Front Cover
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Note to readers
 Africa: Semi-arid and sub-humid...
 Latin America

Group Title: Community forestry note
Title: Common forest resource management
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00089863/00001
 Material Information
Title: Common forest resource management annotated bibliography of Asia, Africa and Latin America
Series Title: Community forestry note
Physical Description: ix, 265 p. : ill., maps ; 30 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Messerschmidt, Donald A ( Donald Alan ), 1940-
Mol, P. W
Wiersum, K. F
Shepherd, Gill
Rodriguez, Silvia
Forests, Trees and People (Program)
Donor: Marianne Schmink ( endowment )
Publisher: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations,
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Place of Publication: Rome
Publication Date: 1993
Copyright Date: 1993
Subject: Community forests -- Management -- Developing countries   ( lcsh )
Community forests -- Management -- Bibliography -- Developing countries   ( lcsh )
Genre: international intergovernmental publication   ( marcgt )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Statement of Responsibility: general editor and introduction, Donald A. Messerschmidt ; with Asian regional authors, P.W. Mol and K.F. Wiersum ; African regional author, Gill Shepherd with the assistance of J. Watt, A. Ifeka and D. Blais ; and Latin American regional authors, Silvia Rodriguez ... et al..
General Note: "Forests, Trees and People"--Cover.
General Note: Includes indexes.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00089863
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 28664667

Table of Contents
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Full Text

Common forest resource

annotated bibliography
of Asia, Africa
and Latin America


CoM^loi ^
CO 49AXIM4 i A#LIt



Common forest resource


annotated bibliography

of Asia, Africa

and Latin America

General Editor and Introduction
Donald A. Messerschmidt

Asian Regional Authors
P.W. Mol and K.F. Wiersum

African Regional Author
Gill Shepherd
with the assistance of
J. Watts, A. Ifeka and D. Blais

Latin American Regional Authors
Silvia Rodriguez, Alberta Vargas,
Serge Dedina and David Stanfield

Rome, 1993

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a
retrieval system, ortransmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical,
photocopying or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owner.
Applications for such permission, with a statement of the purpose and extent of
the reproduction, should be addressed to the Director, Publications Division, Food
and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Viale delle Terme di Caracalla,
00100 Rome, Italy.

FAO 1993

The designations employed and the presentation of material in this
publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the
part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its
authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.

Preface iii


The demand by international researchers and development workers for more
knowledge about Common Property Resource Management and collective action has
grown rapidly. Common Property Resources (CPRs) is a topic of intense interest today,
especially in light of the great stress on changing land and tree tenure systems in the search
for more sustainable forest resource management through privatization or collective

The purpose of this study is to introduce some of the literature on Common Forest
Resource Management from Asia, Africa and Latin America. It is recognized that the three
regional reviews of both published and unpublished sources and the issues analyses which
constitute this document are not complete. However, it was decided to publish this
material in order to present information known to date and identify gaps in our understanding
of this important topic.

Each of the authors describes and analyses the local systems of Common Forest
Resource Management and the role of externally sponsored assistance, particularly
through projects. Key issues are highlighted such as systems of tree and land tenure, the
general erosion of traditional rights, the reactions of rightholders to change, and measures
taken to assert old rights or establish new ones. Rather than examining the same issues
across regions, the regional chapters work to highlight the key issues for each given
geographic zone. As a result, the same issues are not always confronted for all places.

Perhaps the most important outcome of this compilation of the literature is the
invitation to re-examine the conditions under which systems of collective management of
natural resources are efficient and hold development potential. A belief in the viability and
utility of local, collective, natural resource management regimes guides this study of the
CFR management. One of the lessons of the regional studies is that the potential to save
and sustain the world's tree and forest resources exists in large measure in the traditions
and actions of rural societies.

This study is part of the Community Forestry Notes Series which is a compilation
of concept papers that develops the understanding of the major issues in community
forestry. The authors welcome submissions from readers of titles that may be missing
from or have been overlooked by this study.

Funding for the book was provided by the multidonor Forest, Trees and People
Trust fund which is devoted to increasing the sustainability of women and men's
livelihoods through self-help management of tree and forest resources. Within FAO the
Programme is coordinated by Marilyn W. Hoskins, Senior Forestry Officer (Community

M.R. de Montalembert
Director, Forestry Policy and Planning Division
Forestry Department

Contents v


Preface .................................................................................................... iii

Note to readers ....................................................................................... ix

1. INTRODUCTION ............................................................................. 1
The study of common property resources (CPRs)...................................
A Conceptual Fallacy ......................................... ................................. 1
Growth of CPRs as a Field of Professional Study............................ 3
Fallacies of Scale ....................... .... ... ....................... 3
Common forest resource (CFR) management. ........................................4
Analytical Models and Social Provenance .........................................4
CFR Management in Three Regions ............................................... 6
Some concepts and definitions .............................................. .......... ..... 7
Collective, Community and Communal Management .....................8
Forest M management ............................ ........................................ 10
Indigenous, Traditional and Externally Sponsored
Systems of Management......................................................... 11
Property, Tenure and Resources as Systems of Use......................... 12
Swidden-fallow Systems ................................................... 13
Sources of materials used in this study ...................................................14
References in Chapter 1 ................................... ..............................16
Acronyms and abbreviations in Chapter 1..................................... ..22

2. ASIA ................................................................................................... 25
Introduction ........................................................................................... 25
Some principles of collective management ............................................26
Some major features of collective forest management ..........................28
Characteristics ................................................28
Im portance ...................................................... ........................30
Scale ........................ ............ ............................................. . 30
Dynam ics ........................................................ ........................31
Scope for Development ...................................................32
Local systems of forest management.................................................33
Swidden-fallow Cultivation....................... ......................... 34
Mountain Environments ........................... ..............................34
Semi-arid Environments ........................ .... .............................36
Village Water Sources ............................ ...............................40
Sacred G roves ........................ ........................... ....................... 40
Discussion: The Decline of Local Systems ......................................41
Externally linked systems of forest management................................... 43
Indonesia........................ ............................. 44
India ..................... ................ ........................ 44
N epal ....................................................................... 46
Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka and Viet Nam ..................................49
Further considerations ................................... .......................................49
O objectives .......................................... ...... .... ...... ................. 49
Significance of Traditional Systems ..................................................50

vi Common Forest Resource Management

Major Factors to Consider ....................... ............................50
Conclusions ............................................................................................ 51
References: Asia ..................................................................................53
Introduction ..................................................... ....................... 53
Country Index ............................. .......................53
Annotated Bibliography .................................................54
Acronyms and abbreviations in Chapter 2........................................... 97

3. AFRICA: SEMI-ARID AND SUB-HUMID REGIONS ...................99
Introduction ........................................................................................... 99
Woodland management, ownership and rights ................................... 100
Owners of Natural Woodland and Other Land with Trees on It ...... 100
Creation of Tenure Through Labour ............................................. 102
Local systems of woodland management .............................................. 103
Indigenous Methods of Woodland Management............................ 103
Long and Short Swidden-fallow Systems ......................................104
The Conservation of Bushland Resources...................................... 106
Selective Maintenance and Promotion of Particular Species ........... 106
Reservation and Sacred Groves ........................ ........................ 107
Management by Time and Season .............................................. 108
M anagem ent by Area.................................................................. 108
Management by Taboo and Religious Sanction ............................. 108
Fire as a M management Tool .................................. ...................... 109
Animals, Grazing and Browsing as Management Tools ................ 110
Management of the Individual Tree ................... ...... ........... 11
External impacts on woodland management .......................................112
Woodland Management and the State ......................................... 112
Woodland Management and Other Changes ..................................113
Externally sponsored systems of woodland management ...................115
Four Participatory Woodland Management Projects ......................115
Further considerations ............................................................................. 117
The Nature of Indigenous Management ......................................... 117
M management and Change .................................. ........................ 118
Discussion .................................................................................................. 119
W here Do W e Go from Here? ........................ ...................... 119
Suggestions for Further Research....................... ....................... 120
A Final Thought................................. .. ......... .............. 121
References: Africa ................................................................................ 122
Introduction .............................................................. 122
Country Index ............................................................ 122
Annotated Bibliography ............................................ 124
Acronyms and abbreviations in Chapter 3........................................... 182
Annexes ...................................................................................................... 183
Zonal Definitions .............................................. 183
Bibliography: French .................................................................. 185

4. LATIN AMERICA .......................................................................... 193
Introduction ............................................................................................... 193
Overview ............... .. ..................................................... 193
Definition of Term s ................................. ................ 194
A conceptual framework ........................................................................ 196

Contents vii

Common Property and Collective Management of
Forest Resources ........................................ ........... ... 196
Ten Themes Regarding Deforestation,
Forest Management and Policy .............................................. 197
Local systems of forest management .................................................. 198
Huastec Agroforestry in Mexico .................................................... 203
Externally linked systems of forest management...................................203
Natural Forestry Management in Mexican Ejidos
and Communities ........................................................................... 203
Food-for-Work Schemes in Highland Guatemala ..........................208
Forestry Cooperatives in Bolivia and Peru .....................................209
Extractive Reserves in Brazil and Honduras ....................................212
Discussion ........................... ....................... 213
Further considerations ...........................................................................215
Ten Potential Research Questions ............................................... 216
References: Latin America .................................................................. 222
Introduction ...................................................222
Country Index ............................................................222
Annotated Bibliography ......................................... 223
Acronyms and abbreviations in Chapter 4............................................. 252

INDEXES ................................................ ............... ............................254
Subject index.............................. .........................254
Country references......................... ......... ........................263

A sia............................................................................ ..... ......... . 24
Semi-Arid and Sub-Humid Africa........... ......... .............................. .......98
Latin America..................................................192

1-1 Categories of Community Forest Management....................................9
2-1 Control Systems Used in Traditional Forest
M anagem ent in Nepal ...................................... ...................... 35
2-2 Accessibility of Forest Resources and Probable
Response of Villagers in Nepal ............................... .......... ... 37
2-3 Quantifying the Contribution of CPRs to Private Farming
in Dry Regions of India ......................... ........ ................. ............38
2-4 People's Adaptation to Changing Situation of CPRs
in Dry Regions of India ................................ ................. ............39
2-5 Factors Influencing Future Prospects of CPRs
in Dry Regions of India ....................................................47
3-1 Tree Rights: When Do You Try What?
Indicators for Four Types of Area ................................................... 120
4-1 Six-Year-Old Bora Orchard Fallow ................................................201
4-2 Nineteen-Year-Old Bora Forest Fallow ............................................202



Certain conventions have been adapted in this study to aid the reader. Brackets
are used to refer to sources such as other chapters in the study-e.g. [Ch.2], to specific
sections within a chapter-e.g. [Sect. 2.2], orto one or more bibliographic references-
e.g. [7, 12, 21, 34]. In citing the source of a quotation, page numbers are given after
the reference number-e.g. [12, p. 37-38]. Each chapter has its own reference section.
All bibliographic numbers bracketed in text refer to the references at the end of that

The worlds of development and academia are rife with acronyms. Many are
redundant and confusing, and a good number in this study are in languages other than
English. To avoid confusion, a special acronym section is provided at the end of each
chapter. Every attempt has been made to minimize their use in text but they are
unavoidable in bibliographies. Approximate translations of French and Spanish
acronyms are provided.

