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Contextualizing Common Property Systems: Action Research Insights on Forging Effective Links between Forest Commons and Meso Layer Governance

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Paudel, Naya Sharma; Banjade, Mani Ram; Ojha, Hemant R.; McDougall, Cynthia; Prabhu, Ravi
Conference: Survival of the Commons: Mounting Challenges and New Realities, the Eleventh Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property
Location: Bali, Indonesia
Conf. Date: June 19-23, 2006
Date: 2006
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10535/426
Sector: General & Multiple Resources
Forestry
Region: Middle East & South Asia
Subject(s): IASC
state and local governance--frameworks
forest management--frameworks
common pool resources
livelihoods
adaptive systems--frameworks
co-management
action research
Abstract: "The literature on common property resources is heavily focused on understanding how users of the commons interact with each other regarding production and appropriation of these resources. There is, however, relatively little attention paid to understanding how meso level governance - i.e., that layer between local level and national (policy) level - interacts with users of the commons in shaping the social and environmental outcomes of commons management. The meso level consists of actors, institutions and processes which interact with each other and with users of commons, interpret and enforce policies and regulations, and can also reinterpret or misinterpret policies according to their own interests and agendas with beneficial or deleterious effects on the actors and the commons. We contend that the dynamic link between meso level governance and the commons is not sufficiently appreciated and poorly understood. Taking Nepal's community forestry as a case study, this paper seeks to explore the dynamic links between meso level processes and the commons. Based on the learning and reflections from an 'adaptive collaborative management' research project implemented in five districts of Nepal over the past two years, the paper seeks to: a) develop a preliminary conceptual framework for understanding meso spheres of governance in relation to local level commons; b) describe the nature of linkages between the meso level and community forestry and their influences on the condition of the commons and the livelihoods of forest users; and, c) share action research insights on how mesocommons linkages can be improved."

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