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Local Self-Governance of Forests in Bolivia: Why Do Some Communities Enjoy Better Forests than Others?

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Andersson, Krister P.; Benavides, Jean Paul; León, Rosario; Uberhuaga, Patricia
Conference: Capturing the Complexity of the Commons, North American Regional Meeting of the International Association for the Study of the Commons
Location: Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ
Conf. Date: Sep. 30-Oct. 2
Date: 2010
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10535/6553
Sector: Forestry
Region: South America
Subject(s): forestry
rural development
self-organization
institutions
governance and politics
Abstract: "Scholarship on local forest governance has shown that a tragedy of the commons may be averted through the self-organization of natural resource users. User groups do not always succeed in self-governance, however, and recent empirical work suggests that the likelihood for successful collective outcomes varies with the strength of the local arrangements for compliance monitoring. We argue that the recent empirical focus on local monitoring may have overshadowed other theoretically important aspects of self-governance, such as rule making and sanctioning. We test this argument with data from personal interviews as well as satellite imagery for a representative sample of 200 communities in rural Bolivia. Our analysis shows that self-organized monitoring is often an important influence on the performance of local resource governance arrangements, but community rule making and sanctioning are often at least as influential."

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