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close this bookAbstracts on Sustainable Agriculture (GTZ; 1992; 423 pages)
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts On Traditional Land-Use Systems
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View the documentAcknowledgements
View the document1. Rural common property resources: a growing crisis.
View the document2. Making haste slowly: strengthening local environmental management in agricultural development.
View the document3. Farming for the future: an introduction to low-external-input and sustainable agriculture.
View the document4. Public policies affecting natural resources and the environment.
View the document5. Human development and sustainability.
View the document6. Caring for the earth - a strategy for sustainable living.
View the document7. Agriculture and natural resources: a manual for development workers.
View the document8. Environmental guidelines for resettlement projects in the humid tropics.
View the document9. Saving the tropical forests.
View the document10. Values for the environment, a guide to economic appraisal.
View the document11. Alcohol fuels - options for developing countries.
View the document12. Diffusion of biomass energy technologies in developing countries.
View the document13 When aid is no help: how projects fail, and how they could succeed.
View the document14. Natural resources and the human environment for food and agriculture.
View the document15. World development report 1992 - development and the environment.
View the document16. Species interactions and community ecology in low external-input agriculture.
View the document17. Development strategies and natural resource management for humid tropical lowlands.
View the document18. Environmental management of the northern zone consolidation project in Costa Rica: strategies for sustainable development.
View the document19. Environmental assessment: the valles altos project in Bolivia.
View the document20. Environmental crisis in Asia-Pacific.
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on agrometeorology
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Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on potential crops for marginal lands

1. Rural common property resources: a growing crisis.

Gatekeeper Series No. 24; Internat. Inst. for Environment and Development (IIED), London, UK, 1991, 16 pp.

Common property resources (CPRs) are in decline throughout the developing world.

CPRs continue to be a significant component of the land resource base of very many rural communities. But they are threatened by neglect, over-exploitation, under-investment and expropriation.

This paper, by focussing on India, documents micro-level evidence on the contribution of CPRs to poor people's livelihoods, their steep declines in area and production over the last 40 years, the collapse of traditional management systems, and the pauperisation of the poor.

The author makes suggestions for immediate action to offset some of these alarming trends.

In detail the following aspects are discussed in this paper:


- Benefits of CPRs
- Quantifying benefits
- Depletion of CPRs
- Physical degradation of CPRs
- CPRs and pauperisation
- Privatization and the poor
- CPRs productivity
- The traditional management systems for CPRs
- Adaptation by the rural rich
- Adaptation by the rural poor
- Future prospects

The future prospects of CPRs are closely linked to an appreciation of their contributions, and changes in the public approach to strengthen them. Some areas requiring immediate attention are as follows:


- Positive CPR policies: Restricting the further decline of CPR areas should be the major component of CPR development. Promotion of user groups be a solution to this.

- Investment needs: For sustained and effective contribution of CPRs, increases in their productivity is essential. This requires rapid regeneration, through protection and regulated use, and provision of substantial investments into CPRs.

- Technology focus: The rehabilitation of CPRs as productive social assets needs a new technological focus in terms of species, inputs, and technical methods of resource management. Besides productivity we must emphasize the diversity and usefulness of products.

- Management and regulation: The rehabilitation of CPRs is less of an investment-cum-technological problem and more of a resource management problem. This cannot happen unless the CPRs are reconverted from 'open access resources' to 'common property resources'. In operational terms this would mean the re-establishment of usage regulations and user obligations towards CPRs.

- User groups: The institutional arrangement to fulfil such requirements can take the form of CPR-user groups. There are no unique models to pattern such groupings in dry areas.

The two relevant features which have emerged as by-products of the recent development history of India, and which may obstruct the growth of user groups are: the ever-increasing tendency of the state to expropriate the initiative and activities which belong to people, and the increased internal differentiation of rural communities and its impact on the operation of village-level initiatives. Despite such potential obstructions, the success of recent initiatives in the management of community resources by user groups and NGOs do inspire considerable hope for the resources and for the poor who rely upon them.

1132 92 - 5/108


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