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Property Regimes and Exploitation of the Forests, an Economic Analysis: The Case of Spain

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Aizpurua, Josemari; Alenza, Jose; Galilea, Pedro
Conference: Constituting the Commons: Crafting Sustainable Commons in the New Millennium, the Eighth Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property
Location: Bloomington, Indiana, USA
Conf. Date: May 31-June 4
Date: 2000
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/669
Sector: Forestry
Region: Europe
Subject(s): IASC
common pool resources
land tenure and use
property rights
forest management
Abstract: "The simplest way of studying the impact that tenure has over the environmental quality of the forests is comparing the evolution of similar forests under different property regimes. One can compare the evolution of the very extension of the forest and the observed changes, if any, on the species of trees being planted. That is what we are doing in our work. "Different regions in Spain reacted differently to the privatization wave that dominated Europe during the XIX century. All over Spain, the important changes on the property rights over the forests were made during the last century. The liberal, pro-capitalistic ideology guided the action of the political power: privatization was thought of as a necessary condition for prosperity. The commons were privatized all over Europe so as to drastically change the economic life of the whole society. "For reasons not yet well-understood for us, privatization in Navarra, a region in the North of Spain, did not have the severity it had in the rest of Spain. Our initial estimates suggest that, during the XIX century, at most 25% of the forestland being defined as non-productive and non-cultivable was privatized, while in other regions the privatized forestland was over 70%. "In our work we study the degree of privatization in different regions of Spain and compare the degree of privatization with the quality of the forests measured by the evolution of the forestland and the evolution of the distribution of different species of trees."

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