Land and Conflict CDP 532: Unit 2 cont…
Context: Land for conflict / peace • Historical context: Emergence of state and ruler from territorial expansion and land conquest enhanced the revenue and surplus extraction (also in Nepal) • Most of initial state structures were built on land related issues! • Land as economic assets: means of production and basis for livelihoods (Agrarian livelihoods) • Source of material and symbolic power and reflection of unequal social structure (therefore concern for the justice) • Land in politics: For identity and sovereignty and for revolutionary ideology (Marxism) • Land shapes social and political ideologies and therefore interest of conflict entrepreneurs • Weak and contested institutional mechanisms in land (legal / formal and customary / traditional): competing claims and insecure tenure rights • Ecological context (hill with less arable land), population growth, environmental stress and scarcity of land resource • Changing society and economy: from farm to non-farm economy / livelihoods • But: Land still matters for conflict and peace, why?
People have fought over land since the beginning of recorded history. Population growth and environmental stresses have exacerbated the perception of land as a dwindling resource, tightening the connection between land and violent conflict. Land is often a significant factor in widespread violence and is also a critical element in peace-building and economic reconstruction in post-conflict situations.
Land conflict types • Competing claims for agriculture • Competing claims for agriculture and other use (industry, mining, protected areas, hydropower) • Claims over land (by peasants) against state (including organized conflict against state) • Conflict at the institutional level (even at the state level)
Political economy of land conflict • Two ideas • Resource access: • Resource scarcity hypothesis (Homer-Dixon) of land based conflict • But does not answer how political and economic force interact across spatial scale to structure the access • Therefore land conflict should be situated within the historic, social, political and economic circumstances of specific places • Frontier development • Competition for resources occurring within frontier (region with abundant resource and weak institutions) • Failure of land titling to keep pace with frontier expansion • Land conflict as class struggle and mobilizing political power
Land-based struggles in Nepal(Upreti et al eds. 2008. Land politics and conflict in Nepal. CSRC and NCCR-North South) • Before 1950 • 1950-1960 • Land struggle of Bhim Dutta Pant • Land Struggle in Kathmandu and Bhaktapur • Ji Kaho struggle • Land struggle in Pyuthan • Expansion of land struggle in Tarai • Land right struggle in Dang • 1960-1990 • Jhoda land right struggle • Jhapa struggle • Bhakari Phod struggle in Dhanusha • Chhintang movement • Piskor movement, Sindhpalchok, 1983 • Post 1990 • 1993 – Kanara movement in Bardiya: • 1995 – No grain payment movement in Rasuwa: • 1996 – Movement led by CSRC and NLRF: • 1997– Bagdari and Pitmari movements: • 1997– Formation of The Kamaiya Concern Group: • 1998– Land capturing at Gijara Faram in Banke. • 2000– Liberation of Kamaiyas: • 2000– Encirclement by peasants in Sindhupalchok: • 2004– Case registration: More than 73,000 cases were filed (CSRC, 2004). • 2004– Hunger strike at Rajbiraj: (CSRC, 2004). • 2004– Case registration: More than 21,000 cases were filed (CSRC, 2006). • 2006– Relay hunger strike at Sunsari: (CSRC, 2006). • 2006– Padlocking the district land revenue offices (CSRC, 2006). • 2007– 'Sit-in' programmes: (CSRC, 2007). • 2007– Badi women's protest:
Actors of land conflict • State represented by various government bodies • Political parties and organizations • NGOs • IPOs • Development projects and institutions • Others
Land in Nepali contentious politics • From PN Shah’s state to the ending of monarchy Still relevant: • Various political movement • How emergence of each of major political parties in the current Nepali politics (NC, UML, Maoists, Madheshi) and the movement led by them is linked with land? • Maoist insurgency and Madhesh movement • How these two insurgencies / rebellion of current Nepal are linked with issues of land? • Current notions of indigeneity and exclusion • How the construction of ind people and their marginalization and the current notions of ‘indigeneity’ in Nepal is linked with land? • Challenges to the current peace process • Issues of ‘seized properties’ in the current peace process: Should be returned or not returned without proper arrangement for landless people?
