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Co-Management of the Commons: Some Experiences with Community-Based Resource Management in the Philippine Uplands

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Dizon, Josefina T.
Conference: The Commons in an Age of Global Transition: Challenges, Risks and Opportunities, the Tenth Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property
Location: Oaxaca, Mexico
Conf. Date: August 9-13
Date: 2004
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/956
Sector: General & Multiple Resources
Region: East Asia
Subject(s): IASC
common pool resources
resource management
community forestry
forest management
Abstract: "In the Philippines during the 80's, a paradigm shift occurred with the management of forest and other natural resources with the birth of people-oriented forestry policies and programs. Before this period, the government took full control of the management of the country's natural resources until the realization that the problems obtaining in the uplands particularly with the forest communities have deep socioeconomic roots. Guided by the philosophy of participation, equitability and sustainability, the government, through the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, promulgated policies which provided for the co-management of these resources involving the state, community-based organizations (CBOs), and the private sector. "The paradigm shift towards co-management created space for local communities in the management of the forest resources, which since time immemorial, were considered state-owned by virtue of the Regalian doctrine introduced by the Spanish colonizers. Through devolution of some of the state power and responsibilities over forestland to CBOs or people's organizations (POs), the latter were given the opportunity to become de facto forest managers. The impacts/outcomes of devolution have been observed on a number of community aspects, namely, the quality of resources under the community's management, community livelihood and well-being, and political capacity. Conditions which contributed to the creation of this space, include the nature of the community's social capital, stake on the forest, presence of policy, and presence of external agents. The big question, however, is to what extent can the communities maintain this space? Are there long-term strategies to secure this space that they have acquired?"

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