Reconciling Property Concepts for Effective Indigenous Resource Management: Some Alternative Approaches

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Date
1998
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Abstract
"Indigenous and non-indigenous views of property ownership and use are significantly different...As indigenous people in widely separated parts of the globe have eloquently expressed, human beings do not 'own' the land or sea or animals, but rather are at one with them. While details of such forms of ownership have demonstrably changed under pressures from population growth and desire for wealth and higher living standards, this holistic perspective persists. "Non-indigenous peoples, in contrast, generally see natural resources in a very different way. They value more individual forms of 'ownership' and 'control,' and assess resources primarily for their potential commercial exploitation and use as tradeable commodities; or for conservation as an integral part of the planet's biodiversity. They therefore want to regulate resource ownership and use under legislation which publicly sets out the rights and responsibilities of registered owners. "These two perceptions of property ownership and use obviously clash...Indigenous minority groups in many countries battle with ruling governments, who are intent on resource development for national rather than local good and economic growth, or on resource control over their customary natural resources."
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IASC, resource management, indigenous institutions, property rights, customary law
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