof. Dr. Dr.

Konrad Hagedorn, my supervisor. This dissertation could not have been written without the guidance and encouragement of him. I acknowledge with immense pleasure and want to describe my feelings of respect for his valuable support, inspiring criticism, zealous interest, and personal involvement in my work. I gained a great deal of challenging experience during work with him, which enabled me to develop an understanding of the problem.

I would like to show my greatest appreciation to Prof. Dr. Dr. Harald von Witzke, who encouraged me to study with Prof. Hagedorn. I can’t say thank you enough for his tremendous support and help. I feel motivated and encouraged every time when I went to him.

I am deeply indebted to my colleagues Dr. Violeta Dirimanova and Dr. Beatrice Marelli, who were really helpful for me in my hard time and their continuous encouragement and guidance was very supportive of me to find my way. They took the pain to go through the dissertation and make necessary correction as needed. Similarly, my deepest thanks and appreciation to Mrs. Sigrid Heilmann, for correcting various documents of main with attention and care.

I offer my regards and blessing to all those who supported me in

–  –  –

I also extended my heartfelt thanks to my institute of Resource Economics and my faculty members without whom this dissertation would have been a distant reality. I as well appreciated the efforts of Mrs. Ines Jeworski and Mrs. Renate Judis, who have kindly been ready to help me, whenever I ask. Special thanks to all my fellows, Alexander PerezCarmona, Srinivasa Reddy Srigiri, Raghu Chaliganti and Anna Buschmann for their cooperation and helpful attitude.

I owe the numerous debt of gratitude to the villagers, who intimately accepted me in their village and provided me their personal information for my study. I am highly obliged to the Local organization Roshni, for arranging my stay in the field. During my field survey, I received great help from Soil Fertility Research Institute and Planning Division for the region of Gujranwala. I would like to say thank for providing me the needed documents and data.

Not forgotten Higher Education Commission of Pakistan (HEC) for their financial support, which was most needed for this task. I am also wanted to pay my regards to German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), for all those services which they provide me during my stay in Germany. Eiselen Foundation provided me the funds for my field survey in Pakistan, without which my study would never have been possible. Because of their support, I would never procrastinate the completion of my task.

There are no words to describe my sensation of respect and affection to my father, sisters, brothers, nieces and nephew, because it was too difficult to attain this target without their prayers, love and moral support. I also pay my sincere regards to my friends Samreen, Aasma, Hajra, Sanam and Tasneem Zafer for their time, which I spend with them, and they told me how to survive and who to face the people. They shared their ideas with me regarding to spend a life in a foreign country. The guidance and support received from all the friends was vital for the success of the task. I am grateful for their constant support and help.

Some of my special feelings for the sprit of my mother, which I cannot express in words, but I feel them in the deepest portion of my heart. She always expected my success in the life, but was not able to see it.

I would like to pay my regards and appreciation to all.

–  –  –

List of Abbreviations APFED: Asia Pacific Forum for Environment and Development BFFP: Board of Forestry and Fire Protection (California) BLM: Bureau of Land Management Ca: Calcium CC: Climate Change DOR: District Officer Revenue ESCWA: Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia ESP: Exchangeable Sodium Percentage FAO: Food and Agriculture Organization FARA: Forum of Agricultural Research in Africa FHI: Family Health International GACGC: German Advisory Council for Global Change GDP: Gross Domestic Product GEF: Global Environment Facility GHE: Green House Effect GT Road: Grand Trunk Road ICARRD: International Conference on Agricultural Reforms and Rural Development IFPRI: International Food Policy Research Institute ISRIC: World Soil Information Database IWMI: International Water Management Institute LDA: Lahore Development Authority LUCID: Land-use Change; Impacts and Dynamics Na: Sodium NCSRC: National Conservation Strategy and Resource Center NSF: National Science Foundation OECD: Organization for Economic Co: operation and Development OLS: Ordinary Least Square OMC: The Oregon Mediation Center PALM: Pamir and Pamiralai Land Management pH: Measure of the concentration of Hydrogen ion in a solution xx PIDE: Pakistan Institute of Development Economics POPIN: United Nations Population Information Network R2 : Co-efficient of Determination SAR: Sodium Absorption Ratio SUPARCO: Pakistan Space and Upper Atmospheric Research Council SWIMPP: Surface Water, Industrial and Municipal Pollution in Punjab ULE: Urbanization, Land-use, Land Degradation and Environment UNCCD: United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification UNDP: United Nations Development Program UNECE: United Nations Economic Commission for Europe UNEP: United Nations Environment Program UNESCAP: United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific UNESCO: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization UNHABITAT: United Nations Human Settlement Program UN: United Nations UNU: United Nations University USAID: United States Agency for International Development WB: The World Bank WMO: World Meteorological Organization WRI: World Resource Institute WRM: World Rain-fed Management WWF: World Wildlife Fund

