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Institutions for the Management of Common Pool Resources in African Floodplains: The AFWeP Research Project

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Type: Journal Article
Author: Haller, Tobias
Journal: The Common Property Resource Digest
Volume: 74
Date: 2005
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/3257
Sector: General & Multiple Resources
Water Resource & Irrigation
Region: Africa
Subject(s): common pool resources
resource management
flood management
Abstract: "African floodplain wetlands are important regions for local livelihoods and are of special interest for conservation organisations such as the World Conservation Union (IUCN). These ecosystems are interesting because the inundation patterns in an otherwise semi-arid environment make them resource-rich pockets when the water recedes, in providing much sought-after resources during the dry season and between seasons. Most of the time these areas become resource rich after the water recedes. Most of the resources are Common Pool Resources (CPR) such as fish, wildlife, pasture, forests and water, which are managed through common property regimes and local institutions (rules, norms, and regulations). These institutions have been developed in pre-colonial times and were operating partly still during colonial times. Today, however, CPRs are managed by different regimes in the form of a legal pluralism but mostly controlled by the state, which has partly dismantled local rules and regulations. In many, though not all of these floodplains, CPRs are under pressure and there are signs of degradation: Pasture areas show signs of erosion, fish and wildlife stock are declining, and forests and water resources are less available."

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