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Co-Management of Common Property Resources: A Case Study of Supra- National, National and Sub-National Institutions in Fisheries Management around Chilika Lake in Orissa, India

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Rout, Shyama Prasad
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: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/2073
Sector: Fisheries
Global Commons
Region: Middle East & South Asia
Subject(s): IASC
transboundary resources
design principles
Abstract: "All over the world, local commons are facing more and more complex situations due to changing socio-economic, political, ecological and cultural conditions of their livelihood. Institutions governing the livelihood issues have emerged as crucial agents of sustainability. Institution is defined as a set of rules, eligibility criteria, decision- making arrangements, punishment structures, and action assignments (E. Ostrom, 1990). Sustainable commons are strongly related to the capacity of the stakeholders to design and share institutions that are enforced and continuously adapted in face of evolving conditions. In the context of alternative development paradigms, multiple-use common property resources have come under consumptive pressures from local, regional, national and international stakeholders. With the advent of open market economy and globalization, pressure on the common property resources will be more obvious. This paper analyses the role of management institutions on common property resources as development drivers and safety net providers. "Particularly, the role of Supra-National, National and Sub-National institutions in fisheries management around Chilika Lake (largest brackish water lagoon in Asia- A Ramsar Site) in Orissa, India will be studied closely. Chilika lake presents a complex ecosystem with multiple stake holders. With a 64 kilometer length, 20 kilometer width, average water spread area of 1065 square kilometer and a catchments area of 4406 square kilometer it provides livelihood to 190 villages i.e. approximately 0.2 million fisher folk. The lake presents a classic case of conflict between the traditional fishing rights vis-a-vis commercial fishing by outsiders. Shrimp mafias have captured almost the entire lake for commercial exploitation of tiger prawn, a shrimp specie very popular in East Asian countries. Unauthorized encroachments for shrimp culture are rampant. Mostly the mafias running the trade involve local people to gain legitimacy. The local fisher folk which have been depending on the lake's resources for generations are easily deprived of its basic livelihood. In order to bring a controlled management for fishing the local Government have brought a number of legislations. A number of fisheries co-operatives are working. "A high power autonomous body (Chilika Development Authority) is looking after the issues involving development, conflict resolution, peaceful settlement, eco- management etc. Legitimate stakeholders, particularly local communities and indigenous people are being strongly encouraged to take an active role in planning in these management institutions. Supra-national institutions (Wetland International, Ramsar Centre-Japan, JFGE-Japan, Danish Embassy, New Delhi, World Bank etc.), National institutions (Ministry of Environment and Forest/Water Resources/Agriculture, National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development etc.), Provincial Government institutions (Department of Fisheries and Animal Resources/Agriculture/Revenue/Forest, Remote Sensing Application Centre etc.), Non-Government Organisations (Wild Orissa, Pallishree, Centre for Environment Education, Campaign for Conservation of Chilika Lagoon etc.), Research institutions (Utkal University, Botanical Survey of India, Central Inland Fishery Research Institute, Bombay Natural History Society, National Institute of Oceanography- Goa etc.) and Local Community institutions (Fish Co-operatives, Watershed Committees, Self Help Groups, Self Help Co-operatives, Migratory Bird Protection Committee etc.) play active role in management of the common property resources of Chilika lake. "With the intervention of these management institutions there is a visible change in production of fish and shrimp, conservation of ecosystem, livelihood protection of the depending fish folk population, conflict resolution etc. This sort of co-management between the Government and other supportive agencies has not only created a space for development but also has given a platform for the affected population. However, the insights gained into the ongoing struggles, conflicts, negotiation, mediation and adaptations of stakeholders, major learning points are identified to be replicated to the extent to which institutions can be better designed for governing the local commons."

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