Scientific abbreviations also appear. Since many of them are used in all
chapters, it is redundant to repeat the list each time. Some common ones are:

cu m/ha cubic metre per hectare
m metre
ha hectare
mm millimetre
km kilometre
MIA mean annual increment
sq km square kilometre

Abbreviations in the bibliographies for three countries of publication are as
follows (all other countries are spelled out in full):

SWE Sweden UK United Kingdom USA United States

Local, indigenous, non-English terms are underlined. Their anglicized plurals
are noted by a break in the underlines-e.g. Hindi/Nepali panchayat vs. panchayats,
etc. The number of foreign terms has been kept to the minimum but they are often

Botanical terms for genus and species are italic-e.g. Acacia nilotica, A. eliator
(short for Acacia eliator where the genus is clear from the text), and Acacia spp.
(meaning, in this instance, species of Acacia).

All English spelling conforms to International English as adopted by FAO and
other agencies of the United Nations. (It basically follows British convention but not
entirely.) Many foreign terms contain special diacritical marks. They have been
retained, although we may have missed a few.



Common property resources (CPRs) have become a topic of considerable scholarly
research and attention over the past quarter century, particularly since the famous 1968
article in "Science" on "The tragedy of the commons" by Garrett Hardin [35] and more
so since Ciriacy-Wantrup and Bishop's 1975 article on "Common property as a concept
in natural resources policy" [17]. Academic interest in common property is much older,
with some European and North American studies dating back many decades. Of note is
commonfield management in medieval England and early New England [8, 72; see also
6, 13, 28].

At first it was historians who studied the commons and common resources but by
the 1970s these resources had become a focal point for environmental economists and
natural resource specialists. Today, intense interest in CPRs spans the full spectrum of
socio-economic sciences, especially in relation to international research and develop-
ment. The literature is now full of accounts of common management at the local level over
a wide variety of natural resources, including land, water, grasslands and pasture, fish and
wildlife, forests, trees and forest products, and others.

Just a decade ago, our knowledge of collective natural resource management was
still in its infancy. Today, there are numerous published accounts incorporating insightful
description and analysis and many more accounts are found in the unpublished literature.
One category of special attention within the CPR literature is common forest resources
(CFRs). This study of CFRs from three world regions Asia, Africa and Latin America
brings much of that literature together for the first time in the form of an annotated
bibliography. The regional authors demonstrate both the great diversity and the strength
of CFR management forms and functions, and the great potential of collective action,
often with national or international sponsorship, to promote sustainable tree and forest
resource development.

A focal concept in international research on common property is Hardin's premise of
"tragedy" in the commons [35, 36]. On the subject of livestock herding on common
grazing land, Hardin views the herdsmen as victims of a basic human impulse which leads
them to maximize benefits even in the face of declining resources and diminishing social

McCay and Acheson have succinctly summarized Hardin's argument [42, p. xiii]:

According to the theory popularized by Hardin, all resources owned in common
are, or eventually will be, overexploited. When resources such as trees are "free"
or open to everyone, costs arising from their use and abuse can be passed on to
others. The rational individual has the incentive to take as much as possible before
someone else does. No one is motivated to take responsibility for the resources.
Because they belong to everyone, no one protects them. The causes of overpopu-
lation, environmental degradation, resource depletion may be found in freedom
and equality.

Common Forest Resource Management

At which point, they conclude that "Freedom becomes tragic" [42, p. 3-4].

But to a growing number of researchers and development practitioners dealing
with CPRs, it is clear that Hardin's notion is rooted in cultural bias and based on a
fundamental conceptual misunderstanding, with potentially dangerous consequences.
Fernandez [24] notes that Hardin's revelation is limited by the Western liberal instincts
through which humanity is seen as inherently self-interested and unable to cope
adequately with the complexities of managing common resources.

In spite of this, according to Bromley and Cernea [11], the idea of the tragedy of
the commons has become the predominant paradigm in international development; "it
appears explicitly and implicitly in the formulation of many programs and projects and
in other beliefs and prejudices derived from it" [p. 6]. These authors point to a
fundamental confusion between "open access regimes", epitomized by lack of structure
or control, and "common property regimes", in which group size and rules of behaviour
are specified. "The 'tragedy' is of open access, not of commons, per se" [p. iii].

Notwithstanding the many case studies which confirm the basic fallacy of
Hardin's theorem and provide empirical evidence to counter his argument by showing
highly successful collective management of CPRs [42, 59 and Chs. 2-4, below], many
experts continue to attribute many kinds of environmental degradation to people's
inability to control their greed. As an example, a development adviser working in the
Himalayas in the mid-1970s adopted Hardin's premise to explain the "tragedy of the
hills" [62, 63]. The actions of the mountain people, he asserted, epitomize the "green
apple picking phenomenon" in which, if a farmer perceives a tree as common or public
property, he is most likely to be the first to harvest its produce for personal gain, even if
that product is not fully ripe or ready [62, p. 182]. The implied result is rampant

This view of circumstances in the Himalayas was supported by a statement often
repeated in the literature for its startling effect, that the kingdom of Nepal had lost half
its forest cover since 1950 and that by the year 2000 no accessible forests would remain

By the 1980s, this perception had spread the effects of this deforestation far
beyond the mountains, to the plains downstream in India and Bangladesh. The victim,
the farmer, was blamed for massive deforestation in the hills, and by extension also
for causing massive flooding along the lower Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna

This image of the manmade double tragedy of the hills and plains was too
simplistic, if not entirely wrong. A 1989 report to the United States Agency for
International Development (USAID) argues convincingly against the "unjustified macro-
scale claims that a few million subsistence hill farmers are undermining the life support
of several hundred million people on the plains" [64, p. 45]. Himalayan degradation is
not as severe or as harmful as assumed and has only little if any relationship to the natural
and historically cyclical floods on the plains below. It bears little relationship to the
ability or inability of the Himalayan farmer to preserve the watershed forests. Instead,
the hill people historically have exhibited considerable ingenuity in organizing collective
management systems to conserve and sustain tree and forest resources on which their
subsistence and survival depends [1, 2, 14, 25, 26, 31, 44, 48, 49, 50, 51].


The Himalayan case is not unique. Attributing tragedy to virtually all the world's
forest commons is tragically common, as pointed out by accounts in this study. Many
examples of misperceptions about people's inability to effectively manage the forest
resources appear in each of the regional chapters. Perhaps the most important outcome of
this compilation of the literature is the invitation to re-examine the conditions under which
systems of collective management of common natural resources, in their many forms, can
be successful.

During the 1980s, the demand for more knowledge about common property resource
management (CPRM) and collective action grew rapidly. International researchers and
development workers felt a need to organize themselves to exchange knowledge and
insights. In 1985, an international conference on CPRM was held at Annapolis, Maryland,
under the auspices of the US National Academy of Sciences [59]. One outcome was the
creation of a CPR Network for the study and dissemination of information about
community-based resource management. The network and its CPR Digest have greatly
improved communications between professionals, including policy-makers, administra-
tors, researchers, educators and developers. The overall goals of the network are to
improve the conservation and wise use of common resources and the well-being of the
people who depend on common resources for their livelihood.

In 1989, the International Association for the Study of Common Property (IASCP)
was formed in response to expanding world-wide interest and to further scholarly
exchange of knowledge. Many other international organizations, associations and net-
works located throughout the world support this movement through complementary
interests in social and community forestry and agroforestry, participatory rural develop-
ment, tree and land tenure, environment and policy studies, indigenous resource manage-
ment systems and indigenous technical knowledge (ITK).

Several centuries of colonial rule and several decades of international development efforts
lead to the observation that success seems to correlate with the small and the unique rather
than large models or formulas, localized action rather than central control, innovative
institutional response rather than "interventions", locally appropriate designs rather than
sophisticated scientific designs or technology, and active rural participation, working
"with" rather than just "for" the local people.

A belief in the viability and utility of local, collective, natural resource manage-
ment regimes guides this study of CFR management. One of the lessons of the regional
studies is that the potential to save and sustain the world's tree and forest resources exists
in large measure in the traditions and actions of rural societies. The danger lies in
responding impatiently to perceptions of "global tragedy" by trying to fit inappropriate
state, regional or global formulas to local environments and socio-ecological circum-
stances. Outside control often has a deleterious impact on traditional and indigenous
systems of management. Forest nationalization or the privatization of forest commons can
deprive the local poor of tree and forest resources on which they depend, sometimes even
for their survival.

Bromley and Cernea note the "striking systemic failures of nationalized land and
state-centralized management control" and suggest that in such failure may be "one of the
most important development lessons of the last half-century" [11, p. 25]. Many state

Common Forest Resource Management

governments in the developing world are simply not well enough equipped with the
technical resources or experience necessary to adequately undertake successful forest
management, with its interrelated scientific, institutional and indigenous factors. It is
often difficult to substitute effective new resource management systems for the tradi-
tional local institutions which have been displaced [11, p. iii]. As noted in Swift [68, p.
7], "At the very best of times, states have generally proved unable to lead or guide local
resource management efforts, and in the present international economic crisis, states have
even fewer resources to do this." In addition to the lack of technical resources, in virtually
all the countries of the region, rapid population growth slows or blocks attempts to curb
ecological disaster through sound development.

All of the regional accounts agree on one thing: there are no global solutions. Local
ideas and action are more likely to succeed in saving and sustaining the resources of the
world's forests. There is a need for more appropriate, socio-culturally sensitive local
means, a combination of finding locally appropriate solutions, appreciating and using the
rich indigenous knowledge of ecosystems that local people possess, encouraging and
empowering rural people to work harmoniously and collectively to manage natural
resources and creating suitable incentives for their long-term involvement (political will,
rural rights, policy change, etc.).


Interest in CFR management systems is growing and expanding conceptually, as
demonstrated by the number of recent studies. More attention is now being given them,
especially in international development, by national and international research and
development agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and peasant and farmer
organizations. The authors of the regional CFR reviews in this report describe many
promising programmes and projects directly incorporating the skills and wisdom of local
people. They merit attention for the lessons they can teach us about success and failure.
In Africa [Ch. 3], they include externally sponsored projects in Niger, Sudan, Somalia
and Kenya. In Asia [Ch. 2], various community forestry development projects are
described from India, Nepal, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Sri Lanka. In Latin
America [Ch. 4], a description is given of projects from Mexico, Guatemala, Bolivia,
Peru, Brazil and Honduras.

The three regional studies are rich sources of data. Some possible frameworks for
analysis of such data are described and discussed in the literature. Many are quite similar,
borrowing to one degree or another from the model devised by Oakerson [56], which
posited four mutually exclusive data sets or components for analysis: technical and
physical attributes, decision making arrangements, patterns of interaction and outcomes
or consequences (see "Some principles of collective management" in Chapter 2).
However, due to the impracticality of applying them to large bodies of literature in such
abroad study, none of the regional authors has applied the models rigorously to their data.

The following chapters discuss a wide variety of conditions and perceptions about
tree and forest resources and their management, emphasizing the historical circum-
stances and sociological and institutional arrangements that affect CFR management in
particular situations. Technical factors, often even the silvicultural aspects, are given less
weight than the social side of management, the human and institutional context. This
concern with the social context can be compared to the botanist's "provenance studies",

Introduction 5

the standard experiments used to discover geographic variation patterns in the genetic
makeup and adaptation of tree seeds [75, p. 23], allowing the better selection, use and
management of seeds and seedlings appropriate to specific soil and climatic regimes.
Social foresters seek to analyse, understand and predict questions of "social provenance",
i.e. the various interwoven social, cultural, economic, political, historical and other
factors that affect human choice and the use and management of tree and forest resources.

Several social provenance questions suggested by the regional literature are noted
here, in a suggestive but by no means exhaustive list:

* What conditions and perceptions affect local decisions to manage resources

If CFRs are perceived as abundant, in good condition and/or readily accessible, the
transactions' costs will outweigh the benefits of management, and local institutional
investment will be low.

