«Dissertation Zur Erlangung des akademischen Grades Doctor rerum agriculturarum (Dr. rer. agr) eingereicht an der Landwirtschaftlich-Gärtnerischen ...»
Section 54 of the Transfer of Property Act, 1882 defines a sale as “a transfer of ownership in exchange for a price paid or promised or part-paid and part-promised.” In the case of tangible immovable property of the value of more than Rs 100 or of the reversion or other intangible thing, The sale can only be made by a registered instrument one attorney. At times, these attorneys are involved in irregular sales, which are unregistered, and such sales cause problems with regard to property rights. All these cases will be discussed in Chapter 5 in detail.
Access to land and rights related to the use of land and land management, structured by government polices are important for the security and sustainability of the land, but sometimes different relaxations allowed in laws, according to the culture and environment of the area, cause a critical situation both for the landowners and the land itself in the form of conflicts (Alston 1999: 3). One of the reasons for conflicts of interest is the land-use change, and this land-use change causes land degradation, because most of the decisions of landowners are not socially efficient and create an externality as in the form of biomass reduction (Johnson and Lewis 2007: 164) because the land is used for non-agricultural purposes. This study will also explain such conflicts related to land-use change, which may be related with land distribution.
3.3 Analytical Framework
The Institutions of Sustainability (IoS) framework introduced by Hagedorn et al. (2002) is a logical and effective framework for interactions between humans and nature. According to this framework, the social system and natural system both exert effects on each other; hence, transactions take place. In case of these transactions, some institutions are required, which are known as the IoS?
Hagedorn et al. (2002) explain some features, e.g., why we need institutions and the reasons to make changes in these institutions. According to their understanding, the interaction between nature and actors creates conflicts, and these conflicts cause the innovation of institutions. On the other hand, these institutions need specific sort of governance structure for their implementation and for checks and balances of these institutions. Nature and actors interact in an action arena; they are affected by exogenous variables such as properties of transactions, properties of actors, property rights of land, and governance structure.
Hagedorn et al. (2002: 1-3) have discussed four factors for such a specific setup of sustainability as shown in Figure 3.3.
Properties of Transactions Affecting the Natural Environment and Ecological System • Characteristics of Actors Involved in Agri-environmental Co-ordination • Property Rights to Nature Components Related to Agriculture • Governance Structures for Regional or Local Agri-environmental Co-ordination • Both physical properties of transaction and physical characteristics of the actors are necessary for institutional analysis (Hagedorn 2008: 358). The environmental problem (land degradation) is the result of agricultural activities performed by some actors or group of actors. Properties of transactions are excludability, rivalry, and asset specificity (Hagedorn et al. 2002: 4-5).
(1) Excludability of actors from the access of the land depends on the cost and mechanism. A well-defined mechanism is required to stop people accessing the land, being not entitled or having limited access rights, otherwise cost in the form of land loss will be borne by right holders.
(2) Rivalry is based on the amount of the distribution among users or the share of goods, which is cannot be equal for each type, except in some cases, such as air. In cases of land and other public goods, a greater share for one actor reduces the share for the others.
(3) Asset specificity can be defined in three different ways: 1) site specificity meaning the location of the resource, 2) capital specificity, e.g., information about investment, and 3) specific knowledge, which the users collect to develop the environment.
(4) Frequency of transaction is based on the condition of the resource and environmental conditions together with the utility of the farmer. This is different for different crops;
annual and seasonal crops frequency will be different, and cash crops and pasture frequency are different.
(5) Uncertainty is concerned with the weather conditions, and other environmental and natural problems play a major role in the demand and supply of agricultural environmental goods and services. Transaction costs are involved in reducing these uncertainties because farmers and policy makers do not know the exact timing of these uncertain situations, and precautionary measures are also very expensive.
(6) Legitimacy is important in order to answer the question of some actors’ role over land, as to whether their decision about the transaction is compatible or not. This property is related to decision making and influences which decision is more appropriate under various situations.
Actors are of different types acting at different levels; for example, some actors are involved in policy making at the national level, and some at the regional level, with some actors being involved only in an action situation and not playing any role at an administrative post.
Characteristics of the actor are the values and beliefs of the actors, which are totally dependent on their attitude. Cooperation and reputation among other actors for their credibility is also a highly important feature, as is their knowledge for using and acquiring the land (Hagedorn et al. 2002: 6). Resources affecting agri-environmental strategies at regional and local levels by direct participation and disturbing political decision making at a higher than the regional level, in which land users cannot participate directly, are also special kinds of characteristics of actors. The social setup in which they live and deal with the matters of their daily life, and the selection of their method of action are also very important features.