Nepal, at glance Nepal’s population dependent on agriculture for their livelihoods, > 75% A greater emphasis has been laid with the implementing land reforms and providing land to the landless people and giving tenancy right to the tenants
Importance of Property Rights Land reform is critical to achieving overall political and economic stability. Owners have incentives to use resources productively and to conserve where possible. Private ownership of property provides an incentive for good care that is lacking under government control. A resource owner has legal rights against anyone who would harm the resource. Property rights provide long-term incentives for maximizing the value of a resource, even for owners whose personal outlook is short-term.
Land Ownership • Two stages of Land Ownership: Pre-1964 and Post-1964 • Ownership of land (Pre-1964) in Nepal is traditionally vested in the State: • As state offering lands to private individuals (birta), • Government current employees (jagir), • Royal vassals and former rulers (rajya), • Religious and charitable institutions (guthi) and • Communal land ownership (kipat). • A series of Land Acts were subsequently enacted in the 1950s until 1964 retaining only the raikar and birta as the main forms of tenure with objective of securing the right of land holders and tillers so that land productivity could be enhanced (Lumsalee, 2002).
Feudal tenures and relations • Birta land grants made by the state to individuals usually on an inheritable and tax-exempt basis; abolished in 1959 • Chhap-Birta a class of Birta made on a lifetime and taxable basis; abolished 1959 • Chhut-Guthi Raj Guthi endowments administered by individuals, abolished 1972 • Jagera Raikar land (state land) not assigned as Jagir • Jagir Raikar land assigned to government employees in lieu of salaries; abolished 1952 • Jagirdar the beneficiary of Jagir • Jhara forced and unpaid labour due government, pre-dated Rakam • Jimidar an individual responsible for tax collection at village level in the Tarai • Jimidari the holding of a Jimidar • Jimmawals village heads appointed during Rana regime to collect taxes from • cultivators; usually large landlords
Features of the Land Reform in Nepal Source: Central Bureau of Statistics, 2001, 2006
Land Reform Policy 1. The protection of tenants 2. The protection of hired workers 3. Resettlement of landless farmers 4. Birta Reform 5. Provision of agricultural credit 6. Consolidation of fragmented holding
Acts, Rules and Regulations • राष्ट्रिय भू-उपयोग नीति, २०६९ - - • भूमि प्रशासन ऐन, २०२४ - Land Administration Act, 2024 (1967) – • मालपोत (विशेष व्यवस्था) ऐन, २०१८- Land Revenue (Special Provision) Act, 2018 • मालपोत (मिन्हा) ऐन, २०१९ - Land Revenue (Remission )Act, 2019 (1962) • जग्गा (नाप जाँच) ऐन, २०१९ - Land (Survey and Measurement) Act, 2019 (1963) • भूमिसम्बन्धी ऐन, २०२१ - Lands Act, 2021(1964) – • मालपोत ऐन, २०३४ - Land Revenue Act, 2034 (1978) • गुठी संस्थान ऐन, २०३३ - Guthi Corporation Act, 2033 (1976) Rules and Regulations मालपोत नियमावली, २०३६ – Land revenue regulations 2036 जग्गा (नाप जाँच) नियमावली, २०५८- Land survey regulation भूमि सम्बन्धी नियमहरू, २०२१– Land acquisition rules
Land conflicts • Land grievance is a major source of unrest and civil war • It is no coincidence that of 71 current civil wars and • insurgencies around the world, 84% are intra-state civil conflicts focuses around land resources Nepal law book
People are taking more control of land reform • from state-controlled to market-assisted redistribution- Support provided financially • from state-driven to people-led reforms- Brazilian land workers movement • from collectivization to individualization- private ownership • from a focus upon equitable farm small holdings to a shift of focus onto the poorest rural underclass. • from abolition of tenancy to securer tenancy • from outright redistribution to administrative measures to limit polarisation • from the centralised cadastre to simplified and landholder-controlled • community land registers and decision-making boards • from ‘farm to forest’ in the sense of widening the resource targets of reform • from the rural to urban domain • from a focus on the landlord-tenant relationship to the state-people relationship
Owning a Land in Nepal Social Developmnet Economic Development Owning a land meaning inclusion Political Development
Interim Constitution The Interim Constitution 2007 has a provision of scientific land reform. As per the Interim Three Year Plan of the government (2008-2010) this is meant – • end of feudal relationship existing in land ownership and land relations; • implementing land ceiling for social justice and productivity; • land rights to those who uses labour and skills on land; • landless farmers provided with land for shelter; • determining the rights to farmers cultivating guthi, ailani (public land), and parti (barren) land; • land records, land administration and land related services to be made scientific and efficient; • preparing a ’national land policy’ that encompasses all land related issues and implement that policy; and • co-ordinated programmes in agriculture, irrigation and physical development to increase the production and productivity of land.
