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The Common Property Resources: Their Crisis and Sustainability Implications to Mountain Agriculture

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Shrestha, Sugandha
Conference: Common Property in Ecosystems Under Stress, the Fourth Annual Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property
Location: Manila, Philippines
Conf. Date: June, 1993
Date: 1993
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/4800
Sector: Agriculture
Region: East Asia
Middle East & South Asia
Subject(s): agriculture
common pool resources
mountain regions
forest products
Abstract: "The common property resources (CPRs), in general, refer to those natural resource base which are collectively used/managed by communities or villages. These resources include forest, pastureland, grazing land, river/rivulet bank etc. In many cases, however, it becomes extremely difficult to delineate or separate them from each other especially from its utility point of view. Forest, for instance, is used for extraction of not only fuel, wood, timber but it also serve the purpose of grazing land in lower hills/mountains and pastureland in the high hills/mountains. Ownership of the CPRs is now more complex than it used to be in the past. Though several governments or states own the most area under CPRs, village, community, and a cluster of households (10-15) within the village also command certain authority over the usage/management of the CPRs. However, the legal right of ownership of CPRs is presently more unclear. Broadly speaking, the common property resources (CPRs) include village or community forest and pastureland, grazing land, river/rivulet banks etc. The importance of CPRs particularly in the hills and mountains is vital. They produce essential inputs required for performing various farming activities such as compost materials, fodder, fuelwood, timber, manure, draft powder and other raw materials necessary for sideline activities to supplement some cash income. Despite these numerous benefits, CPRs are being persistently degraded overtime, and thus making mountain agriculture unsustainable. This is reflected by the presence of various negative changes which may also be called as indicators of unsustainability viz.: increased landslides/soil erosion, land abandonment due to decreased soil fertility, declined levels of crop yields and livestock productivity, reduced biodiversity, increased hunger gap period and outmigration and so on. Moreover, the real victims of the stress on CPRs are small and marginal farmers and landless people. Because their sustenance greatly depends on CPRs."

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