Big Dams and Small Change: Common Property as an Adaptation to Political and Economic Change among Afro-Colombians in the Andes

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"This paper will focus on the struggle to adapt to changing political and economic events in the creation of common property regimes by an Afro-Colombian community in the western Andes. Displaced from their traditional livelihood of gold mining by the creation of a hydro-electric dam, and limited by the subdivision of inherited private property, in 1989 Afro-Colombian campesinos created a community company for the management of planted and natural forest that constitutes part of a land reform settlement. Although making collective claims to the entire territory as a Black ethnic group, traditions of private property use, differing internal agendas, political limitations of the new constitution, and governing rules of land reform settlement affect how the community can and does organize itself and its property. As such, both macro and micro economic and political systems are closely interconnected in the community's ability and success in adapting to a changing environment."



IASC, common pool resources, campesinos, community participation, forest management, dams, adaptation, land tenure and use, water resources