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Determinants of enactment, awareness and compliance with community natural resource management

Ephraim Nkonya, John L. Pender, Edward Kato, Samuel Mugarura, James Muwonge
capri working paper brief

Community-based Natural Resource Management (NRM) is increasingly becoming an important approach for addressing natural resource degradation in low income countries. This study analyzes the determinants of enactment, awareness of and compliance with by-laws related to Natural Resource Management (NRM) in order to draw policy implications that could be used to increase the effectiveness of by-laws in managing natural resources sustainably. We found a strong association between awareness and compliance with NRM bylaws. This suggests the need to promote environmental education as part of the strategy to increase compliance with NRM bylaws. Econometric analysis of the survey data indicates factors that are associated with enactment of local NRM bylaws, and awareness of and compliance with NRM requirements... These findings imply that improving awareness of NRM requirements is critical to increase compliance with such requirements. Awareness is greater in areas closer to all-weather roads, probably due to better access to information in such areas. Development of roads and communication can thus facilitate better community NRM. Other low cost options to increase awareness could include use of radio programs, environmental education in schools, resource user seminars, brochures, and district level training workshops...Several dimensions of poverty, including greater income poverty, poor education, and poor access to credit are associated with lower compliance with tree planting and protection requirements. This supports the hypothesis of a poverty-natural resource degradation trap, and suggests that measures to reduce poverty can have "win-win" benefits helping to improve NRM as well.--Author's Abstract