* If collective management is more likely to appear under conditions of resource
degradation, scarcity or inaccessibility, then at what point do rural people expect
the state to intervene? How acceptable are external interventions to local people?
Under what conditions and at what costs?

Although there are more bad examples than good in the literature concerning
external sponsorship of CFR management, the regional authors present both sides.

* What is the nature and source of indigenous knowledge of tree and forest resources
and the larger ecosystems in which they are found? Who are the local knowledge-
holders? How is that knowledge circulated and used? What is its potential for

Non-scientific, "folk" or indigenous knowledge is often ignored or considered
peripheral to the technical issues of resource management, due to the predominating
scientific bias in western culture.

* How much understanding and appreciation for indigenous knowledge exists
among outside agents, advisers and scientific technicians involved in resource
management? How is it incorporated or ignored by outside authorities
exercising power over resource development and management schemes? How can
it be better understood and utilized?

* What are the tenure considerations? What "bundles of rights" exist on particular
CFRs? Do they differ by species? By social circumstances? By product? Who
defines them? Who benefits?

Tenure is one of the largest and most complex subjects in forest resource manage-
ment. At the head of most inquiries are questions of rights over trees, forests, the
land on which they stand and associated products. Mistakes in forest development
often relate to inadequate understanding or appreciation of tenurial rights.

* What are the conditions of tenurial empowerment? How easy is it to understand and
implement the laws, policies and plans that deal with resource management? What obstacles
exist, how are they avoided? What opportunities exist, and how are they met?

6 Common Forest Resource Management

* What is the nature of the management group or collectivity? Is it more homogeneous
or heterogeneous? stable or unstable? Who makes decisions and who carries
them out?

Social and organizational issues, including attention to group structure and
function are also at the heart of many inquiries about common resource
management. Some societies have special ways of looking after the rights
and benefits of the poor and powerless, while others appear to have little
interest or incentive in this regard or have lost interest for various reasons.
Managerial systems which deal positively with the welfare of the poor appear
to be more cohesive than those which do not. Management "style" and intent
cannot, however, be forced. It is socially and culturally determined and the
intervention of outside notions about equity/equality may be more disruptive
than beneficial.

* What is the historical and political context of resource management? Do the people
display trust and confidence in "the system", the state or other external agency?

Past experience can play a significant role in the success of collective management
schemes, especially those involving state interventions or other outside forms of
sponsorship. Local people may be suspicious of some state organs. Therefore,
small locally based national and international non- and quasi-governmental
organizations may have an advantage in this regard. For their part, larger world
organizations, such as donor agencies can pressure national governments to, work
more seriously and effectively to the benefit of the poor and ensure good
management and sustainability of endangered resources.

* What is the utility of the CFR? Does the tree or forest have few or many uses?
Under what circumstances?

Multiple use species or resource complexes, serving many needs and potentially
many people, are likely to attract more management attention than those of few or
single uses. In fact, most trees are multi-purpose.

* What is being managed? Is it only trees, or trees and other products of the forest?
If trees, are they single species, or even single trees, as opposed to multiple species
and multiple trees?

Are there supernatural attributions? If so, what effect do they have on CFR
protection, utilization and sustainability?

If the resource is believed to be sacred or of religious significance, as a sacred
species, grove or religious forest, rules about use and sanctions against misuse
seem to strengthen collective management.

These and other such social resource questions are important to more fully
understand the context of CFR management.

The purpose of this study is to bring together and discuss the relevant literature on CFR
management from Asia, Africa and Latin America. The regional studies, which include
extensive annotated bibliographies, were designed to identify, describe and analyse traditional


(i.e. local), largely collective forest management systems, and the role of externally sponsored
assistance, particularly through projects.

Each of the regional authors has approached the topic by highlighting certain
themes, some of which are unique to a single region. Local systems of CFR management
are described, followed by a discussion of contemporary systems influenced by extra-
local agencies such as governments, development agencies or NGOs. Key issues are
highlighted, such as systems of tree and land tenure, the reactions of rightholders to
change, the general erosion of traditional rights, and measures taken to assert old rights
or establish new ones. In Africa, for example, clearing and planting the land leads to
recognition of ownership. This system of creating tenure through labour can suggest new
approaches to understanding forest encroachment in the sub-Himalayas, privatization of
commons in India, forced transmigration in Indonesia and rights of indigenous and
peasant groups in Latin America.

The discussion is keyed to regional bibliographies of both published and
unpublished materials, contributing the identification of a large and important body
of previously inaccessible or hidden literature. The authors also give
recommendations for the future, suggesting topics for further attention by researchers
and developers.

An important similarity between the regions discussed is that they were colonized
by European powers until the mid-20th century. Colonization had various but generally
similar (and usually negative) effects on traditional and indigenous systems of tree,
woodland and forest management. Colonial policy tended to undermine traditional
systems of tenure, both private and collective, regarding trees, woodlots, forests,
pastures, water sources and other landed resources. Forest management on commons, in
particular, was often severely disrupted by colonial policies. Sources of local knowledge
about resources and ecosystems were lost due to inappropriate policies and development

In the post-colonial period, many rural forest managers and users find that outside
forces continue to have an impact on them. These include internationally funded forest
resource development programmes and projects, support to indigenous rights movements
and village or peasant organizations, various Debt Swap for Nature programmes (espe-
cially in the Latin American countries) and recent innovative models for community
forestry in South Asia.

Although many similarities in experience certainly exist at the regional and
sometimes country levels, there are also great disparities and differences between them.
Each region must be examined and understood in terms of its own unique histories,
resource bases and local cultures. This makes comparison difficult except at a very general
level and thus a clear definition of concepts becomes important.


In examining the three regional studies as one global study, several questions arise, for
example: What is communal forest management? How does it differ from community
management? From collective management? From other forms of forest management
under the control orjurisdiction of user groups? What exactly is forest management? What
does traditional forest management mean? As the study leads into the literature on

Common Forest Resource Management

common property resources, questions also arise about the intrinsic nature of property,
resources, tenure and access.

There is some confusion in the literature about the social forms of group management
of tree and forest resources. The terms "collective", "community" and "communal"
management are often used indiscriminately, as if they meant the same thing. In this
study, "collective" refers to all types of group or supra-individual behaviour, e.g.
when two or more individuals come together to manage a resource base or enterprise.
"Collectivity", sometimes used interchangeably with "user group", means any
aggregation of people exploiting a resource. "Community" and "communal" forms
of group management are both collective forms and can be called by the generic term
"user group" management but between them there are distinct and important

A community is defined as "the people living in one place, considered as a
whole" (Oxford Dictionary), or "a body of people living in the same place under the
same laws" (Webster's Dictionary). The sense of wholeness orjointness is at the root
of the meaning of community. It helps answer just who is included in a particular
collective management system. While "community" implies a "whole" people living
in one place or otherwise together, "communal" means "between different groups in
a community" (Oxford). Community refers to an entire village, town or other socially
and usually spatially bounded unit, while communal implies restricted membership,
access or distribution of benefits to sociologically discrete parts of a community.
Castes, ethnic groups, tribes, clans, chiefdomships or lineages, or religious, political or
socio-economic groups or factions (e.g. peasant organizations) are examples of
communal groups. A communal entity is a readily definable sodality existing within a
larger community. (Fig. 1.1)

Terms like tribe, clan and lineage as commonly used in the African context are, at
best, quite vague, with sometimes indistinguishable definitions [Ch. 3, "Owners of
natural woodland ..."]. Likewise, the term "caste" has various meanings within South
Asian society. Latin American usage of terms such as "indigenous" as contrasted with
"Mestizo" is also important [Ch. 4, "Local systems of forest management"], as are the
sociologically distinct boundaries between lands and resources identified as belonging
to eidos or communidades.

The distinction between community and communal is important when considering
who has access to a common resource, and how its products or benefits are distributed.
Community management regimes defined here are based on the assumption that there
will be an equitable distribution of resources among all members within the whole
group. Under communal management, while distribution may be relatively equitable
within the defined sub-group, inequity is implied within the community because
"outsiders" are excluded, although they may live in the same community as friends and
neighbours, or even as relatives, if the communal unit is a non-kin based political or
economic group.

The degree of social inclusion/exclusion practised or implied also distinguishes
community from communal management behaviour. In common property terms, the
issue is relative access, whether the commons or resource is more open or more closed
to categories of people. In systems of communal forest management, access is more
closed, reserved exclusively for members of the in-group and no others. By contrast,

Introduction 9

where community forest management is practised, access is more open, more inclusive
of the whole; i.e. all members of the community, including smaller sodalities that may
exist within it, have rights of access following mutually agreed upon rules concerning
times and types of use.

Figure 1.1

Categories of Community Forest Management

the "users" or "user group"

at large

Political, economic
or religious groups
or factions...

Community management:
all or the "whole" of a com-
munity, including groups
sanctioned by the community;
e.g. cooperatives
or schools

Communal management:
by distinct groups that form
only some or part of a

Kin-based groups;
e.g. castes, clans,
tribes, lineages...

Common Forest Resource Management

Management means the organization and control of an enterprise or undertaking. In this
study, forest management refers broadly to the organization and control of, access to and
utilization of trees, woodlots, plantations and natural forests, and associated resources,
including the benefits derived from them or from their productive, extractive or
industrial enterprises.There are three distinct aspects of forest management:

* the technical/scientific aspect, most familiar to professional foresters,

* institutional/organizational/sociological aspect, most familiar to social foresters, and

* indigenous/non-technical aspect, most familiar to native people.

On the technical side, the overview in Chapter 4 provides an example of scientific
forest management from Synnott [69, p. 74]. It includes "the regulation of shade and
canopy opening, treatments to promote valued individuals and species and to reduce
unwanted trees, climber cutting, refining, poisoning, enrichment and selection. For
Synnott, the term 'management' involves the setting of management objectives, yield
control, protection, working plans, felling cycles, concessions, roads, buildings, bound-
aries, sample plots, prediction, cost control, annual records and the organization of
silvicultural work."

Sometimes agroforestry is included among technical definitions of forest manage-
ment. Agroforestry is defined by Denevan and Padoch [20, p. 1] as a "sustainable
management system that combines agriculture and/or animals with tree crops and/or
forest plants on the same unit of land, either sequentially or simultaneously" [quoted in
Chapter 4].

On the institutional side, forest management implies a combination of organiza-
tional and technical arrangements generally agreed upon by the users and, in projects, the
sponsors. By including the "institutional" element, we highlight the sociological context
of management which is critically important but frequently ignored in the technical
forestry literature. Fisher defines forest management, incorporating both the technical
and the institutional, as "a set of technical and social arrangements involved in the
management of forests, including the protection, harvesting, and distribution of forest
products" [25, p. 1].

A more all-encompassing definition, must also include reference to indigenous
practices. These are typically non-technical, "non-scientific" and sometimes not highly
institutionalized. While indigenous management always implies some form of organiza-
tion, it usually mirrors or is defined by the social structure of the group. It is usually not
well understood or is ignored by state agencies or development projects, which may even
deny its existence or importance.

On the indigenous side, the overview in Chapter 4 defines forest management,
based on the Latin American experience, as the ways in which rural people harvest, use,
take care of, reproduce and improve their forests or trees and associated resources such
as wildlife, water and plants, in order to attain yields sustainable over the long term. This
flexible use of the concept is necessary due to the diverse ways in which communities
utilize forests. This is so especially in the Amazon Basin, where indigenous forest systems
and management strategies are predominant but this definition is, of course, applicable
the world over, wherever local people manage and utilize the forest ecosystem.

