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The results in Table 6.6 show that, in all the study regions, the general power of attorney, through which the landowner gave all the rights to the attorneys as explain in Chapter 5, was problematic. This issue is common because the law is very complicated, even under normal conditions, and landowners do not know the exact terms and conditions of such contracts and are easy to exploit, because of this lack of awareness and their illiteracy. Landowners are mostly poor and poorly educated, and attorneys have strength on their side because of their resources and better knowledge. On being questioned, the majority of landowners reported that attorneys were not willing to leave the land, whereas the attorneys insisted that they were now the owners, because the landowners given this plot to them instead of their payment for acting as an attorney.
The following are the main reasons of conflicts in the case of the transfer of power over land.
1. Attorneys claimed that now they were the owner of the land, because they had purchased that land from landowners against their payment as an attorney.
2. Attorneys sold the land to someone else and did not inform the actual landowner.
3. Attorneys changed the land use, for their own benefit and interest, without consent of the actual owner.
On further exploration of this problem, it emerged that the land was sold or used for purposes other than agriculture, as shown in Table 6.7. This land-use change in the regions also caused degradation of land.
Source: Field survey 2008 According to data presented in Table 6.6, about sixty five percent of the households with problems involving general attorneys were affected by land-use change, either by the attorneys themselves or following the sale of the land by the attorneys to other parties (Figure 6.11). The actual landowners received no benefit from their property, and this was the main issue of conflict. In some cases, the landowners themselves were not interested in selling, and the deal was based on fraud; the matter was now filed in court. These difficulties were mostly based on irregular sales under registration act 1908, Section18 Sub-section 45 (explained in Chapter 5).
NUm ber of Households Figure 6.11: Conflicts Related to Irregular Sales Source: Own presentation, field survey 2008 Finally, these three variables (land distribution, transfer of land among heirs, and conflicts on the base of land degradation) were tested collectively, for their combined effect on land degradation, and the following results were obtained (Table 6.7). The same negative trends for land distribution and transfer of land variables and positive trends for conflicts based on distribution were obtained in the new estimated models. Thus, the relationship between the variables has conformed, thereby supporting our main hypothesis.
Table 6.8: Relationship between Conflicts Concerning Land Distribution and Land Degradation
Source: Survey 2008 * Significance level = 1% ** Significance level = 5% * ** Significance level = 10% Figure 6.12 shows a comparison of all three regions to determine in which region land distribution has a stronger effect. According to the results of this study, the land of case study region 1 (Shaikhupur-Kamoki Region) is more affected because of improper intergenerational land distribution, and in the third case, this effect is minimal and almost negligible. Whereas this variable cannot be ignored in these three regions as it plays a significant role in land degradation, two other variables (see below) have a stronger effect in the Qadirabad Dam region. Data obtained from this region is well explained for the estimation of these three variables against land degradation, as the value of R2 is 0.44, whereas for the other two regions, its value is slightly less in SKR than in the QR, and in the third case, the value is low but still provides valuable information.
Degraded Land (In Acres)
Figure 6.12: Effects of Intergenerational Land Distribution on Land Degradation in the three Case Study Regions Source: Own Presentation, field survey 2008 Similarly, in Figure 6.
13, a comparison analysis of the transfer of land among heirs and land degradation is presented; this was obtained from the estimated results of the combined effects of the three variables explained in Table 6.8. The results show that the poor influence of implemented institutions as related to land transfer from one generation to the next in the Qadirabad Dam region is a cause of land degradation to a greater extent than in the other two cases.
Degraded Land (In Acres) Figure 6.13: Effects of Transfer of Land among Heirs on Land Degradation in the three Case Study Regions Source: Own Presentation, field survey 2008 Land degradation because of conflicts was also observed to be maximum in the first case study region as shown in Figure 6.14. In these comparative results of these regions, the institutions for intergenerational land distribution and land transfer are clearly not being properly implemented and cause land degradation. In the first study region, the condition of distribution of land was the worst, and the results establish that the improper implementation of institutions in this region is one of the causes of land degradation. Similarly, the Qadirabad Dam region also suffers from a similar situation, and the results show that the condition of transfer of land is less than optimal. Although the land of the third case is much better than that of the previous two cases, conflicts related to land distribution and land transfer are still significant and may be one of the reasons of land degradation in this region, as in the other two regions.
Figure 6.14: Effects of Conflicts on the Basis of Land Distribution among Heirs on Land Degradation in the three Case Study Regions Source: Own Presentation, field survey 2008
6.4 Summary The objective of this chapter of the study has been to examine the link between land degradation and property rights for selected regions of Pakistan for 150 households in 2008.