1 Introduction

Land degradation has been a major global issue during the twentieth century and will remain high on the international agenda in the twenty-first century. The importance of land degradation among the more serious global issues is enhanced because of its impact on World food security and the quality of the environment. Degradation is the result of a number of interrelated factors that end in land that is chemically or physically too badly degraded for productive use. Stocking and Murnaghan (2000: 7) have stated that land degradation is an overarching phenomenon that describes a change in one or more components of land such as soil, water, vegetation, rocks, air, climate, or relief and cannot be identified as a single attribute. It involves loss in the form of biological or economic productivity and complexity of the different types of land such as rain-fed or irrigated cropland, range, pasture, forest, and woodlands. This may occur as the result of various natural processes, e.g., (i) soil erosion caused by wind and/or water; (ii) the deterioration of the physical, chemical, and biological or economic properties of soil; and (iii) the long-term loss of natural vegetation through uncontrolled overgrazing (Coxhead and Oygard 2007: 142). At the same time, land degradation might be attributable to anthropogenic factors; mismanagement and the usage of agricultural land for urbanization are examples of degradation of land by man. The conversion of land from high production of biomass to urban uses with low production of biomass is consider as economically beneficial, and yet the accompanying reduction in biomass can also be taken as land degradation (Johnson and Lewis 2007: 164).

Land degradation because of urban usage is caused by the physical expansion of cities, which is the result of migration from rural to urban areas. This increase in the population of cities requires the creation of housing, transportation, and industry, all of which put pressure on land use, and often natural lands are disturbed, and vegetation is lost. Sometimes technological developments alter the usefulness of various natural resources, e.g., the development of new infrastructure may lead to over exploitation leading to land degradation (Brower and Chadwich 1991: 7). Because of this anthropogenic modification of the ecosystems, the quality of land is degraded over time leading to a reduction in biodiversity (Joseph et al. 2004: 1, 28).

Land degradation can also result from poor land-use planning. In most countries, the competition of land use for economic development results in conflict of interests. These may be attributable to financial or legal incentives of landowners, leading to wrong decisions on land use and overexploitation of land resources; for instance, enhanced production through the use of chemical fertilizers, insecticides, pesticides, and raw sewage/wastewater has frequently compromised land and groundwater quality. The results of such decisions take the form of the damage and degradation of valuable land (Alan 2009: 1).

Land degradation associated with a decrease in production is not in the interest of farmers (Stocking and Murnaghan 2000: 11). This becomes more critical when such degradation greatly limits land management in rural areas. Effective access to land resources and secure land-use rights can provide an essential incentive for farmers to invest in sustainable land-use practices for agriculture. In most of the developing countries, ownership rights and regulation of the land are unclear. Different investors wish to take over land from landowners because of the ambiguity in these laws. Such ownership and land-use rights are of particular importance, especially for countries where agriculture is the backbone of economic development, for example, Palestine, China, Bangladesh, and Pakistan.

Considering the case of Pakistan, its economy is based mainly on the agricultural sector, with cotton and rice being the major cash crops.1 To achieve higher production, the farmers have overexploited soil and water resources, the latter being high in salinity, and the poor soil and water management ultimately lead to the soils becoming saline and waterlogged (Niazi 2003: 1). Small landowners also over-utilize their land to cover their daily family expenses and sometimes rent their land or sell it for non-agricultural purposes (such as brick-making or soil use as land-fill in other areas), and hence, good quality surface soil with relatively high organic matter is lost. Currently, some examples of land degradation have been observed in the northeast part of Punjab,2 which is the largest rice growing area in Pakistan. Some of these areas have become increasingly unproductive because of land degradation, the reasons for this degradation being either natural or artificial.3 Despite its critical importance to growth, exports, income, and food security, rice cultivation in these areas, because of such land degradation problems, has suffered from a secular decline.

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