Introduction 1 1

Given the wide variety of CFR experiences covered and the global nature of
the study, forest management defined here includes all three aspects: a set of
institutional, technical and/or non-technical, indigenous, arrangements based on
elements of scientific and/or folk knowledge, referring to organization, control,
access, utilization and distribution of benefits of the forest ecosystem. This includes
trees, woodlots, plantations, natural forests and associated floral and faunal species
and other resources and productive enterprises, such as agriculture (agroforestry),
pasture and wildlife.

Throughout the literature on community forestry management, frequent reference is
made to local systems of organization and control, described, sometimes in the same
context, as "indigenous" and "traditional" in contrast to those which are externally
sponsored or linked. The tendency not to discriminate between what is "traditional" and
what is "indigenous" has been noted by Fisher, especially for Nepal, which accounts for
a disproportionate amount of the literature on the subject of community forestry. In
attempting to bring greater clarity to the terminology, Fisher provides the following set
of discrete definitions:

Two types of systems can be referred to as externally sponsored and indigenous
systems, respectively. The two types represent two ends of a continuum. In reality, many
systems have elements of both internal initiative and external sponsorship. The crucial
point is the location of the initiative for setting up an organization or for institutionalizing
a set of rules or practices. An organization may be set up by villagers, as a response to
external conditions, and may then be supported by outside agencies. It would be an
indigenous system by the definition used here.

Although many writers do not make this distinction, it is also useful to differentiate
between indigenous and traditional systems of forest management. "Traditional" implies
antiquity; "indigenous" does not. It is possible for an institution to be indigenous (native-
born) without being long established. Furthermore, something traditional is not necessar-
ily indigenous [25, p. 3]. Fisher bases these definitions on Webster's Dictionary in which
"traditional" is defined as "based on an order, code, or practice accepted from the past"
and "indigenous" means "originating or developing or produced naturally in a particular
land or region or environment" [25, p. 3].

"Indigenous" is also used to refer to a people regarded as the original inhabitants
of a place. In Latin America, for example, the term is commonly used to refer to
Indian peoples who are the descendants of the original inhabitants prior to European
colonization. The same meaning holds for descendants of the original inhabitants of
the other two regions covered by this study, i.e. ethnic groups of Asia and tribal groups
of Africa.

In all three of the regional studies, the authors frequently comment on the role of
external sponsorship of forest management regimes. In some instances, outside sponsor-
ship has resulted in promising and sometimes remarkable success in restoring and
sustaining forests and forest resources. In other cases, however, the successes are fragile
and unsustainable over the long term, without outside aid to maintain them. Those which
engage local people as partners in forest development appear to have the most success in
creating sociologically appropriate management systems capable of sustaining forest

12 Common Forest Resource Management

Participatory forest management is not new. For example, Mol and Wiersum note
that in Nepal, in recent times, and in Indonesia and India, during colonial and recent times,
concerted efforts have been made by governments to engage local villagers in the
management or co-management of resources through various council and committee
structures, with mixed success. The long-term success and benefits of some of these
ostensibly participatory management schemes is still unclear but perhaps the seeds
already sown through local control and appropriate organizational structures will bear
fruit. Often, when left to their own devices, local people, using indigenous and appropri-
ate innovations, have checked ecological degradation unaided.

Another current concern among environmentalists and development specialists is
the loss of biological diversity, especially from tropical forestry environments. An aspect
that is usually overlooked is the concomitant and no less serious loss of cultural diversity
in the form of indigenous knowledge of ecosystems and highly localized understanding
about the intricate relationships between forest flora and fauna and man. Indigenous
knowledge forms the basis of indigenous management and of the wise use of forest
resources and ecosystems.

Indigenous approaches to management have the potential to help maintain
biological diversity in the ecosystems of the world's remaining natural forests. National
and international authorities, and especially NGOs acting in appropriately small and
meaningful ways, have a unique opportunity to address the loss of both biological and
cultural diversity, through their roles as external sponsors of forest management, research
and development.

Despite dictionary definitions of property as something owned, or real estate, in any
discussion of common property resources or "common pool" resources [33] more
specificity is needed. Bromley and Cernea [11 ] and van de Laar [33] provide us with two
of the best recent discussions of the concept.

Neither property nor tenure is simply an act of ownership. Nor are they "things"
like land, trees or forests. Rather, property and tenure both pertain to rights, relationships,
responsibilities and duty [11, 39].

Property is "a right to a benefit stream that is only as secure as the duty of all others
to respect the conditions that protect that stream. When one has a right, one has the
expectation in both the law and in practice that their claims will be respected by those with
duty" [11, p. 5]. Hence, it is the use of land or some other resource in relation to others
that is the central theme in property definitions. Put another way, property is "a social
contract that defines an individual and an object of value vis-a-vis all other individuals"
[11, p. 21].

The bare fact of ownership, then, is not as critical as the relationships with, and the
expectations of, others who are associated with it. The right to use or not to use a property,
or resource, implies inclusion and exclusion, i.e. rights of access. Relative access
differentiates between private and common property. Common property implies relatively
open access, at least to the group to whom it is common, while private property is the legally
and socially sanctioned ability of one or a few individuals to restrict access and exclude
others [11, p. 12]. Bromley and Cerea go even one step further to assert that the difference
between common property and private property is not so much the nature of the rights and
duties involved as it is the number to which inclusion or exclusion applies [11, p.14].


The situation with property, as noted, is not unlike that for tenure. However, tenure
deals mostly with rights and duties, and is less concerned with numbers per se. Bruce [12]
describes three basic tenurial systems: private holdings, commons and government
reserve. Commons are typically localized, while government reserve is a special kind of
restricted public commons, with proscriptions dictated from the centre (the state). If we
view private and common property on a continuum, private property falls at one end,
defined by the most delimited rules of access and the most restrictive rights of use.
Common property takes up the rest of the continuum, with the commons of a whole
community at the far end and communal commons and government reserve falling
somewhere in between.

Resources are a fundamental aspect of property use and property rights. It is the
basic concept with which a study such as this must begin. All discussion and debate on
common property relates directly to resources, natural and social. In this study, natural
resource properties, especially trees and forests, receive the most direct attention. In
general terms, natural resources are defined as "naturally occurring, needed by an
organism, population, or ecosystem" for energy conversion or "used to satisfy man's
need, including air, soil, water, native vegetation, minerals, wildlife, etc." [65, p. 109].

"Social resources", sometimes called "non-natural" [65] refers to the organizational
forms, rules and sanctions, relationships and responsibilities that societies define, demand or
expect. These are "available through social, economic, or political processes, such as labour,
capital land ownership, water allocations, laws and regulations, technical expertise" [65, p. 135].

Finally, there are intellectual resource properties, which include the technical
expertise and scientific knowledge of such specialists as professional foresters and social
foresters, as well as the indigenous technical knowledge (ITK) or folk knowledge that is
acquired, possessed and used by indigenous peoples, sometimes in combination with
scientific knowledge. These economic, political, socio-cultural and human resources of
the forest should be among the principal topics of future CFR research and development.

Swidden is a form of land preparation practised by over 250 million people worldwide
on 30 percent of the world's cultivable soils, especially those under tropical forests. It is
also known in English as "slash-and-bur" or "shifting cultivation". Swidden is defined
as "an agricultural system in which fields are cropped for fewer years than they are
allowed to remain fallow" [53, p. 267].

In swidden cultivation, a piece of land is cleared by removing trees, brush and other
vegetation by cutting, followed, after a period of drying, by burning. Large logs are
sometimes removed to serve other purposes, and their stumps left behind. The burning
brings about important and beneficial changes in the physical properties of the soil. For
example, it kills parasites and pathogens that are detrimental to crop growth and
production. Certain beneficial nutrients are deposited as ash while others, such as nitrogen
and sulphur, are dissipated as gas. Both swiddening and annual burning of forest and
brushland patches to increase grass production in herder societies are practical and
important forms of forest management.

Misconceptions about swidden agriculture abound, mostly due to a lack of
understanding of its long-term cyclical nature. It is often perceived as archaic and
environmentally wasteful, practised by primitive peoples on inferior soils. Recent studies,
however, have countered many of these notions.

14 Common Forest Resource Management

A common misconception is that swidden fields are simply abandoned after the
nutrients in the soil are exhausted. Quite the contrary is true: swidden fields, when
managed under traditional conditions, are left fallow for varying periods of time to allow
regrowth of the forest, an aspect of critical importance and value. The land may
sometimes appear to be abandoned and wasted, while in fact, forest farmers reap many
secondary benefits, such as wild foodcrops and medicinals, during the years when a
swidden field is left to recover naturally [61].

In this study, to counter the biases of such misunderstanding, it was decided to
modify conventional terminology by referring to swiddening practices as systems of
"swidden-fallow". This is to underscore the importance of the productivity of the system
during all of its cycle. Swidden-fallow systems have been described in the literature as
rational and productive methods of farming the forest. One of its proponents describes
it, in summary, as follows:

"...a pioneering system used by peoples lacking capital resources and
economic privilege [through which] the nutrients accumulated in the forest biomass
are made available to crops on a periodic basis. It is a conservative measure that,
when practised according to tradition, preserves forest complexity and provides
sustained yields. [It] is not only economically sensible but also ecologically sound.
[And] the new forest that it helps to create provides a higher net yield for humans"
[53, pp. 267-274].


In undertaking a study of this nature, involving authors with varying disciplinary,
theoretical, practical and institutional backgrounds and experience, a certain unevenness
in method and perspective can be expected. The authors attempted to balance their work
nationally or sub-regionally but this was not always possible. In some regions and
countries, war and civil strife, combined with a shortage of historical or contemporary
development activity in forest management and the suspicions of governments towards
outside researchers, has restricted our knowledge and appreciation of local circum-
stances. In Asia, for example, the literature is weighted heavily towards three countries,
India, Nepal and Indonesia, all relatively open societies allowing international, national
and local involvement in collective forest management projects and with a strong
academic interest in the design and the results of projects. By contrast, due to the recent
and disruptive civil unrest, the countries of Indochina have been virtually closed to
outsiders, and thus have remained by and large ignored by researchers and passed over
by developers.

The historical record is often also biased according to the interests and activities of
past colonial agents. While some colonial officers, for example, kept detailed records of
tree, woodland and forest management traditions and activities, others did not. Some
researchers of the past focused on organizational matters in regard to resource management
while others recorded more technical factors of species and growth. The Asian and Latin
American literature reflects a great interest in the practice of collective forest management.
The African literature has a species-specific bias tending towards small woodlots and, in
many instances, the relatively intense management of single species, and even of single
trees. Even where collective action was a prominent feature in social control and utilization
of natural resources in parts of Africa, some ethnographers have neglected to record the
social organizational and tenurial facts of tree or woodland management.


Some national or regional experiences in tree and forest management are well
published and accessible. Others are buried in a morass of field trip reports, project papers,
evaluations, etc., and are often inaccessible or unknown outside of colonial libraries,
ministry files or donor agency offices. Access to the literature is made all the more difficult
by the weak institutional memories resulting from the frequent rotation of colonial agents,
national foresters and international advisers. New arrivals rarely take the time to
familiarize themselves with the details of past experience, and thus the accumulated
knowledge is often relegated to old filing cabinets and all but forgotten.

This study attempts to fill this gap in part by including many excellent but
unpublished sources. The literature reviewed comes from a variety of sources including
books,journal articles, unpublished papers and documents. Altogether 363 references are
annotated 132 for Asia, 111 for Africa, 120 for Latin America. An additional 76
unannotated titles are given in the references to this chapter. CFR management experi-
ences from 43 countries are described including 11 countries in Asia, 17 in Africa, and
15 in Latin America. Many regional and general references are also noted in each chapter.

