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How to Keep Commons as Commons in the Long Run: Formation and Distortions of Property Regimes in Chilika Lagoon, India

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Nayak, Prateep Kumar; Berkes, Fikret
Conference: Governing Shared Resources: Connecting Local Experience to Global Challenges, the Twelfth Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Commons
Location: Cheltenham, England
Conf. Date: July 14-18, 2008
Date: 2008
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/1083
Sector: Social Organization
Region: Middle East & South Asia
Subject(s): regimes
Abstract: "The paper tries to understand how a regime of de jure ownership of customary fishers is gradually changing into a state of de facto control of non-fishers and outsiders in the Chilika lagoon, a Ramsar site on the eastern coast of India. The paper brings into analysis the historical and current distortions in the access regime of the lagoon. The focus of this analysis is on two processes: one, the shift from a position of legal rights and entitlements to denial of access for customary fishers, and two, from a state of no or thin access to claim of legal rights by the non-fishers. While tracking this changing nature of property regimes in Chilika Lagoon the paper makes two important conclusions. One, commons is not fixed in its own distinct category; rather there often remains a threat that commons can change into other types of property regimes. Two, the immediate challenge is to identify drivers that may cause these changes and even the bigger challenge is how to keep commons as commons in the long run."

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