Abstract: Property rights have been noted to increasingly play a central role in the use management of natural resources and land resources form the main asset for the derivation of livelihoods by most rural communities. This study examines the implications of land tenure on soil conservation on the slopes of Mt Elgon, Eastern Uganda. Primary data were obtained through household interviews with key informants and field observations conducted in Tsekululu Sub-County, Bubulo County, Manafwa District, Eastern Uganda between September and December 2012. The sampled parishes were stratified according to their distance from the park boundary. SPSS (16) was used to compute descriptive statistics such as frequencies and percentages. Check dams and gulley controls were the most common structural measures adopted by farmers in all the three sites, although, overall the level of adoption within park-adjacent communities was lower compared to the further away sites. The reluctance to invest in long term conservation techniques by park adjacent communities emanates from the separation of ownership from cultivation of the land while the high adoption rate by distant communities is attributed to the transferability, alienability, exclusivity and enforceability rights that secure private land. It can thus, be concluded that land tenure and insecurity variables are very important determinants to soil conservation. Thus, a policy environment that guarantees the security of land occupancy by park adjacent farmers could help in generating the right incentives for investing in soil conservation thereby, improving both farm productivity and land quality while protecting the remaining forest from encroachment in search of fertile agricultural lands. Success thereof will be achieved if the politicians, park authorities and local communities jointly participate in their design and implementation.
F. Mugagga and M. Buyinza, 2014. Land Tenure and Soil Conservation Practices on the Slopes of Mt Elgon National Park Eastern Uganda. Research Journal of Applied Sciences, 9: 402-406.