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Law and Power in Decentralised Natural Resource Management: A Case Study from the Inner Niger Delta, Mali

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dc.contributor.author Cotula, Lorenzo en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2009-07-31T14:29:39Z
dc.date.available 2009-07-31T14:29:39Z
dc.date.issued 2008 en_US
dc.date.submitted 2008-10-24 en_US
dc.date.submitted 2008-10-24 en_US
dc.identifier.uri https://hdl.handle.net/10535/386
dc.description.abstract "In several African countries, recent decentralisation processes have entailed a transfer of natural resource management responsibilities from central to local government bodies. Decentralisation aims to give local resource users greater control over the natural resources on which they depend. But implementation is riddled with difficulties - for instance, with regard to local capacity, resources and accountability. In addition, local governments must come to terms with pre-existing systems for the management of natural resources, based on local ('customary' but continuously evolving) tenure systems. The complex and diverse relationships established between local governments and customary systems may have significant implications for the 'success' of decentralisation processes. "Drawing on a case study from the Inner Niger Delta (Mali) and using a socio-legal approach, this article explores the challenges of implementing decentralisation in contexts characterised by legal pluralism, by long-term historical trajectories of socioeconomic change, by increasingly conflictual relations between local actors, and by shifting balances of power. It finds that customary systems in the delta have been profoundly affected by a century of change in the ecological, socio-economic and politico-institutional context. The authority and legitimacy of many chiefs ('jowro') and of customary institutions to hold them accountable ('suudu baaba') have been eroded, resource access relations have become monetarised, natural resource disputes have increased, and state legislation and greater use of courts have fostered the emergence of hybrids of both customary and statutory norms. In this context, the establishment of local governments endowed with still unclear natural resource management responsibilities has added complexity to this situation, resulting in relations between chiefs and local governments that range from conflict to cooperation through to capture. The diverse and evolving balance of power between central and local government, jowro, suudu baaba, and different groups of natural resource users shape the development and outcomes of these relations." en_US
dc.subject decentralization--case studies en_US
dc.subject resource management--case studies en_US
dc.subject community participation en_US
dc.subject local governance and politics en_US
dc.subject natural resources en_US
dc.subject IASC en_US
dc.title Law and Power in Decentralised Natural Resource Management: A Case Study from the Inner Niger Delta, Mali en_US
dc.type Conference Paper en_US
dc.coverage.region Africa en_US
dc.coverage.country Mali en_US
dc.subject.sector Social Organization en_US
dc.subject.sector General & Multiple Resources en_US
dc.identifier.citationmonth July en_US
dc.identifier.citationconference Governing Shared Resources: Connecting Local Experience to Global Challenges, the Twelfth Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Commons en_US
dc.identifier.citationconfdates July 14-18, 2008 en_US
dc.identifier.citationconfloc Cheltenham, England en_US
dc.submitter.email elsa_jin@yahoo.com en_US

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