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Evaluating the determinants of participation in conservancy land leases and its impacts on household wealth in the Maasai Mara, Kenya: Equity and gender implications

Bedelian, Claire; Ogutu, Joseph O; Homewood, Katherine; Keane, Aidan; (2024) Evaluating the determinants of participation in conservancy land leases and its impacts on household wealth in the Maasai Mara, Kenya: Equity and gender implications. World Development , 174 , Article 106442. 10.1016/j.worlddev.2023.106442. Green open access

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Abstract

Understanding the impact of conservation interventions on local communities is important in determining their effects on livelihoods and wellbeing. However, impacts are often not uniform and there are important equity dimensions when evaluating interventions. Therefore, in this paper, we investigate determinants of participation in conservation land leases in the Mara Conservancies in southern Kenya and its impact on household wealth. We find that land ownership determines who can participate in and benefit from conservancy land lease payments, and by how much. The design of the land lease payment scheme therefore has the potential to reinforce and, in cases, amplify existing inequities as it is built upon a legacy of unequal historical land distribution processes that limit the participation of women and poor landless households. We observed significantly higher incomes amongst participant households compared to non-participants, but these differences disappeared after propensity score matching. These results suggest that the differences were not caused by participation in conservancies. Our findings suggest that the design and outcomes of land-based conservation or payment for ecosystem services schemes should consider historic and existing land tenure systems if they are to reduce inequality.

Type: Article
Title: Evaluating the determinants of participation in conservancy land leases and its impacts on household wealth in the Maasai Mara, Kenya: Equity and gender implications
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2023.106442
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.worlddev.2023.106442
Language: English
Additional information: Funding for this study was provided by a joint ESRC/NERC interdisciplinary research studentship to CB (Award # ES/F009828/1). JOO was supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG, Grant # 257734638). For the purpose of open access, the author has applied a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising from this submission.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10181149
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