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Governance and Institutional Change in Relation to Commons

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Omorbekov, A.
Conference: Governing Shared Resources: Connecting Local Experience to Global Challenges, the Twelfth Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Commons
Location: Cheltenham, England
Conf. Date: July 14-18, 2008
Date: 2008
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/710
Sector: Social Organization
Land Tenure & Use
Region: Former Soviet Union
Subject(s): institutional change
governance and politics
land tenure and use
Abstract: "Kyrgyz Republic is a small mountainous country located in northeastern Central Asia. It neighbors Kazakhstan to the north, Uzbekistan to the west, Tajikistan to the southwest and China to the southeast. It has population of about 5 million people with majority Kyrgyz ethnic. The countrys land area is about 200,000 square km, with almost 90 percent of which at elevations above 1,500 meters (above sea level). More than 50 percent of the land consists of rangelands and forests, all of which are State owned. With the exception of arable farm land, all rural land is managed by different agencies and tiers of government authorities. "The major reforms undergoing in the country on natural resources management are focused on restructuring management responsibilities in a way that would support poverty alleviation, facilitate economic growth and ensure sustainable use of rangeland resources. "The legislative basis and institutional responsibilities concerning natural resources management In Kyrgyzstan are confusing, and legal provisions are often disregarded because they contradict customary law and indigenous traditions. Local systems and practices for managing common resources are weakened or undermined by the state and/or powerful private interests. Under the dual pressures of market forces and of elite capture promoted by poor governance, tenure arrangements are increasingly shifting from common property towards private tenure of the few, with the rights of the poor protected neither in legislation non in practice. Responsibilities of various stakeholder agencies overlap, particularly at the interface between elected local self-governments and the lower tiers of the central administration. "RDF is currently engaged in participatory research on institutional roles, legislative framework and resource use patterns in three rural municipalities. This research emphasizes need for decentralization of management responsibilities to the local level with specific recommendations on how to increase citizenry involvement into decision making process through establishment of community based management committees."

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