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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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A readily saleable crop (such as cotton or tobacco) produced or gathered for market. (by Paulgrow) Study Region Soil Fertility Report 2005 A major part of this wetland4 is owned by private owners who enjoy complete rights on their land according to the constitution of Pakistan. However, most of the owners are poor and illiterate,5 with little awareness of land-use rights and the exercise of any power (Khan 2006).

Pakistan’s property rights system has several loopholes; for example, according to the transfer of property act 1882, irregular sales of immovable properties do not need to be documented (Alam 2006: 1331). The constitution provides the facility of power of attorney under the stamp act 1899. Landowners can transfer all or some specific rights according to the conditions of the contract to another person in certain situations.6 In the case of land distribution among heirs, they sometimes avail themselves of this facility to transfer rights to attorneys. Through the anomalies of law and with the help of the authorities,7 some attorneys create a scenario whereby the landowners are deprived of using their land, whereas other individuals, termed "actors" (other farmers, constructors, industrialists, and government officials), who are rent seekers with an influence on policy decisions, are active in these areas purely for their own interests (Khan 2006). Additionally, the corruption of public servants is an undeniable fact (Khan 2006). For example, Khan (2006) has identified several cases of corruption in the Lahore Development Authority (LDA), which is the main registration authority in Lahore.8 In this situation, local farmers and land owners are not in a position to decide about the use of their land.

Since Pakistan is an agriculture-based economy, it is vital to safeguard and promote the use of its arable land. It is also worthwhile to state here that approximately sixty five percent of the population lives in rural areas in Pakistan9 and is fully involved in the agricultural sector.

For this reason, the need of highlighting property rights on land is imperative.

According to the definition of the wetland mapping and classification methodology of Queensland (1999), wetlands are areas of permanent or periodic/intermittent inundation, with water that is static or flowing (fresh, brackish, or salt), including areas of marine water, the depth of which at low tide does not exceed 6 meters. To be classified as a wetland, the area must have one or more of the following attributes: (i) at least periodically, the land supports plants or animals that are adapted to and dependent on living in wet conditions for at least part of their life cycle, or (ii) the substratum is predominantly undrained soils that are saturated, flooded, or ponded long enough to develop anaerobic conditions in the upper layers, or (iii) the substratum is not soil and is saturated with water or covered by water at some time.

According to the data of the Economic Survey of Pakistan 2008-09, illiteracy in rural areas is 51 percent.

Rule of power of attorney is explained in detail in chapter 5 Land record holders (Patwari) Khan has carried out her investigation in the Provincial Capital of Punjab, Pakistan.

Source: Economic Survey of Pakistan 2008-09

1.1 Objectives

The main objective of the present study is to analysis and understand the reasons for institutional change in the case of the study regions in Pakistan that have experienced land degradation and conflicts among the various actors, such as land users, investors, and the local Government, all of which are concerned with land use and land reclamation and to recommend institutional changes.

The aims of the study are:

• Investigation of the practice of property rights in the study region.

• Analysis of the land-use conflicts between different actors, e.g., farmers, land users, and the rent seekers.

The causes of land degradation will be revealed, and linkages will be developed to the proposed institutional changes. This should breach the gap between proper farm-land use and the behavior of the other actors in order to reduce conflicts regarding land usage. This work will provide answers to the following questions.

1. What are the impacts of land distribution rights implemented in the region?

2. Do these laws cause land degradation?

3. What sorts of conflict exist among the different actors, mainly landholders and land users, for land use causing land degradation?

1.2 Theoretical Approach

The theoretical approach includes the investigation of land degradation as a problem and the constraint for proper land usage of some areas of Pakistan, while evaluating how property rights work to reduce land degradation. The analysis will be based on the distributional theory of institutional change and the theory of property rights.

Distributional theory of institutional change explains institutions as a structured set of rules for social interaction and social conflicts about distribution. These set of rules often have different distributional repercussions, so that every actor behaves in a different manner in favor of the emergence of different rules. In this theory, asymmetries of power are kept at the focal point. To gain maximum benefits from the institutional effects for the complex structure of family, these power asymmetries are used to demonstrate the conflict distribution of the land in intergeneration. Any actor who has a stronger power of bargaining than the others can affect the rules for the others. Competition plays an effective role on relative bargaining power, as initially introduced rules are more symmetric and then gradually change toward an asymmetry of resources in societies (Knight 199510, Theesfeld 2004: 74).

