Building Collective Tenure for Sustainable Forest Management in a Multi-Ethnic Community: A Case Study in Taohua Administrative Village of Lijiang, Yunnan Province, China

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"This study was conducted in Taohua Administrative village, Lijiang County, Yunnan Province, China. The objectives were to study local arrangement in forest land tenure and traditional joint forest management; identify a set of principles guiding forest management in a multi-ethnic community; analyze local adaptation processes in forest land tenure and management; and to understand key institutions concern with forest governance. This research shows that multi-ethnic communities, managing forests as common property resources, can achieve a certain level of sustainable management. The community may respond to new situations by adopting new management practices, or by changing local regulations. "Contrary to the 'tragedy of the commons' theory, a common property approach in this study site allowed communities to privatize rights to land and other resources without dividing the landscape into small individual plots. The common property system also provides incentive for investment in long-term resource productivity. This study suggests that future forest polices in China may provide general guidelines for forestry management and development, while leaving some flexibility for local government and communities to adjust to their specific local situations. Policy makers must pay more attention to the forest access rights of local communities, and to local capacity building."
IASC, common pool resources, forest management--case study, land tenure and use, joint management, timber, privatization, forest policy, heterogeneity, ethnicity