Conflict Conflict Property Rights - Users Rights - Management Rights - Exclusion Rights - Alienation Rights Institutions Micro-Meso-Macro Out Come Natural Resource Natural Resource Management NRM-Institutions-Property Rights
Abundancy theory Institution Change/evolve Conflict To reduce uncertainty & informal constrain Scarcity theory Breeding and Security ground Conflicting actor to enforce new rules Identical with their principle Easy & efficient ownership Get revenue Decentralization/ Centralization Change in NRM Change in form of property rights Conflict-property rights-NRM
Forest Acts, Policies and Regulations • The Department of Forests was established in 1942 • Decentralization Act of 1982- Panchayat system to wards • Master Plan for the Forestry Sector of 1988 • Forest Act of 1993 and Forest Regulation of 1995 • Forest Sector Policy 2000- pay 40% to the government
CFUG rights as per the Forest Act (1993) and Forest Regulation (1995) 1. Right to self-governance • Communities have rights to form a Community Forest User Group (CFUG) as per their willingness, capacity, and customary rights. • Community forest boundaries will not be restricted to existing administrative or political boundaries. • Government can dismantle the CFUG if the latter is found to engage in large scale deforestation but it is the duty of the government to reconstitute the CFUG. • CFUGs can elect, select or change executive committee anytime. • CFUGs can punish members who break their rules. • CFUGs can amend or revise their constitution any time. 2. Right to forest management and utilization • There is no limit to the forest area that can be handed over to communities. • CFUGs can make optimal use of their forest by growing cash crops together with forest crops. • CFUGs can mortgage their standing forest products with financial institutions to obtain loans. • CFUGs can utilize their funds for any purpose (but 25% of income from forest must be spent in forest development) • CFUGs can freely fix prices and market their forest produce.
