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The Legal and the Political in Modern Common Property Management: Re-making Communal Property in Sub-Saharan Africa with Special Reference to Forest Commons in Tanzania

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Wily, Liz Alden
Conference: Crossing Boundaries, the Seventh Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Conf. Date: June 10-14
Date: 1998
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/2217
Sector: General & Multiple Resources
Region: Africa
Subject(s): IASC
common pool resources
land tenure and use
forest management
community participation
indigenous institutions
property rights
Abstract: "The argument of this paper is that the outstanding challenge facing community property management is to find institutional frameworks which both secure community tenure of those resources into the next century, and provide a workable, and forward-looking operational basis for their management. Without this success, individualising and centralising strategies which have so successfully undermined communal property over the last century will gain yet more, and final, ground. "The findings of this paper are hopeful. The author identifies two forces in modern sub-Saharan Africa which are, intentionally or otherwise, prompting the very kind of institutional development that is necessary to encompass and sustain local common property. The way in which one sub-Saharan state, Tanzania, is making progress in this regard, is explored. The author posits that this success is possible largely because a statutorily-defined institutional framework for common property management is already well-established at the community level and able to be brought into play. Ultimately, other sub-Saharan states will need to develop comparable socio-legal institutions to support working common property into the next century."

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