Specific sources of some literature and the location of central repositories for most
of the materials reviewed are noted in the introduction to the regional annotated
bibliographies. The regional authors have generally used the facilities and materials
available at their own institutions. For the author on Asia this is the Agricultural
University Wageningen in the Netherlands, for Africa the Overseas Development
Institute in London and for Latin America the Land Tenure Center at the University of

Readers of this study will surely identify literature that has been overlooked by our
authors. Certain titles may be missing that, for whatever reasons, were not available to the
authors, and important new titles are appearing regularly. Where this is the case, you are
invited to correspond directly with the regional authors at their respective institutions, so
that the literature and knowledge base for each region can be kept up to date.

Common Forest Resource Management


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3. Arnold, J.E.M. and Stewart, W.C. 1991. Common property resource manage-
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4. Bahaguna, S. 1988. Chipko: the people's movement with a hope for the survival
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development and energy planning: participatory action research in Nepal,
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6. Baker, A.R.H. and Butlin, R.A. (eds.). 1973. Studies of field systems in the
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7. Berry, W. 1991. Out of your car, off your horse. Atlantic Monthly 267(2):61-63.

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10. Brokensha, D.W., Warren, D.M. and Werner, O. (eds.). 1980. Indigenous
knowledge systems and development. University Press of America, Lanham,

11. Bromley, D.W. and Cernea, M.M. 1989. The management of common property
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sion Paper 57. World Bank, Washington DC, USA.

12. Bruce, J. 1989. Rapid appraisal of tree and land tenure. Community Forestry Note
5. Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, Rome, Italy.

13. Campbell, B. and Godoy, R.A. 1986. Common field agriculture: the Andes and


medieval England compared. Pp. 323-358, in Common property resource
management. National Academy Press, Washington DC, USA.

14. Campbell, J.G., Shrestha, R.P. and Euphrat, F. 1987. Socio-economic factors
in traditional forest use and management: preliminary results from a study of
community forestry management in Nepal. Banko Janakari 1(4):45-54 Kathmandu,

15. Chambers, R. 1983. Rural development: putting the last first. Longman, London,UK.

16. Chambers, R., Pacey, A. and Thrupp, L.A. 1989. Farmer first. Intermediate
Technology Publications, London, UK.

17. Ciriacy-Wantrup, S.V. and Bishop, R.C. 1975. "Common property" as a
concept in natural resources policy. Natural Resources Journal 15:713-127.

18. Cronin, E.W. 1979. The Arun: a natural history of the world's deepest valley.
Houghton Mifflin, Boston, USA.

19. Dahlberg, K.A. and Bennett, J.W. (eds.). 1986. Natural resources and people:
conceptual issues in interdisciplinary research. Westview Press, Boulder, USA.

20. Denevan, W. and Padoch, C. (eds.). 1987. Swidden-fallow agroforestry in the
Peruvian Amazon. Advances in Economic Botany 5. New York Botanical Garden,
New York, USA.

21. Dove, M.R. and Rao, A.L. 1990. Common resource management in Pakistan:Garret
Hardin in the junglat. EAPI Working Paper 23. Environment and Policy Institute,
East-West Center, Honolulu, USA.

22. Eckholm, E. 1976. Losing ground. W.W. Norton for the Worldwatch Institute,
New York, USA.

23. Eckholm, E. 1975. The deterioration of mountain environments. Science 189:764-770.

24. Fernandez, J.W. 1987. The call to the commons: decline and recommitment in
Asturias, Spain. Pp. 266-289, in McCay, B.M. and Acheson, J.M. (eds.). The
question of the commons: the culture and ecology of communal resources.
University of Arizona Press, Tucson, USA.

25. Fisher, R.J. 1989. Indigenous systems of common property forest management in
Nepal. EAPI Working Paper 18. Environment and Policy Institute, East-West
Center, Honolulu, USA.

26. Fisher, R.J., Singh, H.B., Pandey, D.R. and Lang, H. 1990. The management
of forest resources in Sindhu Palchok and Kabhre Palanchok Districts of Nepal.
MPE Series 8. International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development,
Kathmandu, Nepal.

27. Fortmann, L. and Bruce, J.W. (eds.). 1988. Whose trees?: proprietary dimen-
sions of forestry. Westview Press, Boulder, USA.

Common Forest Resource Management

28. Fox, H.S.A. 1981. Approaches to the adoption of the midland system. Pp. 64-
111, in Roley, T. (ed.). The origins of open field agriculture. Croom Helm,
London, UK.

29. Gardner, R., Ostrom, E. and Walkter, J. 1989. The nature of common-pool
resource problems. A paper presented at the Choice Society meetings, 17-19
March 1989, Orlando, USA. Indiana University, Bloomington, USA.

30. Fujisaka, S., Sajise, P. and del Castilo, R. (eds.). 1986. Man, agriculture and the
tropical forest: change and development in the Philippine uplands. Winrock
International Institute for Agricultural Development, Bangkok, Thailand.

31. Gilmour, D.A. 1989. Forest resources and indigenous management in Nepal.
EAPI Working Paper 17. Environment and Policy Institute, East-West Center,
Honolulu, USA.

32. Gilmour, D.A., King, G.C. and Hobley, M. 1989. Management of forests for
local use in the hills of Nepal. 1. Changing forest management paradigms. Journal
of World Forest Resource Management 4:93-110.

33. Guha, R. 1989. The unquiet woods: ecological change and peasant resistance in
the Himalaya. Oxford University Press, New Delhi, India.

34. Hamilton, L.S. 1990. Human activity effects versus natural processes. Mountain
Research and Development 10(4):359-360.

35. Hardin, G. 1968. The tragedy of the commons. Science 162:1243-1248.

36. Hardin, G. and Baden, J. (eds.). 1977. Managing the commons. W.H. Freeman,
San Francisco, USA.

37. Harrison, P. 1987. The greening of Africa: breaking through in the battle for land
and food. Paladin, for IIED/Earthscan, London, UK.

38. Ives, J. D. and Messerli, B. 1989. The Himalayan dilemma: reconciling
development and conservation. Routledge, for the United Nations University,

39. Van de Laar, A. 1990. A framework for the analysis of common pool natural
resources. Working Paper Series No. 77. Institute of Social Studies, The Hague,

40. Little, P. and Horowitz, M. (eds.). 1987. Lands at risk in the Third World: local
level perspectives. Westview Press, Boulder, USA.

41. Lundgren, B.O. and Raintree, J.B. 1983. Sustained agroforestry. ICRA Reprint
3. International Centre on Research in Agroforestry, Nairobi, Kenya.

42. McCay, B. and Acheson, J.A. (eds.).1988. The question of the commons: the
culture and ecology of communal resources. University of Arizona Press, Tucson,


43. McNeely, J.A. and Pitt, D. (eds.). 1985. Culture and conservation: the human
dimension in environmental planning. Croom Helm, London, UK.

44. Mahat, T.B.S., Griffin, D.M. and Shepherd, K.R. 1987. Human impact on some
forests of the middle hills of Nepal. 3. Forests in the subsistence economy of Sindhu
Palchok and Kabhre Palanchok. Mountain Research and Development 7:53-70.

45. Messerschmidt, D.A. 1991. The uses of anthropology in agro/social forestry R
and D: approaches to anthropological forestry. Pp. 145-178, in Burch, Wm. R., Jr.
and Parker, J.K. (eds.). Social Science Applications in Asian Agroforestry.
Winrock International, USA and Oxford, UK and IBH Co. Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi,

46. Messerschmidt, D.A. 1990. The uses of anthropology in agro/social forestry R and
D: approaches to anthropological forestry. Discussion Paper 90/2. Institute of
Forestry Project, Pokhara, Nepal.

47. Messerschmidt, D.A. 1990. Indigenous environmental management and adapta-
tion: an introduction to four case studies from Nepal. Mountain Research and
Development 10 (1) : 3-4.

48. Messerschmidt, D.A. 1987. Conservation and society in Nepal: traditional forest
management and innovative development. Pp. 373-397, in Little, P. and Horowitz,
M. (eds.). Lands at risk in the Third World: local level perspectives. Westview
Press, Boulder, USA.

49. Messerschmidt, D.A. 1986. People and resources in Nepal: customary resource
management systems of the upper Kali Gandaki. Pp. 455-480, in Common
property resource management. National Academy Press, Washington DC,

50. Messerschmidt, D.A. 1984. Using human resources in natural resource manage-
ment: innovations in Himalayan development. Watershed Management Working
Paper WSMI/1. International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development,
Kathmandu, Nepal.

51. Molnar, A. 1981. The dynamics of traditional systems of forest management in
Nepal: implications for the Community Forestry Development and Training
Project. Report to the World Bank, Washington DC, USA.

52. Moran, E.F. 1984. The ecosystem concept in anthropology. A Selected Sym-
posium 92. Westview Press, Boulder, USA.

53. Moran, E.F. 1982. Human adaptability: an introduction to ecological anthropol-
ogy. Duxbury Press, North Scituate, USA.

54. Myers, N. 1983. Environmental repercussions of deforestation in the Himalayas.
Journal of World Forest Resource Management 2:63-72.

55. Nichols, S. 1982. The fragile mountain. (Film) Sandra Nichols Productions, New
York, USA.

Common Forest Resource Management

56. Oakerson, R. J. 1986. A model for the analysis of common property problems.
Pp. 13-29, in Common property resource management. National Academy Press,
Washington DC, USA.

57. Poffenberger, M. (ed.). 1990. Keepers of the forest: land management alterna-
tives in Southeast Asia. Kumarian Press, West Hartford, USA.

58. Posey, D. 1990. Intellectual property rights: what is the position of ethnobiology?
Journal of Ethnobiology 10:93-98.

59. Proceedings of the Conference on Common Property Resource Management.
1986. NRC/BOSTID. National Academy Press, Washington DC, USA.

60. Ostrom, E. 1986. Issues of definitions and theory: some conclusions and hypoth-
eses. Pp. 599-615, in Common Property Resource Management. National Academy
Press, Washington DC, USA.

61. Posey, D.A. and Balee, W. (eds.). 1989. Resource management in
Amazonia:indigenous and folk strategies. Advances in Economic Botany 7. New
York Botanical Garden, New York, USA.

62. Rieger, H.C. 1981. Man versus mountains: the destruction of the Himalayan
ecosystem. Pp. 351-375, in Lall, J.S. (ed.). The Himalaya: aspects of change. New
Delhi, India.

63. Rieger, H.C. 1978/79. Socio-economic aspects of environmental degradation in
the Himalayas. Journal of the Nepal Research Centre 2/3:177-184.

64. Rogers, P., Lydon, P. and Seckler, D. 1989. Eastern waters study: strategies to
manage flood and drought in the Ganges-Brahmaputra Basin. Report prepared for
USAID. Irrigation Support Project for Asia and the Near East, Arlington, USA.

65. Soil Conservation Society of America. 1982. Resource conservation glossary
(3rd ed.). Soil Conservation Society of America, Ankey, USA.

66. Sterling, C. 1976. Nepal. Atlantic Monthly 238(4):14-25.

67. Subedi, B.P., Das, C.L. and Messerschmidt, D.A. 1991. Tree and land tenure in
the eastern Nepal Teerai: a case study by rapid appraisal. Food and Agriculture
Organization of the UN, Rome, Italy.

68. Swift, J. 1988. Major issues in pastoral development with special emphasis on selected
African countries. Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, Rome, Italy.

69. Synnott, T. 1989. South America and the Caribbean. Pp. 75-116, in Poore,
D.(ed.). No timber without trees: sustainability in the tropical forest. Earthscan/
International Institute for Environment and Development, London, UK.

