Communities and Collective Usage of Land Resources in the Andes

"The debate on the common use of natural or man-produced resources has recently been based on numerous case studies concerning a large variety of resources, carried throughout the world. To what extent do the ways resources are managed depend on the ways people can have access to them? There have been answers opposing private individual access to common access. From a historical angle, we shall try to find out if this development is correct by illustrating the case of long grazed fallow in the Central Andes. "Fallow land is a no cultivated land included in a cropping system. We consider as resources the products and the land too, which is the physical support to the products. Land can be measured (as a surface), divided, appropriated. It can also be transmitted as an heritage, handed over, sold or bought. Moreover, fallowing land makes it possible for the soil to produce plant resources either cultivated for private use or naturally grown for common use. In this study, the resources concerned: fallow land and fallow plant resources are Common Pool Resources. Thus speaking of a fallow system seems to be more appropriate insofar as a sole resource, renewable and substractable, can not be identified. These ways of farming are aimed at producing or extracting a complex resources unit of private or common access which, up to now, differs from a private property. This is the reason why our study simultaneously considers the evolution of access to landed property (explaining the present situation of unequal access to land) and access to soil produced resources, while available land has decreased. "After giving a more precise definition of the concept of land tenure, we shall then give a short account of the history of the different ways of access to land, in a native Aymara community on the Bolivian Altiplano. Since the XVTIIth century, it is marked by decreasing available areas. In a now restricted area, the appropriation of fallow resources is now at stake. In the second part, we shall analyse how among production units, land, space and production strategies cross interlink; relations between individual and collective management differ depending on farmers. Last, similarities between these present fallow management systems and XVIth century European commonfields provide us with a few orientations for modeling the present systems."
IASC, common pool resources, land tenure and use, community