Property Rights and Natural Resources: Impact of Common Property Institutions on Community-Based Resource Management

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"A striking feature of most of these studies lies in the fact that their authors are generally convinced that, given the glaring failure of state ownership experiences in developing countries, collective, community-based regulation holds out the best prospects for an efficient management of village-level natural resources (Baland and Platteau, 2001). However, they recognise at the same time that the balance sheet of actual experience of common property option is rather mixed; the central focus on the research should be directed towards understanding the reasons that can account for these varying levels of performance of CPR institutions. It is also not clear upon what condition resource management will be optimal to ensure equity and efficiency among the resource users. Further research on determinants and impact of local management institutions and thus performance of CPR management is emphasised mainly in relation to distributional implication of the regime, decision-making arrangements and the way individuals interact when applying rules (co-operation, free riding etc.) and an analysis of the outcome (efficiency and equity). So far systematic tests of the relative importance of factors important to sustainability, equity, or efficiency of common property institutions are relatively uncommon (Agrawal, 2001). A clear understanding of the local management institutions, their determinants and their role in shaping the environmental outcome is desirable to better guide future NRM policies (Heltberg, 2001). In this study, we therefore intended to explore the determinants and impact of local management institutions and how local level heterogeneity among resource users influences the emergence of productivity enhancing institutional arrangements and thus resource management regime at the local level."
forest management, common pool resources, institutions, property rights, resource management, citizen participatory management, CBRM