70. Thomson, J.T. 1989. Niger community forestry: an analytic framework and four
case studies. Report to the Community Forestry Office, Food and Agriculture
Organization of the UN, Rome, Italy.


71. Thompson, M., Warburton, M. and Hatley, T. 1986. Uncertainty on a Hima-
layan scale: an institutional theory of environmental perception and a strategic
framework for the sustainable development of the Himalayas. Ethnographica,
Milton Ash Editions, London, UK.

72. Walcott, R. 1936. Husbandry in colonial New England. New England Quarterly

73. Warren, D.M., Brokensha, D. and Slikkerveer, L.J. (eds.). 1991. Indigenous
knowledge systems, the cultural dimension of development. Kegan Paul, London,

74. Warren, D.M., Slikkerveer, L.J. and Titilola, S.O. (eds.). 1989. Indigenous
knowledge systems: implications for agriculture and international development.
Studies in Technology and Social Change 11. Technology and Social Change.
Program, Iowa State University, Ames, USA.

75. Wenger, K.F. (ed.). 1984. Forestry handbook. (2nd ed.). Society of American
Foresters. John Wiley and Sons, New York, USA.

76. World Bank. 1979. Nepal: development performance and prospects. A World
Bank Country Study. South Asia Regional Office, World Bank, Washington DC,

22 Common Forest Resource Management


BOSTID Board on Science and Technology for International Development
(of the NRC)
CFR Common forest resources
CPR Common property resources
CPRM Common property resource management
ICRAF International Centre on Research in Agroforestry
(Nairobi, Kenya)
ICIMOD International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development
(Kathmandu, Nepal)
IIED International Institute for Environment and Development
(London, UK)
IFDA International Foundation for Development Alternatives
(Geneva, Switzerland)
ITK Indigenous technical knowledge
MPE Mountain Population and Employment
division of ICIMOD)
NGO Non-governmental organization
NRC National Research Council
(of the US National Academy of Sciences, Washington DC)
UN United Nations
WSM Watershed Management
(division of ICIMOD)

Common Forest
Resource Management

I, I -




A great deal of attention is currently being given in forestry development to social or
community forestry. This term is used for any forest management situation which closely
involves local people in the management of local forest and tree resources, for which the
people assume some part of the management responsibility and from which they derive
a direct benefit for their own efforts. Social forestry projects may take several forms in
which local people have the primary responsibility for managing forest and tree resources
at the level of private households or individuals, communities or communal groups or
state institutions [44].

In the late 1970s, when the first generation of social forestry projects were
identified and designed, considerable attention was given to establishing village woodlots.
This approach was taken because forests were considered a public property to be
managed for the general good of local people. It was also expected that woodlot
management by local people would allow an economy of scale in establishing and
maintaining forest cover. Furthermore, the presence of what were referred to as
"communal lands" seemed to offer a good starting point for community and other group
reforestation projects.

Many of these early collective forestry projects met with little success [44, 48, 95]
and gradually development planners and donor agencies gave more attention to stimu-
lating private tree growing in the farm forestry context. It has been amply demonstrated,
however, that farm forestry projects may have undesired social consequences and that
they are not suitable under all land tenure conditions [44, 48,113].

Therefore, more recent attention has been focused on the potential for developing
community forest management systems. To plan and implement these second generation
social forestry projects, however, it is necessary to thoroughly evaluate the erratic results
of past projects and to refine the knowledge of community parameters that indicate when
such schemes may be more or less successful. In making such analyses, recent scientific
advances in understanding the nature of management of common property resources
(CPRs) and new empirical data about various ways in which rural communities have
traditionally managed their common forest resources (CFRs) should be used.

This study is designed to contribute to an analysis of the nature and scope for the
development and management of CFRs through a review of the literature on forest
management from South and Southeast Asia.

For our purposes, collective management is defined as any management system
in which responsibility for maintaining forests is vested in a local rural community,
communal or other group and planning and implementation of the management practices
are carried out through cooperative or collective efforts by the group members. Further-
more, we identify and analyse two decisive aspects in common forest management
success: the extent to which the use and maintenance of forest resources can be locally
controlled and justly distributed.

The results of many community reforestation schemes have been amply described.
[44, 48]. Reviewers often explain the limited success of such schemes as a lack of

Common Forest Resource Management

attention to arrangements for long-term maintenance of plantations and inattention to
equitable distribution of benefits. We concentrate, therefore, on aspects of collective
management, and do not deal with information or discussions in the literature focused only
on the establishment phase of new plantations.

We have not reviewed the various schemes aimed at providing management rights
to individual people on plots of public forest lands (e.g. tree patta in India, village forests
in Thailand, community forestry in the Philippines, leasehold forestry in Nepal). Although
such programmes are often implemented through mediation of local village institutions,
the direct responsibility for maintaining the tree resources belongs, by definition and
intent, to individuals rather than to collectivities or groups, and the benefits, therefore,
accrue to the private usufruct holders. We also excluded any discussion of schemes for
group agroforestry projects which involve annual cropping on state forest lands for
example, the Philippines' Ikalahan Project or state controlled management of trees on
communal lands, such as roadside plantations in India.

The study begins with a review of "Some principles of collective management",
followed by a discussion of "Some major features of forest management". We then
examine "Local systems of forest management" followed by "Externally linked systems
of forest management", based on the literature from selected countries of South and
Southeast Asia. Further considerations are introduced, and the chapter concludes with an
annotated bibliography in the References.


A common resource is any resource that is subject to individual use but not to individual
ownership. It may be used by a number of persons, either by open access or under some
arrangement of community or group management. Open access implies unrestricted entry
and unregulated use. This may cause over-exploitation and degradation of common
resources, a situation referred to in the literature as the "tragedy of the commons" [61, 63,
85]. In India, this belief is expressed in the synonymous use of the terms "common lands"
and "wastelands" [101, 113]. The social processes leading to such resource degradation
have received much scientific attention. Moench [91] attributes it to three interrelated
causes. The commons are degraded, he says, because:

each individual gains by increasing his own use level, while the costs of that
increase are borne by the group as a whole;

they cannot be valued in the market, in the absence of specified ownership; the
opportunity costs for use of scarce common resources are, therefore, not borne by
any individual with control over that resource and, as a result, exploitation proceeds
at a rate above the optimal; and

competing individuals cannot cope in a management scheme that would benefit all;
there is a lack of assurance within a context of a "prisoner's dilemma".

Theoretical interest has been rising at the same time as common resources have
been deteriorating under open access regimes. As a result, during the last decade a great
deal of concern and effort has been given to bringing their use and management under state
or private control.

Asia 27

Attention has been centred on studying the conditions under which groups act
cooperatively to manage and maintain common resources. It is now recognized that, in many
cases, common resources are not open access but are actively managed on a group basis. Such
common property resource management (CPRM) is characterized by a set of regulations on
the rights of independent users or group members, and by the ability of the collective group
to exclude outsiders from using the resource. It has recently been demonstrated that such
CPRM regimes still play key roles in the effective maintenance of scarce natural resources,
often complementing and accompanying private management systems. These regimes have
often been misunderstood, however, or have remained unnoticed by outsiders. Consequently,
their potential contributions to natural resources management have been neglected [103].
Jodha [73] notes the following reasons for this neglect:

* the concentration of attention on private property resource management as a basis
for rural development,

* inadequate understanding of the role of CPRs in the survival of poor people and
of their complementary role in respect to privately managed resources, and

* the routine nature of the use of numerous and varied common property resources.

Recently, a general model for analysing CPRs has been developed by Oakerson
[96]. It contains four subsets of factors or attributes important to understanding the nature
of utilization and management:

* technical and physical attributes of the resource, including jointness (can users
derive benefit jointly or do they subtract from others' benefit?), exclusion (can
outsiders be excluded from benefits?) and divisibility (can the resource be divided
among group members?);

* decision-making arrangements, including collective choice within the group,
operational rules for regulation of use and implementation of management
practice, and external arrangements that affect use of common resources;

* patterns of interaction among group members; and

* the outcomes or consequences of management action, especially regarding equity
and efficiency.

Several authors have used and/or adapted this model for analysing common
property, including common forest, systems [6, 7, 15]. Some have noted its conceptual
weaknesses and have suggested improvements [79, 87].

As indicated by the theories explaining "the tragedy of the commons", participa-
tion of individual people in collective action is not self-evident. Individuals normally
choose between participation in group action or private action based on their perception
of which activity brings them the most benefit or profit. Useful questions for analysing
which factors influence choice are given by Lekanne dit Deprez [80]:

* which inputs have to be made? what is the quality and quantity of offers made,
at what time and how often repeated? how visible are they? how are they

28 Common Forest Resource Management

what are the transaction costs, e.g. in respect to time spent on mobilization and
management decision making?;

how are the group activities organized? what is the quality and trustworthiness of
the leaders? how are decisions made?;

what kind of controls are executed over communal action? who exercises control?
are there sanctions or rewards?; and

what are the benefits of the communal action? are they visible and of long or short
duration? are they divisible over group members? how are they distributed? can
outsiders be excluded?

From these advances in the theoretical understanding of CPRM, it can now be said
that an important prerequisite for group management is a set of institutional arrangements
which enable a specific group of people to control resource maintenance and exploitation.

In developing CPRM regimes, seven major variables should be considered [39,
55]. These include:

clearly defined decision making and membership, inclusive of its transmission to
new generations,

clearly formulated rules, predictable in their effects,

clearly identified rules for control and authority in relation to various participating
units such as household, kin groups or government organizations,

agreed agenda of activities for both the short and the long-term,

clear decisions about rules, goals and dispute settlement, including how to obtain
compliance and deal with disputes both within and outside the group,

well-defined interrelations between the common resource, members and non-
members of the group, and

the possibility of making dynamic adjustments in response to changing

The exact nature of these variables will depend on the nature of the management
regime, and is generally culture specific. Successful CPRM schemes should include all
these variables in some form. A proper understanding of these variables is, therefore, vital,
even if their exact nature is location specific.


Forests are one of the most important common resources. Collective forest management
refers to all kinds of forest management carried out on the basis of group action. It includes
any management situation in which the forest tenure and management responsibility is

Asia 29

vested in a specific group or collectivity, such as a lineage, clan or caste (communal
management), a village or community forestry, users identified by religion or gender, a
cooperative, and so forth. Collective forest tenure refers to arrangements under which
certain groups hold specific rights to forest lands, trees and their products. Even if land
is privately or state owned, responsibility to manage the forest may be vested in common
with a local group. Thus, collective forest management may be based on common
property or vested in common institutions.

Forest management consists of a group of deliberate activities for conservation and
possible enhancement of useful forest resources and the controlled utilization of those
resources. Such activities include:

controlled utilization of forest/tree resources,

protection and maintenance of forest/tree stands, and

purposeful propagation of valuable tree species.

Collective forest management systems usually involve a variety of regulations for
controlled use of specific products [49], such as:

use of tree products by gathering forest products such as dead wood, branches,
leaves, fruit, gums and resins,

use of other "minor" products of the forest, such as grasses and herbs, honey,
mushrooms, birds and wildlife,

temporary use of the ground under trees, by disposing of trees by cutting and
clearing as in swidden-fallow agriculture, and

use of forests for grazing livestock.

In addition, regulations may be formulated on the basis of:

protection of special areas in the forest, or species of trees,

forest land use zoning, and

ownership and use rights for planted trees.