Theory of property rights deals with resource allocation and explains conflicts based on the economic interest and bargaining power of the actors involved in the procedure of allocation of these resources. These distributional conflicts can be intensified if there are known serious asymmetries between the competing actors for the individual claims (Libecap 1989). In the case of these conflicts, an environment for the property rights to land and a land reform clash has emerged. The conflicts, because of the inconsistency between the law and constitutional provision, cause land degradation (Alston et al. 2000: 176).

The Institutions of Sustainability (IoS) is used as an analytical framework for analyzing the institutions relevant to land degradation. This framework analyzes the relationships between the properties of transactions, the characteristics of actors, property rights, and governance structure (Hagedorn et al. 2002). In this study, a framework is built up for the analysis of the land degradation situation in Pakistan based on the IoS. This framework consists of four components: 1) Characteristics of land of the particular region, 2) an action arena in which local actors (farmers, landowners, and others from interest groups) perform different actions on the land for a particular outcome, 3) a property rights system implemented in the region, 4) the governance structure regarding land registration, land transfer, and land contracts in the case of power of attorneys. In this framework, the above-mentioned theories are included to determine the impact of property rights and land-use change on land degradation.

1.3 Methodological Approach and Empirical Setting

The study is based on data collected from Pakistan, a country with a total land area of about 803,940 square kilometers, of which sixty percent is not usable for forestry or agriculture because of deserts, mountain slopes, and urban settlements. Punjab is the largest province with a maximum growing area of seventy percent, followed by almost seventeen percent in Singh, less than ten percent in Khyber Pakhtunkhua (North-West Frontier Province NWFP), and only four percent in Balochistan.11 Punjab is the major contributor to the agriculture Knight explains power distribution in terms of wealth, means a wealthy person can affect the bargaining to get more.

Source: Provincial Agriculture Departments of Pakistan 2007-08 industry in Pakistan, but substantial amounts of farmland have been lost because of various reasons including land degradation attributable to soil salinity and sodicity, land fragmentation, and the negligence of landowners (Main and Javeed 1993: 1). In these perspectives, the implementation of additional irrigation and drainage projects to reclaim degraded lands and to bring marginal lands into cultivation is needed. However, since the early 1990s, factors such as rain fall reduction and distribution, waterlogging, and urbanization have increased the area of degraded lands.

To observe the role of property rights on land degradation and to seek the various conflicts among the different actors in Pakistan, a case study approach was followed. Qualitative data was collected from three different regions selected on three bases; 1) condition of land, 2) conflicts between different actors, and 3) geographic location of the region. Among these three regions, 20 villages were visited, which were randomly selected. To accomplish such an important study, a questionnaire was prepared to conduct and record information from interviews with the administrative authorities, personnel in ministries, local actors (land owners and land users), and other individuals (real estate builders and industrialists) in these regions. Some documents related to the present study were also collected from other offices.

1.4 Structure of the Study

Following this introductory chapter, an outline of the whole research study is presented.

Chapter two describes land degradation as the focus of the study and provides an explanation of the term "land degradation". First, a definition of land is given with various perspectives, and then the different reasons for land degradation, such as natural factors and human factors, are explained. In this chapter, various causes of land degradation such as desertification and deforestation at the World level and at the continent level are discussed. Subsequently, land degradation in Pakistan is discussed in detail, followed by a brief summary together the conclusion.

Chapter three presents complementary theories for the analysis of land degradation based on the concept of institutions and other relevant terms such as formal and informal institutions, norms and culture, property rights and transaction costs, and property right regimes. Arguments from various scholars for the emergence or change in property rights have been quoted in this chapter. It provides a comprehensive review of relevant theories from the area of the “New Institutional Economics of property rights” for intergenerational land distribution and conflicts on the basis of land use among different actors. With the help of these theories, a suitable framework for the institutional analysis of land degradation is developed.

Chapter four justifies the choice of the selection of the study design and methodological aspects for the research, including a description of the case study sites. It starts with a general discussion of the research design and an explanation of the specific strategy used for this study. Techniques employed for the collection of the data for this study are also explicitly described in this chapter. This chapter also describes the procedure of selection of the case study regions and the households for the analysis of land degradation.

Chapter five is related to the empirical setting and to the land administration and legislation structure of Pakistan. This chapter familiarizes the readers with the legislative structure for inheritance, as implemented in Pakistan, together with some other laws for the understanding of land distribution among heirs. The second part of this chapter provides an introduction to land-use change and environmental laws, in order to explain the land-use pattern. The last part of this chapter describes the agricultural reforms related to the study and is followed by a brief summary and conclusion.

Chapter six focuses on the effects of property rights on land degradation. This chapter aims to investigate the impacts of land distribution rights in the region and the way that land is degraded by virtue of these rights by using the IoS framework. This chapter also explores the land distribution conflicts as a cause of land degradation in the region.

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