Pathways for improving rangeland governance under constraining land tenure systems: Application of a participatory Bayesian Belief approach
This paper analyzes the complex relationships of factors influencing rangeland governance in the arid areas. A Bayesian Belief Network (BBN) model was developed in a participatory way to illustrate and assess the weight of a combination of environmental, social and institutional factors enabling the achievement of strengthened rangeland governance at a local level. The Bayesian model was applied in Tataouine situated in south of Tunisia. A complex diagram was built in a participatory way to illustrate the most important interactions between rangeland socioecological system components. Then, a BBN model was applied for a predictive purpose, by inserting evidence conditional probabilities on the most frequent land tenure systems in the region, and thus exploring pathways to improve rangeland governance under each of these systems. Results show that overall improvement of rangeland governance in the study area is highly related to the type of tenure system, performances of farmers organizations, clarification of boundaries between neighboring rangelands, and diversification of the production systems in place by including other agricultural activities in addition to pastoralism. Pastoral areas with tenure systems characterized by combined grazing of private and collective rangelands were revealed to be the most constraining for successful rangeland governance. However, even under such tenure system, the improvement of a set of institutional attributes, especially in relation to the empowerment of farmers organizations can help improving local governance.