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Local Social Institutions and Sustaining the Commons in Rural Africa

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Matowanyika, Joseph Z. Z.
Conference: Designing Sustainability on the Commons, the First Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property
Location: Duke University, Durham, NC
Conf. Date: September 27-30, 1990
Date: 1990
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/1454
Sector: General & Multiple Resources
Region: Africa
Subject(s): resource management
common pool resources
Abstract: "Common property resource management and their sustainability in rural Africa depend very much on local socio-cultural institutions. Several institutional arrangements with a direct bearing on CPR management have been observed and their resilience suggests that they need to be carefully studied to promote sustainability. The author has observed these directly in a small community in rural Zimbabwe and has noted that they are important in managing important parts of the local ecosystems and parts of these. Indeed, examining CPRs from a single resource management approach can actually promote the destruction of several other parts of the local ecosystem. Multi-resource management is therefore advocated when promoting local socio-cultural institutions in promoting sustainability of the local commons. It is also suggested that this case is so for many parts of Africa, given similar socio-cultural situations. Sustainability is likely to be promoted because the observed social institutions are themselves an important resource which reside within the people. In the light of the inability of providing adequate external resources, they must be promoted."

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