The Nexus between Land Tenure Insecurity and Ecological Crisis Evidence from Northeast Shewa, Ethiopia, 1941-1974
This study investigates how land tenure insecurity induced subsistent and ecological crises in Northeast Shewa, Ethiopia, 1941-1974. The finding of the study reveals that access and control of land, even if determined by law or tradition, were dynamic, and source of litigation and insecurity at different levels in the post liberation period and even after. The ambiguity in the nature of rist landholding (mainly periodic fragmentation of land), the deep intervention of the state in the rural economy, and the promulgation of series of land grant and measurement and the way it was formulated and implemented, made the rural society economically and socially insecured. It negatively affected productivity and sustainable use of land that eventually caused subsistent and ecological crisis. It exacerbated deforestation, environmental degradation and climate induced disasters. It made peasants to be reluctant to improve soil fertility and conserve the land they cultivated because they were not certain to enjoy the fruits of their extra labor, time and capital investments. Moreover, the expansion of small and large scale agricultural activity
to the lowlands, which was accompanied by land grapping, displacement and unending conflict among the state, the elite, companies and the local society, threatened pastoral mode of life particularly in the 1950s and 1960s. The study uses both primary and secondary sources.