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Regenerating India's Last Common Resource: Making the Conceptual Leap to Equitable Forest Management

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Campbell, Jeffrey Y.; Khare, Arvind K.
Conference: Inequality and the Commons, the Third Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property
Location: Washington, DC
Conf. Date: September 1992
Date: 1992
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/608
Sector: Forestry
Region: Middle East & South Asia
Subject(s): forest management
common pool resources
forest products
population growth
Abstract: "The recent changes in the forestry sector in India will be viewed by the Hardin school of thought as an inexorable march towards the tragedy of the commons. The essence of current changes in forest management lies in the attempted shift of control and management of forest lands from centralized forest departments to decentralized people's institutions; from res publica to res communes. It consists of a hitherto inconceivable partnership between co-equal users of forests in the form of an identifiable community and the custodians of forest lands i.e. the forest departments. Equity amongst users and between the users and the custodians is one cardinal principle of the new arrangement while a peoples institution to operationalize this arrangement is the other essential condition. The new management system is known by various terms, the most popular being the Joint Forest Management or JFM in short. The peoples institutions are known as Forest Protection Committees or FPCs. It will be naive to believe that this new policy shift represents a complete conversion of forest lands into a common property resource (CPR), but the signs are unmistakable. There is however no dearth of doomsday predictions of destruction of forests by Hardiners who have an abiding suspicion of the ability of the community to organize itself at the expense of individual greed for community benefit."

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