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Local Institutions in Common Property Resources: A Study of Community-based Watershed Management in Northern Thailand

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Wittayapak, Chusak
Conference: Reinventing the Commons, the Fifth Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property
Location: Bodoe, Norway
Conf. Date: May 24-28, 1995
Date: 1995
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/529
Sector: Water Resource & Irrigation
Region: East Asia
Subject(s): IASC
common pool resources
water resources
community participation
Abstract: "The watersheds in Thailand are dejtire governed by the state-property regime. Watershed management has been left entirely to government administration, mainly through the Royal Forestry Department (RED). This is because until recently these areas were extensively forested. However, under this governance the forest area has declined dramatically, from 53 percent of the country area in 1961, to 29 percent in 1986. Forests and watershed resources have de facto become an open-access resource which are susceptible to unlimited exploitation. "Initiatives to privatize forest resources have so far failed to stop deforestation. Moreover, in many cases they may even have accelerated forest depletion. Furthermore, privatization often tends to concentrate wealth in the hands of the few, at the expense of equity. In fact, private reforestation by means of a large-scale commercial forestry does not alleviate poverty since it fails to distribute benefits to the local people. Nor does it recognize traditional rights or any interest or capability in local communities to manage the forest resource around them."

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