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Conflict and Cooperation in Co-Managed Regimes: The State, Local Communities and Shared Resources in India

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Faust, David R.
Conference: Crossing Boundaries, the Seventh Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Conf. Date: June 10-14, 1998
Date: 1998
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/1136
Sector: Forestry
General & Multiple Resources
Region: Middle East & South Asia
Subject(s): IASC
common pool resources
co-management--literature review
forest management
political economy
natural resources--policy
Abstract: "Interest is growing in systems of co-management of resources by the state and local communities. Examples of co-managed resources include coastal fisheries (in, e.g., Japan, Norway, Turkey, and the Philippines), forests (in, e.g., India and Nepal), and irrigation (in, e.g., Japan and Sri Lanka)(Baland and Platteau 1996: 351-379). Co-management, because it involves explicit links between the state and local resource users, often in situations of external demand for resources, offers clear motivation to develop understandings that draw on both political economy and geographical concepts of site, situation, and scale to understand both the workings of particular instances of co-management and to conceptualize if and how situations can be crafted in which co-management systems are likely to yield socially just and ecologically sustainable resources. "One underconceptualized part of the project is the role of the state. It is important to consider, for example, what are the processes that lead the state to engage in co-management and that shape the involvement of the state in co-management. In mid-1990, India's Ministry of Environment and Forests issued a circular initiating Joint Forest Management (JFM), a program involving co-management of some state forests. This paper will use the case of JFM to demonstrate how a political ecology approach creatively brings geographical insights to political economy and constitutes a powerful tool for understanding common property and co-management issues. First, I will briefly review some of the key literature on co-management, and then introduce pertinent aspects of debates on the state in resource management. Then comes the illustratory case study of JFM in India."

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