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'Without Co-ops there Would be No Forests!': Historical Memory and the Restitution of Forests in Post-socialist Bulgaria

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Type: Journal Article
Author: Cellarius, Barbara A.
Journal: Conservation and Society
Volume: 2
Date: 2004
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/3015
Sector: Social Organization
Region: Europe
Subject(s): forest management
property rights
community participation
resource management
Abstract: "In the wake of Bulgaria's post-socialist restitution of formerly private forests, cooperatives have widespread support among residents of the central Rhodope mountains as a way to manage the newly re-privatized resource. This support occurs despite privatization programmes designed to foster individual private ownership and a history of socialism, which might bias people against cooperative institutions. Reasons for the favourable attitude towards cooperatives include the economic rationale of large-scale forest management along with social memory of pre-socialist forestry cooperatives in the region as valued community institutions that supported community projects, produced income for forest owners, provided jobs, and managed the forests efficiently and transparently. This case study contributes to a better understanding of natural resource management under postsocialist conditions in which individuated private property often receives the most attention."

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