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State, Commerce and Commons: Conservation with Communities in Upper Tributary Watersheds

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Lebel, Louis; Daniel, Rajesh; Badenoch, Nathan
Conference: Survival of the Commons: Mounting Challenges and New Realities, the Eleventh Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property
Location: Bali, Indonesia
Conf. Date: June 19-23, 2006
Date: 2006
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/823
Sector: Water Resource & Irrigation
Region: East Asia
Subject(s): IASC
land tenure and use
water resources
Abstract: "In this review we explore these questions for upper tributary watersheds in montane mainland Southeast Asia, covering Northern Thailand, and parts of Vietnam, Lao PDR, Cambodia, Myanmar/Burma and Yunnan province of China. "Four rights - to timber, land, forests, and water - have been at the core of most conflicts about how conservation objectives might be achieved in broader regions which must also support livelihoods. Their histories are intertwined. Changes to formal property rights, especially for land, timber and forest products have since colonial times been tools for exploitation rather than securing livelihoods or meeting conservation objectives. New rules and regulations frequently bundle goods and services obtained from land that were previously separate. Forests provide many common pool resources. "The institutional, cultural and political context in which rights to goods and services from watersheds are defined, defended and reformed are critical to both conservation and social justice in development objectives (Daniel & Lebel 2006; Lebel 2005). Rights of access and use to goods and services from forest ecosystems often depended on more fundamental entitlements such as citizenship, political voice, safety and access to markets and employment themselves. "The main body of this review is organized as follows. Section two steps through several common models for conservation illustrating each with experiences from watersheds in montane mainland southeast Asia. In doing so it highlights some of the variety of roles of state, firms and communities in management. Sections three, four and five focus more specifically on what theory and practice have to say about the roles of scale, heterogeneity and uncertainty on various ways of involving communities in conservation. The paper concludes with some practical suggestions for strengthening approaches to conservation and development in upper tributary watersheds. (Agrawal & Ostrom 2001) (Steins 2002; Steins & Edwards 1999)"

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