Another factor is property rights, e.g., the right to use, to sell, to distribute, or to alienate. In the case of natural resources such as land or soil, all these rights are not categorized separately and are collectively called property rights, which can be private, common, or property of state.
The process of creation and implementation of property rights takes place through transaction costs (Hagedorn et al. 2002: 8). These costs are substantial, because most of the environmental attributes are properly provided for their calculation and are highly sensitive to changes in the evaluation of any environmental attribute (Hagedorn et al. 2002: 8). These rules and actors with resources in an action arena perform actions, with a resulting outcome.
Rights and duties are conditional on use (of rights) and fulfillment (of duties) and are defined in the various property regimes, e.g., private, collective, state property regime, or open access (Hagedorn 2008).
Figure 3.3: Framework for Institutions of Sustainability Source: Adopted from Hagedorn (2008: 360) Governance structures control all of this setup, as Bromley (1991: 94) emphasizes that when an individual claims his right, he can ask a state to defend his right in any particular outcome.
In new institutional economics, three types of governance structures have been considered: 1) market, where trade takes place, 2) hierarchies, top-down or down-top managements, 3) hybrid forms based on contracts (Williamson 1985). Hagedorn et al. (2002: 10) have explained further aspects at the regional and local level to support sustainability as knowledge and information system, a formal and informal system, the rules and procedures for conflict resolution, the distribution of costs and benefits, and the regulation of liability, incentives, and opportunities to permute innovation and learning.
3.4 Framework for the Analysis of Land Degradation
The theoretical framework is drawn on the base of the IoS as shown in Figure 3.4. Land properties play a major role among the actors in a particular social environmental setting.
Land properties: Geographically, the land is situated between three main industrial cities.
Grand (main) trunk road, which links Lahore and Rawalpindi, passes through these regions;
some other branch roads also provide a good transportation network for this area. Its value is very high from a development point of view, as industrialists and building corporations can earn substantial profits from this land. Landowners are completely aware of this situation and have knowledge about their profit in cases of agricultural or non-agricultural use. Although the land is degraded, most of the landowners do not want to sell it and want to keep it for themselves.
In this situation, excludability might cause high transaction costs, as in the case of the exclusion of a family member from the use of a resource; this person might approach the legal authorities and bear the extra charges for a solution to the problem. Similarly, the degree of rivalry will be also high. Landowners have knowledge about the present and future value of their land based on its geographical location. They have different opinions about land use, some of them wanting to reclaim the degraded part of the land for the agricultural production, and some not being interested in further investment and wanting to use it for non-agricultural purposes, either by themselves or through another external actor. If both the ecology and landowners are in favor of agricultural land use, then they will go for it, which would be favorable to the overall economy. As Pakistan is an agricultural economy, it would be extremely beneficial for this sector to develop policies for the reclamation of land for agricultural production.
Actors: Different actors are involved in this case, e.g., land owners, government officials, real estate builders, and industrialists, and every actor has his own value and interest for land use. Landowners play a central role in the action arena, as family conflicts are related to different stakeholders, within the family. Because of wrong perception of traditions, which are often abused for self interest, the shareholders of the family estate suffer due to improper land distribution. Conflicts arise because of their concepts and family traditions, which develop their interests. Landowners can be categorized, according to this family culture, as farmers who believe that land is of high prestige and a matter of honor for them and who are interested in gaining agricultural output from their land. At the same time, a group of landowners might see the land as an asset and want to use it for greater personal profit through non-agricultural use or by converting it into money. This can be achieved by selling it to other land users with their own interests, such as real estate builders, who can earn a profit from this land after the construction of a housing scheme, and industrialists, who can minimize their cost by building industry here.
Figure 3.4: Framework for Analysis of Role of Property Rights in Land Degradation and Land-use Conflicts Source: Based on Hagedorn et al.
(2002: 4) The reputation of the actors among the others in the society and their commitment to their actions indicate the proof of their credibility. In cases of bargaining or any sort of dealing related to land, their knowledge plays an extremely important role.
Action arena: Landowners, with different cultural backgrounds and interests, face a disturbed and troubled situation, in which they cannot enjoy their rights fully; conflicts thus arise. These conflicts are resource-based and occur because of the management of the natural resource, which is currently prone to a wide variety of rapidly changing development pressures. These pressures are exerted on landowners in number of ways, so as to maximize their profit, the distribution of land, and land-use change. Some landowners are attracted by the offers of other actors wanting them to sell their land. On the demand of their share in property, conflicts occur that cannot be avoided without a proper institutional setup. These conflicts cause resource damage, e.g., the degradation of the land (Figure 3.5).