Islands of the Commons: Community Forests and Ecological Security in Northeast Thai Villages

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"Debates on common property resource management related to sustainable natural resource management in developing countries have concentrated on land and resources with common or communal tenure. However, destructive use of state or private lands and resources may upset the balance of ecosystem and damage ecological services on which local people depend, even when common resources are well managed. It is necessary to consider the mechanisms by which collective action establishes and sustains local ecological security as a kind of common good. In this paper, I consider the meaning of local ecological security by examining the case of community forests and the expansion of cash crops, especially, rubber, in the research site in Northeast Thailand. The expansion of rubber cultivation at a rapid pace damaged local ecological security. Community forests, which are still well managed, are like islands in the sea of the global economy. With special focus on how the villagers have dealt with the changed in their living environment, I consider the collective actions that are necessary to enhance ecological security as a local common good."
community forestry, rubber, ecology, IASC