Management involves not only the carrying out of these resource management
activities but also the process of decision making when dealing with questions of
"when?" and "by whom?" Collective management also requires the existence of a control
system to ensure that the proposed activities are carried out as planned. Overall, it requires
attention to these four factors [25, 55]:

a decision making structure by which members choose required resource
management practices,

a system of group control over behaviour of members to ensure that the management
practices are carried out,

30 Common Forest Resource Management

* control over distribution of forest products, and

* the ability to exclude outsiders.

The rules for control may not only consist of regulations on behaviour of group
members and on the exploitation and distribution of forest products but may also consist
of regulations for taxation of group members as a means to raise funds needed for
payment of required management and maintenance.

The importance of CFRs is basically twofold [7, 20, 66, 73]. First, they fill crucial gaps
in the resource and income flow from private resources, providing complementary inputs
critical to the continued functioning of agricultural systems. Many common forest areas
provide a variety of basic inputs, free of cost to local households, for example, firewood
and small timber, animal fodder, green manure and various fruits and medicinal products.
The common forest may also protect village water resources such as springs, and
irrigation canals. In periods of low employment, for example, the agricultural off-
seasons, local people may collect forest products which they can sell. Second, they are
often a major source of support for the poor at the time of greatest vulnerability. Poor
people who have only limited or no access to private farmlands depend on common lands
to obtain many essential household products. In case of deterioration of the common
forest, the poor suffer earlier and more intensely than relatively more affluent villagers
because they seldom have adequate land or capital resources on which to make alternative

There are other reasons to maintain CFRs. For one, the lands which still remain in
common use are often best suited to forms of resource management that require, or
benefit from, the economies of scale possible only within groups. For another, active
group management may assist in maintaining, or developing, village level institutions
and local management skills help stimulate and maintain local self-reliance [7, p. 36].

Collective management systems are often associated with small groups, such as villages
or lineages. In India and Nepal, the preservation of CPRs, forest and other, is found to be
positively related to small, often isolated villages [1, 72].

Collective management need not necessarily be restricted to small conditions but
may also be found successfully occurring with larger organizational entities. An
important factor to consider is the prevalent type of ownership rights on uncultivated
land. Historically, only a few basic systems for claiming such lands existed. One, for
example, is where a local ruler claimed all uncultivated lands in the region to be under
his control. Another is where such lands were considered to be the common property of
families descended from the village founders, out of which communal systems based on
kinship, for example, lineage, or clan have evolved. Some non-communal forms of
collective group management also evolved, based on other organizational premises such
as religion, gender or neighbourhood.

In Timor, Indonesia, all lands falling under the jurisdiction of officially codified
adats, for example, were owned by the local ruler (raja) until the middle of this century.
Farmers under the raja had usufruct rights only. The allocation of particular fields to
individual farmers was supervised by the raja's council and local representatives. One

Asia 31

study found that during the 1940s and 1950s, in the district of Amarasi, several steps were
taken to improve the management of land resources. They were based on the authority
of adat laws and backed by subsequent state regulations in 64 administrative villages of
the district. They included the obligation to establish rows of ipil-ipil (Leucaena
leucocephala) along the contours of swidden-fallow plots before leaving them in fallow,
and a system of land use zoning that separated farming and silvopastoral grazing zones
[89]. The Indonesian marga system, established earlier this century, is similar [102, 108].

Although success of collective management systems may be best assured in
smaller groups, the examples given indicate that they may also be developed in larger
groups. This requires, however, that increased attention be given to proper identification
and execution of enforcement and monitoring procedures [96].

Many traditional societies have long histories of collective forest management. [Some
are described below.] These systems should not be considered static but rather as
evolving through time as they adapt to changes in the socio-economic, cultural and
political environments. The dynamic nature of these systems is the result of several
interrelated factors: population growth and immigration, incorporation of previously
isolated areas into the market economy, privatization of farming systems, nationalization
of forest lands, the advent of state-controlled institutions and a lack of attention, by those
same institutions, to local forms of resource management organization [25, 71,72, 103].

The processes of rural change may influence traditional forest management
regimes in several ways. Traditional regimes may adjust to the new situations, for
example, by adapting new management practices or by changing the regulations for
management control. Or, they may break down as common resources as they become
privatized or redefined to open access within a framework of non-operational external
regulations [7]. This often results in a degradation of common forests formerly managed
by communities or other groups.

On the first of these processes, the dynamic response of traditional systems to
specific changes in internal and external conditions at the village level, there is only
limited information available. The available evidence indicates two sorts of adaptations.
One is a gradual change to systems that look and act quite different from earlier forms.
Another is the development of informal management systems parallel to those imposed
or created by an external agency or institution.

In cases where the outside agency is too weak to assure maintenance of regulatory
practices, various types of customary local group management from the past may remain in
effect, although with reduced authority. In some situations on state forest lands, the formal
public management system and an informal community forest management system may co-
exist. The formal externally initiated system may involve some sort of contractual arrangement
between the public forest agency and local users. The informal, locally initiated, system
usually involves no such contract, and may be virtually invisible to the outside to the degree
that the resource managed or extracted by local people is not considered to fall within the
administrative interest, responsibility or jurisdiction of the outside agency [71]. In situations
where specific forest resources such as firewood, fodder, medicinal extracts and other
"minor" forest products are considered unprofitable or too difficult to manage by the outside
agency but are nonetheless of great value to local people, the local people may manage their
exploitation on the basis of residual customary rights and practices [98].

32 Common Forest Resource Management

The causes of the breakdown of common forest management systems have
generally received much more attention than the adaptive processes by which these
systems are adjusted and redefined under changed conditions. As already noted, the two
main processes in the decline of collective management regimes are resource privatization
and state intervention [7]. Due to these processes, systems of common tenure and resource
management in many Asian countries have now almost disappeared or survive only in
weakened and attenuated form. [These processes are further treated below in "Discussion:
The decline of local systems".]

As indicated earlier, the promotion of development collectives or other group forest
management systems may be considered a specialized form of social forestry. Like any
social forestry development, common forest management should not be promoted for its
own sake but should be related to specific development objectives [44]. Social forestry
objectives include:

* increased utilization of human resources for managing degraded and marginal
lands resulting from deforestation,

* contributions to the general socio-economic welfare of rural people through the
generation of income and employment opportunities and, in general, by promoting
economic growth,

* providing means for rural people to produce or have improved access to certain
basic needs in the form of essential forest and tree products and services,

* increasing local participation by rural people in the management of forest and tree
resources as a means of strengthening increasing self-reliance, and

* addressing the needs and aspirations of specific underprivileged groups within the
rural population, such as subsistence farmers, landless and treeless households and
others among the rural poor.

Although some of these objectives may be complementary, they are not similar
and, taken together, they reflect broadly divergent views about the purpose of social
forestry. Some are primarily concerned with improving the effective maintenance of
forest resources. Others are directed at improving the quality of life of rural people,
especially the poor and underprivileged.

Gilmouretal. [57] describe these two very different motives in terms of two contrasting
paradigms existing side-by-side in forestry development: "forest-centred" and "people-
centred". The need for development of common or collective forest management may be
identified on the basis of assumptions from within either paradigm. On the one hand, there is
a tendency of some government schemes, as in Nepal, to promote community forestry as a
means to improve effective forest management under the "forest-centred" paradigm
[6, 57]. On the other hand, locally-initiated popular movements such as chipko ("hug the
trees") in India [8,59] or the externally initiated Aga Khan Rural Support Programme in India
[110, 112; see also 114, 45] are examples of activity more concerned with empowering and
enhancing the resource security of specific local rural groups under the "people-centred"
paradigm. The choice of objectives for promoting collective forest management schemes
obviously affects the degree to which such social forestry activities are successful.

Asia 33

Although terms like "communal" or "community" forest management suggest that
decisions are made on the basis of communal (e.g. lineage, clan or caste) or community
(village- or panchayat-based) decision making, this is not always the case. In several
traditional systems, a socially acceptable local authority may determine management
rules and regulations. Examples are the adat regulatory system in Indonesia [89] and the
traditional systems in Nepal where decision making is deferred to a local authority [83].

In Nepal, it is a mistake to assume that all traditional and indigenous forest
management systems necessarily involve shared responsibility or result in fair and
equitable distribution of benefits [65]. In India, it has been observed that increased
productivity as a result of intensified management of common land resources may induce
relatively affluent people to take an interest in using common lands or resources
previously ignored or neglected by them and used only by the local poor [71, 72]. In
extreme cases where collective management has been introduced in villages, social
conflict may arise, and it may even assist the further empowerment of a local elite instead
of assisting the poor and landless to improve their living conditions [113].

Because of the diversity in forestry development objectives, it is not possible to
judge the success of such projects by any single criterion. The degree of success of
collective management can only be evaluated if the aims and objectives of the scheme
have been clearly identified both with respect to social aspects and ecological conse-
quences. This is especially true in cases where CFR management schemes are intended
to benefit categories of people most dependent on CPRs. Then it may be necessary to
invoke a process of change in local decision making and rule enforcement.


Many examples of locally initiated or indigenous common forest resource management
systems are found in Asia. Historically, an internal consistency has existed between the
use and management of natural resources and the behavioral patterns of society. Various
social, demographic, religious and productive factors are integrated within lifestyles
characterized by specific patterns of resource use and cultural values. Local ways of using
and managing forest resources are closely linked with indigenous and traditional subsis-
tence strategies such as hunting and gathering, shifting cultivation, pastoralism and field
agriculture. The following common forest management patterns are described in the
literature; each is discussed in turn:

management of forests in swidden-fallow cultivation

management of forests in mountain environments

management of forests in semi-arid environments,

management of forests in village water sources, and

management of sacred groves and related systems.

In conclusion, we focus on reasons for the apparent decline of locally initiated
systems, then turn to a discussion of externally initiated systems in the following section
on swidden-fallow cultivation.

34 Common Forest Resource Management

Many studies have been conducted on swidden-fallow cultivation found in Southeast
Asia [116]. Most concentrate on the cropping period and suggest that swidden-fallow
cultivators do not actively manage forests. Some findings indicate, however, that
indigenous forest management practices do exist, or have existed in the past [37, 58, 69,
76, 102, 108]. The basic rules for controlling swidden-fallow land use often distinguish

* rights to land or soil which can never be possessed, alienated or controlled

* rights to crops, including planted tree crops, which are individually possessed and
controlled, and

* rights to natural vegetation which are subject to group control.

More specifically in relation to the forests, the following management practices are
associated with swidden-fallow agriculture:

* preservation of undisturbed forest areas for protective purposes, on mountain tops,
around headwaters and along stream courses and future reservation,

* control over land allotments for forest clearing and agricultural use,

* control over forest exploitation, and

* regulations on controlled grazing and protection, e.g. prevention of forest fires.

There is a traditionally close link in mountain areas of South Asia between private
agricultural lands and forests. The forests provide important materials to the total farm
enterprise; e.g. to agriculture in the form of green compost, to household energy needs
as fuel for cooking and heat and for the construction of houses and stalls from timber and
poles. The forests also provide grazing areas and animal fodder for farmers' livestock
including cattle, water buffalo, goats, sheep which form an important component of the
local farming system [4, 82, 83]. The amount of forest required to support one hectare of
cropland has been estimated at between one and nine hectares.

These close relations of people-land-livestock and forest within subsistence
farming systems have resulted in a variety of local arrangements for common forest
management on the subcontinent [51]. Some examples are the turf system of northern
Uttar Pradesh, India [90,92], the nistar system in Madya Pradesh, India [28,33] and tribal
systems in Swat, Pakistan [86]. Other examples are found in Nepal [47, 57, 82, 83, 86,
96]. See Figure 2-1 for examples of management practices and village-sanctioned control
measures in Nepal.

