Analysis of institutional arrangements and common pool resources governance: the case of Lake Tana sub-basin, Ethiopia

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Ketema, Dessalegn Molla
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University College Cork
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Although Common Pool Resources (CPRs) make up a significant share of total income for rural households in Ethiopia and elsewhere in developing world, limited access to these resources and environmental degradation threaten local livelihoods. As a result, the issues of management, governance of CPRs and how to prevent their over-exploitation are of great importance for development policy. This study examines the current state and dynamics of CPRs and overall resource governance system of the Lake Tana sub-basin. This research employed the modified form of Institutional Analysis and Development (IAD) framework. The framework integrates the concept of Socio-Ecological Systems (SES) and Interactive Governance (IG) perspectives where social actors, institutions, the politico-economic context, discourses and ecological features across governance and government levels were considered. It has been observed that overexploitation, degradation and encroachment of CPRs have increased dramatically and this threatens the sustainability of Lake Tana ecosystem. The stakeholder analysis result reveals that there are multiple stakeholders with diverse interest in and power over CPRs. The analysis of institutional arrangements reveals that the existing formal rules and regulations governing access to and control over CPRs could not be implemented and were not effective to legally bind and govern CPR user’s behavior at the operational level. The study also shows that a top-down and non-participatory policy formulation, law and decision making process overlooks the local contexts (local knowledge and informal institutions). The outcomes of examining the participation of local resource users, as an alternative to a centralized, command-and-control, and hierarchical approach to resource management and governance, have called for a fundamental shift in CPR use, management and governance to facilitate the participation of stakeholders in decision making. Therefore, establishing a multi-level stakeholder governance system as an institutional structure and process is necessary to sustain stakeholder participation in decision-making regarding CPR use, management and governance.
Common pool resource , Governance , Stakeholder , Lake Tana , Ethiopia , Institutional arrangement
Ketema, D. M. 2013. Analysis of institutional arrangements and common pool resources governance: the case of Lake Tana sub-basin, Ethiopia. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.