Relative importance and determinants of landowners’ transaction costs in collaborative wildlife management in Kenya: an empirical analysis
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Collaborative management of protected areas—which involves state agencies, local communities and other stakeholders—has been identified as a promising approach of organising nature conservation. However, as a complex governance structure, co-management can be expected to involve considerable transaction costs for the participating stakeholders. Empirical studies concerning the quantification of these costs are still scarce. Against this background, this paper empirically analyses the relative importance and the determinants of the landowners’ transaction costs arising from collaborative wildlife management, taking two wildlife sanctuaries in Kenya as examples. The empirical data presented in this paper was collected in the wildlife dispersal areas of Shimba Hills National Reserve and Amboseli National Park in Kenya. The results of this study show that—as compared to other cost categories—the landowners’ transaction costs incurred in wildlife co-management were relatively low. They also indicate that the magnitude of the transaction costs incurred by landowners is influenced by the attributes of transactions; bio-physical and ecological characteristics of the resource systems; landowners’ characteristics such as their human, social and financial forms of capital; losses resulting from human–wildlife conflicts; tenure security and benefits from conservation. Comparing the results of a two-stage least squares regression model of landowners’ characteristics of the two wildlife sanctuaries, it was found that the level of significance and the sign of most variables are not the same for both areas. This indicates that it is a specific combination of local factors that influences the transaction costs borne by the landowners.