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Supporting Collective Action through Community Development Funds: An Institutional Innovation for Herder Poverty Reduction in Sichuan, China

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Wei, Han; Ling, Du
Conference: Sustaining Commons: Sustaining Our Future, the Thirteenth Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of the Commons
Location: Hyderabad, India
Conf. Date: January 10-14
Date: 2011
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/7238
Sector: Grazing
Region: East Asia
Subject(s): grasslands--case studies
community development
collective action
Abstract: "Tibetan herding communities in western Sichuan have a long tradition of migratory livestock grazing on seasonal commons as an adaptation to fluctuating climatic and grassland conditions. After the Household Contract Responsibility System was promoted, many herder communities have continued to graze livestock on seasonal commons as they traditionally did. But there were still some problems with 'communal livestock grazing”' Some pastoral villages have begun to experience a 'Tragedy of the Commons' and face a complex bundle of problems. One of the most important problems is the community lost their ability for collective action. Houlonggou, the case village, has experienced a transition from a 'Tragedy of the Commons', to a restoration of self-government and collective action for common property management. With this case we have found that combining Community Development Funds (CDF) with Common Pool Resource (CPR) management is a feasible way to escape from the 'the Tragedy of the Commons”' CDF may help in many aspects of forming and strengthening collective actions and improving CPR management abilities, such as enhancing the ability of self-governing and financial sustainability of collective action. In this paper, we will discuss: (a) the linkages between losing the ability for collective action and 'the Tragedy of Commons'; (b) how to escape 'the Tragedy of Commons' through rebuilding collective activities capacities; (c) the role of CDF in improving collective management of CPR."

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