This analysis contributes to the existing literature on land degradation and property rights by asking the question as to whether conflicts arise from the distribution of land matter in shaping the link between land degradation and property rights. The analysis finds strong positive impact of conflicts on land degradation.
The estimated results indicate that the effects of regional culture and family traditions, in the case of non-distributed land, increase land degradation. In this case, the law is not properly implemented; all the land is transferred to the eldest son who increases his returns by the overutilization of land, which causes degradation. In such cases, other shareholders with land distribution rights are deprived, because of the asymmetric power of the eldest son (Knight 1992). Those privileged family members avail themselves of relaxations of the law (for example, the will of the testator and family agreements do not need to be registered) in their favor and take more than their share.
Similarly, the non-distributed possession of rights plays a significant and important role in the deterioration of resources. In this case, all shareholders undertake a family agreement and use the land collectively. However, because of the lack of integrated behavior toward resource use, the land becomes degraded (Larson and Bromley 1989: 236); no one is willing to give full overall authority to one member of the group The land thus cannot be categorized as private property and loses its productivity because every shareholder has his own idea for the cultivation of the land, with resulting alienation. Old landowners have old ideas, with techniques of a single agricultural product for more output, whereas new landowners have better knowledge of sustainable agricultural development and farming systems. This updated knowledge is helpful against land degradation. Culture and traditions therefore overlap the land laws and affect the security of the land and land rights in the region. Actions causing conflicts, such as demolishing the water supply and burning the standing crops, also spoil land capable of production. Hence, the proper setup of the transfer of land from one generation to the next is helpful in saving the land and keeping the soil healthy.
7 Does Land-Use Change Affect Land Degradation? Observations from Selected Regions of Pakistan
7.1 Introduction Land use in all the three study regions varies widely with regard to the distance from the local road, the geographical location of the plot, the size of the plots per land-use type, the land management, and the cropping system. Initially, most of the land in the region was used for agriculture: farming and livestock production. This land usage was developed under the influence of the natural vegetation and promoted by the culture of the inhabitants for an extremely long time and was not disturbed anthropogenically. In the late 1970s, during the green revolution in the country, the landowners of this region also tried to improve output and used more fertilizers and pesticides on their land; this disturbance led to the degradation of the land, and soil quality in this region became degraded over time. In recent years, various other reasons have been observed for this land degradation. Land-use change in these areas is one of the major reasons for the reduction in the quality of soil and the decrease in the output of crops per acre.
Major changes in land use obviously affect the inhabitants of the land (mainly plants and animals). A great deal of literature is available interpreting the relationship between land-use change and land degradation; for example, Joshop (2004) argues that the removal of top cover soil, as a consequence of land-use change, increases the evapotranspiration44 from soil, which generates a shortage of water availability for crop production. These changes modify soil quality and cause erosion and sedimentation, and eventually agriculture production falls (Xiubin 1996, Johnson and Lewis 1994, Zhao-hua 2006).
However, if these changes are associated with the regular increase in resource use to increase the efficiency for the production of food and fiber, which increases the wealth and well being of the owner, some special policies are required to save the land (Foley et al.
2009), particularly for countries dependent on agriculture. The demand for policies and management of agricultural production tends to encourage collective management, as this The process of transferring moisture from the earth to the atmosphere by evaporation of water and transpiration from plants is known as evapotranspiration.
transfers responsibility from the individual to groups or to society as a whole (Blaikie and Brookfield 1987).
In the absence of land management and proper agricultural policy, it is important to know who will make decisions about the land-use change, because during interaction of the different land users, conflicts can occur (Hite 1998) that cause land degradation (FAO/BFFP).
Thus, for land conservation, well-organized planning polices and environmental institutions are required (Mawasi 2001).
Blaikie and Brookfield (1987) have found that intensive agriculture is the major reason for land cover change and degradation. Similarly, Johnson and Lewis (1994) argue that not only excess cultivation, but also other land-use options, e.g., urbanization, coal mining, and transportation, causes soil erosion.
This chapter measures the relationship of land-use change conflicts and land degradation, by finding the ranks of available options in the study regions with respect to their worsening of land productivity. To test the hypothesis that “land degradation is caused by conflicts related to land use change and land distribution conflicts”, I have also calculated the correlation between these two independent variables and their relationship to land degradation. To establish this, I have used the framework presented in Chapter 3, where within the action arena; the landowners have different opinions for land use for the same plot.