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SP07 - The contribution of multi-layer natural resource governance to ESF&S delivery


Prof. Michael Kirk
Philipps-Universität Marburg
Faculty of Business Administration & Economics
Institute for Co-operation in Developing Countries
Am Plan 2
35032 Marburg

Phone: +49 6421 2823730
Fax: +49 6421 2828912
Prof. Evelyn Korn
Philipps-Universität Marburg
Faculty of Business Administration & Economics
Marburg Center for Institutional Economics
Universitätsstr. 24
35037 Marburg

Phone: +49 6421 2823903
Fax: +49 6421 2828944 



The subproject addresses three highly relevant issues: In a first step, we analyse the influence of existing economic, legal, and social institutions on individual or collective action in ESF&S in land, forest, pasture, wildlife, and water management in the Okavango Basin. To that end, we have to carefully describe the status quo of the relevant existing cultural and legal framework on the national, sub-regional, regional and global level and to identify short-run and long-run objectives of major stakeholders.

In a second step, we develop and test economic and legal mechanisms that help to improve governance patterns in the region. We identify socio-economic conditions that support sustainability. In cooperation with stakeholders, we investigate possible changes in tenure systems, the distribution of property rights and district level organizations that favour ESF&S-friendly land-use practices. Finally, we derive policy implications for the practical implementation of these ESF&S-friendly institutions.


The subproject consists of the following tasks:

  • Task 1: Household decision making and gender roles - aims at identifying social structures at the household and local level that facilitate the adoption of ES-friendly technological and management innovations. Special emphasis will be laid on the drivers for adoption of new management strategies and in particular how family and gender roles influence decision making.

  • Task 2: Cooperation in ecosystem management – examines the cooperation between resource users in the management of ecosystem services, such as pastures, forests, wildlife, fish, and water. Fields in which cooperation can significantly contribute to improved ESF&S provision will be identified as well as which factors determine the success of cooperation in the management of various ecosystem services. Special emphasis will be laid on cross-cultural differences in cooperation behaviour.

  • Task 3: Assessment of customary as well as national and international statutory law incentives - investigates the role of the regulatory framework in determining the provision of ESF&S. In a dominantly rural context this also includes the role of customary law. The interplay of the totality of comprehensive global, regional and sub-regional legislative and policy framework governing ecosystems will be analysed. On the basis of the analyses, joint cross-border basin management options will be explored.

  • Task 4: Analysis of multi-layer ecosystem governance - aims at identifying and assessing governance structures that allow for successful ESF&S management in a multi-layer system from the local to international level. Existing decision making processes within the action arena will be analysed and preferences for basin development options evaluated. The participatory research of task 4 encourages the implementation of institutional innovations

Subproject 07 develops the capacity of all involved stakeholders to design institutional change. Together with statutory and traditional policy makers it will assess current governance structures and develop innovative ones based on existing institutions. We will contribute to stakeholder-driven, though science-supported, institutional change, which decreases the risk of destructive interventions. Supported by SP10, the lessons learnt during this process will be communicated to the wider public at the local, national, regional and international level.

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The contribution of multi-layer natural resource governance to ESF&S delivery
© TFO, 2010
The contribution of multi-layer natural resource governance to ESF&S delivery
© TFO, 2010