Common Property Organisations as Actors in Rural Development: A Case Study of a Mountain Area in Italy

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"The Consorzi Vicinali are common property organisations (CPOs) located in a mountain area of Friuli Venezia Giulia region, in North East Italy. These CPOs have a long history of mutual assistance and collective use and management of local resources, thus contributing to a balanced development of the local community and territory. The research aimed at investigating whether these historical CPOs still have a relevant role to play in the development of local rural areas, and how they deal with the present needs and opportunities of these areas. Specifically, the robustness and viability of these organisations were analysed. The survey revealed some strengths and weaknesses of the Consorzi Vicinali. According to Ostrom’s design principles, the robustness is quite high. Nevertheless, this ability to maintain some desired characteristics despite internal and external fluctuations does not always match with a high viability, in terms of natural resource management, internal participation, creation of job opportunities especially for young people, and capacity to attract financial support. In fact, some Consorzi still act effectively in terms of the collective stewardship of rural resources. Whereas, others have the potential to adapt to new challenges and emerging needs, due to the deep rootedness and the sense of belonging of the local community to its territory. These are the strengths of all the Consorzi. The robustness and viability analyses used in a complementary way have been effective here in giving a more comprehensive description of CPOs and their (potential) role in rural development."
common pool resources, rural development, design principles