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The Swedish Common Forests: A Common Property Resource in an Urban, Industrialised Society

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dc.contributor.author Carlsson, Lars en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2009-07-31T15:15:07Z
dc.date.available 2009-07-31T15:15:07Z
dc.date.issued 1996 en_US
dc.date.submitted 2009-05-06 en_US
dc.date.submitted 2009-05-06 en_US
dc.identifier.uri https://hdl.handle.net/10535/4284
dc.description.abstract "Common forests are frequently associated with developing countries, where overpopulation, a lack of technical and economic resources, deforestation and a tension between central bureaucracies and local people contribute to forest loss and depletion. This paper focuses on a quite different situation: the role of common forests in an industrialised country. The Swedish common forests have survived for more than 100 years; no deforestation has been observed and the total amount of biomass is increasing. The forests are considered by experts to be well managed both in terms of efficiency and with regard to the preservation of biodiversity. At the same time their extent remains intact; in fact, only about 70% of the annual production of biomass is harvested. Compared to other types of ownership the commons have a very special organisation. The basis consists of 25,000 individual shareholders with property rights in the forests. This medieval pattern of ownership seems to survive; moreover it seems to be quite prosperous within the realm of modern society with its highly competitive forest industries. This paper explains why the Swedish common forests have survived as vital and competitive actors in the timber market. Three main explanations are discussed: the commoners' conscious attempts to reduce transaction costs, their general inventiveness in adjusting to changed circumstances, and their acclimatisation to present economic conditions." en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseries Network Paper 20e en_US
dc.subject forests en_US
dc.subject forest management en_US
dc.subject common pool resources en_US
dc.subject timber en_US
dc.title The Swedish Common Forests: A Common Property Resource in an Urban, Industrialised Society en_US
dc.type Working Paper en_US
dc.publisher.workingpaperseries Rural Development Forestry Network, Overseas Development Institute, London en_US
dc.coverage.region Europe en_US
dc.coverage.country Sweden en_US
dc.subject.sector Urban Commons en_US
dc.subject.sector Forestry en_US

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