CFUG rights as per the Forest Act (1993) and Forest Regulation (1995) • CFUGs can establish enterprises and make profits. • CFUGs can seek support from any organization. • CFUGs can raise funds by various forestry and non-forestry means with all income going to group funds with no requirement for sharing financial revenues with government. • CFUGs can invest in any areas, persons or development activities according to the decision of CFUG assembly. Sources: Pokharel et al. (2008): Forest Act 1993; Forest Regulation 1995
Who Are Destroyers of Forest Resources? • Historically, State and Rulers Encroached upon Forest Resources of People • Distributed as Salary, Bravery, Reward, etc. • Even, British Raj in India Looted Nepal’s Forest for Railway Slippers and others. • By 1950, One-Third of the Forest Land Distributed to Elites and Powerful and Three-Fourth went to the Rana Families
Initiative after 1951 • Nationalization of Private Forests • Forest Act 1961: Dual Admonostration • PF and PPF failed • The Master Plan (1989) developed policy to devolve rights of management to users • Development of Charter and Operational Plan by consensus are requirement for hand-over
DFO is supposed to make sure consensus is reached • However, the process is not followed and issues raised
The Change Process: Trusting People as Managers • Moving from Resource Creation to Institution Building and Strengthening • Focus on People Rather Than Trees • Users as Managers and Forest Officials as Facilitators • Secure Rights of Users To Manage • Decision Making by Consensus
Outcome: • The Forestry Officials are Reoriented • Local Users Have Developed Ownership • 18000 User Groups Managing 1.8 Million Hectare of Forest • Greenery is Back and Forest Destruction is halted • Community Development Activities Initiated • FECOFUN is Created
Statement of the Problem • Forestry in Nepal has been a playing field for rulers, politicians and bureaucrats. • Community forestry as a priority program • 61% of forest is supposed to be turned into community forests • The forest bureaucracy backtracking with introduction of OFMP and CFM
The Local Government Agencies (LGAS) are empowered by Law • The LGAs have rights to manage fallow land, raise taxes and develop plans for resources management • The Forest Department and the LGAs are allying against users with provision of DFCC and allocation of 20% revenue
Forest Management Practices and Status…. • Community Managed Forest vs. Government Owned • Better Forest Management vs. Degradation • Ownership to the community vs. Government Patrolling System • Democratic Functioning and grass root governance vs. Passive Management • Involvement of 33% people in CBFM with social process vs. regulatory system • Enhanced Forest Status and contribution in local economy: Passive Management System
Community forestry institutions before 1990 International Trans-boarder- Regional National District Local Conventions and donors Ministry Department User Groups
Root causes of conflicts in Community Forestry of Nepal. • Disagreements and disputes over access to, control and use of, Forest resources. • Differences in perceptions, work style, attitudes, communication problems, individuals differences. • Unwilling to respond to social, political, cultural, technological, economic and other changes in the society (uprety, 2007). • Growing Group fund, Forests boundary, Growing interest to become group leader, exclusion of users in a group • (All these conclusions are based on the study of UPRETY (2003-2007), AND expert consultation WS, 2011)
Results: Actors Involve in Conflicts Community Forest Users’ Group (CFUG): Group of rural people involve in Forest management with certain regulations. Forest Users’ Committee (FUC): The executive body of CFUG, possess right on decision making. Non-Users (Users who don’t have membership from CFUG), secondary users or distance users. Lower caste people, tribe/ethnic people. District Forestry staffs, Related NGOs staffs. Village Development Committee (VDC)- The lower administrative Unit of Government. Federation of Forest Users’ Nepal (FECOFUN). Department of Forest and Ministry of Forest
Conservation in Nepal History and status of wildlife conservation in Nepal Wildlife: • Animals, birds, insects, etc that are wild and live in a natural environment (Oxford) • A vast assemblage of plants and animals in their natural environment (Trippensee, 1953) Wildlife Management: WL Mgt is an art of producing desired population of wild animals. It includes restoring, • protecting, conserviing and maintaining the animal population • Conservation: [Management/ preservation/ protection/ sustainable development/wise-use/ welfare] • To protect the value • To increase importance • To make favorable environment for living • To increase the extent in number, their quantity as well as quality • Conservation for whom? ... for human welfare so extent of conservation depends up on the • nature of interest or degree of attitude of human
PA management and its history Divide the conservation status in three periods A. Before 1950s (Early Shah Kings and Rana rulers) B. Period between 1950s and 1970s C. After 1970s (the dawn of modern wildlife conservation)
History… • A. Before 1950s (Early Shah Kings and Rana rulers) • “Hariyo Ban Nepal ko Dhan” - 1881 B.S. Ram Shah. Status in the 50’s • About 65% of the total land was covered with forests. • The country was forbidden for foreigners and the forests were intact. • We had ‘char kose jadi’ along the Chure foothills were impenetrable. • Terai region known for its large population of a number of large animals – tiger, rhino, wild elephants, leopards, sloth bear, crocodiles, sambar deer, wild dog, etc.