Collective Action and Property Rights for Sustainable Development

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Date

2004

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Abstract

"Millions of rural poor people in developing countries depend on natural resources--farmland and rangeland, fishing waters, forests--for their livelihoods. But whether they can use these resources sustainably to climb out of poverty often depends on the institutions that govern resource use--property rights and collective action. A multiplicity of property rights and collective action arrangements exist around the globe, and researchers have learned numerous lessons about what kinds of arrangements work best under what conditions. Making property rights and collective action work for the poor is not as simple as issuing new land titles or mindlessly applying standards that have worked elsewhere. Instead, it requires a detailed understanding of local resource conditions and social relationships, among other factors. "This collection of briefs draws on a wide body of research conducted through the Systemwide Program on Collective Action and Property Rights (CAPRi) of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). It describes the complex issues surrounding property rights and collective action that policymakers and development professionals must understand and address if they are to successfully promote sustainable and pro-poor management of natural resources."

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collective action, property rights, sustainability, rural development, natural resources, resource management

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