Mountain forest management practices are not only directed at controlled collec-
tion of wood products but also at the control of fodder collection and forest grazing.
Various management practices, including rotational grazing, deferred grazing and
collection of tree tops or pollarded branches for stall feeding, are commonly used, both
in addition to and instead of continual free grazing.


Figure 2-1

Control Systems used in Traditional Forest
Management in Nepal

Basis of Group Rules


1. Harvesting only selected
products and species

2. Harvesting according to
condition of product

3. Limiting amount of product

4. Using social means

* Trees: timber, fuelwood, food
(fruit, nuts, seeds, honey),
leaf fodder, fibre, leaf mulch, other
minor forest products (gums, resins,
dyes, liquor, plate leaves, etc.)
* Grass: fodder, thatching, rope
* Other wild plants: medicinal
herbs, food (tubers, etc.), bamboos, etc.
* Other cultivated plants: upland
crops (maize, millet, wheat,
potatoes, vegetables), fruit, etc.
* Wildlife: animals, birds, bees,
other insects, etc.

* Stage of growth, maturity, alive or dead
* Size, shape
* Plant density, spacing
* Season (flowering, leaves fallen, etc.)
* Part: branch, stem, shoot,

* By time: by season, by days,
by year, by several years
* By quantity: number of trees,
headloads, baskets, number of animals
* By tool: sickles, saws, axes
* By area: zoning, blocks, types of
terrain, altitude
* By payment: cash, kind, food or
liquor to watchers or village, manure
* By agency: women, children, hired
labour, contractor, type of animal

* By watcher: paid in grains or cash
* By rotational guard duty
* By voluntary group action
* By making use of herder mandatory

Source: Arnold and Campbell 1986

Common Forest Resource Management

In Bhutan, a local system called sogshing is practised in which a forest area is
reserved for the exclusive collection of leaves, which are used in stables as bedding for
livestock. These materials are subsequently mixed with manure and spread on agricul-
tural lands. Sometimes dead branches and leaves are also collected there. Sogshing
arrangements are recognized by the government, and the forest department is not allowed
to issue commercial cutting permits in such areas [S. Wangchuk, personal communica-
tion 1989].

In cases where previously common forests are now officially incorporated into
state forest reserves, remnants of older management systems may still exist. Examples
include traditional forms of fodder collection continued on state forest lands near Mount
Merapi in Indonesia [98] and in the mountains of Himachal Pradesh, India [38].

The dynamic nature of the development and operation of common forest manage-
ment systems are not only influenced by external conditions. Gilmour et al. [57, p. 100]
relate an account by a local leader that eloquently describes the adaptation of a common
forest management system in a Nepali village to both internal and external conditions.
Prior to 1950, the account goes, a forest guard appointed by the royal ruler had the
responsibility for looking after the forest. He was paid only once a month. The villagers
did not protect the forest. This system did not prevent the forest from being cleared and
people had to walk increasing distances to collect one load of firewood. After the
introduction of the panchayat system in 1960, the villages were divided into wards. Some
villages began to prohibit people from other wards from going to the forests in their
wards. A village meeting was held to decide what to do about the forest. They decided
to collect food grain or money to pay a local forest guard. The quantity to be paid was fixed
on the basis of the number of members in a family. In this way, the village employed forest
guards for about 20 years. But gradually, people grew dissatisfied with the guard. They
claimed that he did not treat everybody equally and favoured the powerful over the poor.
The people then stopped donating rice and the forest guard resigned.

Another process which influences the current nature of local management prac-
tices is the increased commercialization of animal husbandry for the production of milk,
with concomitant shifts to higher valued animals, more intensive livestock management,
stall feeding and the production of higher quality fodder [5]. In addition, a rise in
commercial timber exploitation by external contractors has put increased pressure on the
traditional and indigenous mountain area forest management systems.

Gilmour [56] postulates a direct correlation between relative scarcity or abundance
of forest resources and villager attitudes to resource use and management (Figure 2-2).

In the dry areas of South Asia, several types of common property tree and forest
management systems are found. Examples from India include the management of
gauchar lands in Gujarat, gomal lands in Karnataka and poromboke lands in Tamil Nadu
[16, 23, 66]. Common trees or forests may also be planted on bank foreshores. Further
examples of rangeland management systems are found in Baluchistan, Pakistan and in
the dry zones of Sri Lanka [20, 43].

As in mountain areas, the vegetation on these common drylands has an important
part to play in local farming systems. Traditionally, their main role was to complement
the highly variable level of private agricultural production. Common land resources are

Asia 37

Figure 2-2
Accessibility of Forest Resources and Probable
Villagers Response in Nepal

Resource Local interest Response

1. Ample forest No interest in forest Indigenous management
in or adjacent protection or tree systems exist,
to village. -> planting. confined to defining
use-rights only. Few
trees on private land.

2. Forest becoming Emerging interest in Indigenous management
depleted or forest development systems exist to
access activities (or define use-rights and
restricted (up potential for in some cases have
to 3-hour extension). biological objectives.
walk). -> Few trees on private
land but interest

3. Severe shortage Genuine interest in Indigenous management
of forest forest development systems well developed
products activities. Little and define both use-
(accessible need for people to be rights and biological
forest more convinced by objectives. Extensive
than 4-hour extension, private tree planting
walk). -> and protection likely.

Source: Gilmour 1989

a major source of fodder and saleable products such as fuelwood, fodder, fibres, wild
fruits, spices, gum, soap nuts, during dry periods without crop production. In addition,
they are utilized for the collection of fuelwood, small-scale construction materials, green
manure and thatching materials for local household use [7] (Figure 2-3).

Common tree and forest property resources are of special significance to the poor.
Landless and treeless people depend on CFRs for a majority of their fuelwood and fodder
requirements as well as the collection of saleable products during off-seasons or drought
periods, when there are few other opportunities for employment and income generation
[70, 72, 119].

Compared to the mountain areas, management of CFRs in the dry regions is
relatively less developed. There are two reasons for this. First, the value of products from
the commons is relatively low, therefore, there is little incentive to invest in intensive
control measures. Second, the poor, who are most dependent on these resources, often lack
the economic or organizational power to properly manage the resources themselves or to
improve their productivity while wealthier villagers who have private resources are often
more interested in privatizing the commons than in preserving them. As a result, many

38 Common Forest Resource Management

Figure 2-3
Quantifying the Contribution of CPRs to Private Farming
in Dry Regions of India

The value of CPR's contribution to private farming throughout the agricultural cycle
Pre-sowing to pre-harvest 31-42%
Harvest 11-16%
Post-harvest 8-10"%

CPR contribution to total income (excluding relief and credit) during
Drought years 42-57%
Non-drought years 14-22%

How much resource availability would decline without CPRs
Draft power 68-76%
Manure/dung 35-43%
Land area for cash/crops 48-55%
Crop by product for sale 84-96%

Source: Jodha 1990

commons are subject to reallocation and encroachment [66, 70, 71,72] and have been
much reduced in size. One observer notes that in India, only ten percent of the original
rules governing the management of CPRs are still in effect [70,72]. Many commons have
been gradually redefined in practice as open access areas, due to indifference and neglect
by local villagers. Jodha [71] has indicated how both the rich and the poor have adapted
to the decline in area, productivity and management of CPRs (see Figure 2-4).

The conditions of CPRs vary considerably from place to place. In Gujarat,
India, it was found that where the prospects for irrigation and improved agriculture
are high, common property covers only a small percentage of the land and there is
little or no dependence on CPRs. But, in villages where prospects for agricultural
development are low, the area of common property lands is large and their resources
are important [66]. The preservation of CPRs is associated with the following village
characteristics [52, p. 241]:

* the number of parties sharing access to the resource is small,

* the parties sharing access repeatedly interact with each other over a long period,

* such parties share the harvests in an equitable fashion,

* the parties are also linked to each other by bonds of kinship or reciprocity in
contexts external to the resource use.

In one study, the following institutional similarities were noted among
CPRM regimes in communities of India's Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan states [7,
pp. 29-30]:

Asia 39

Figure 2-4

People's Adaptions to Changing Situations of CPRs
in Dry Regions of India

Measures adopted by different groups in the face of decline in area,
productivity and management systems of CPRs.

Rural rich Rural poor Rural community (general)

1. Withdrawal from
CPRs as user of
products: opportunity
cost of labour higher
than CPR product value.

2. Increased reliance on
alternative options:
* Own bio-mass of supplies
(stall feeding, etc.)
* Non-renewable/extemal
resources (e.g. replacing
stone fencing for thorn
fencing, wooden tyres for
carts, iron tools for local
wooden ones)

3. Private squeeze on CPRs
* Grabbing CPR lands
* Preventing others from
using seasonal CPRs
(private crop lands during

4. Approach to CPR
* Indifference to decline
of CPRs
* As rural influential
party to non-functioning
legal and administrative
superstructure for
community resources

Source: Jodha 1990

1. Use of CPRs as an
important source of sustenance:
complementarity of CPR and
PPR-based activities.

2. Acceptance of interior options:
* Opportunity cost of labour
lower than value of products of
degraded CPRs

3. Measures reflecting
* Premature harvesting of CPR
* Removal of roots/base of product
* Over-crowding and over-
exploitation of CPRs
* Use of hitherto unusable inferior

1. Acceptance of CPRs
as open access resources:
over-exploitation without

2. Selective approach to
specific CPR units: despite
general neglect of CPRs,
concern for some units.

3. Focus on "other" uses
of CPRs: Item in seeking
government subsidy/
relief in running local,
factional quarrels, in
populist programmes, etc.

4. Part of non-operating
legal and administrative

5. Structural changes/
focus on alternative
* Changes in livestock
composition (replacing
cattle w/sheep/goats, etc.)
* Agroforestry initiative
(revival of indigenous
agro-forestry, etc.)

Common Forest Resource Management

* village management organizations are unofficial bodies with no ties to official local
institutions such as the panchayat,

* village management organizations are dominated by elites and powerful
households of the village,

* intelligent leadership is important in protecting the benefits of the commons from
state appropriation,

* high levels of awareness exist in the villages, discussion is common,

* simple management covering most possible infractions exists,

* no privatizable benefits are allocated by the management organizations,

* produce of the commons is auctioned competitively to members,

* numerous checks and balances are present to protect money collected by auctioning
products from common lands, and

* funds for guarding the common resource lands are raised from collective assets
rather than from households.

The relationship between forests and water sources is also important in considering the
management of trees and forests as common property. Unfortunately, the presence of
common forest-water management arrangements has received little attention and only a
few descriptions are found in the literature.

One example is found in swidden-fallow systems where forest areas are often
conserved to protect local water supplies. Similar management and protection measures
exist in areas with more permanent cultivation. In the Ifugao region of the Philippines,
forests play an important role in ensuring a regular water supply for wet rice cultivation
[37]. In Sri Lanka, inspired by benevolent village leaders, some small forest areas are
maintained to protect village water sources (K.F. Wiersum, personal observation; see also
[132]). Water source protection is also quite common in villages in Nepal [88]. The
practice of planting and managing trees on the embankments of village ponds, for their
enhancement and protection from erosion, has been observed in Nepal's Terai lowlands
[119], as has the deliberate practice of planting trees to curb bank erosion along streams
and rivers (D. Messerschmidt, personal communication 1990). In instances where water
sources are sacred, the protection of their catchment forests is more readily assured.

In many societies of India, the Philippines and Thailand, and elsewhere, local people
traditionally preserve small patches of forest as "sacred groves" for the abode of local
spirits or deities [37,53, 100]. Originally, it was forbidden to remove products from these
forests. With increasing deforestation, these groves have become some of the last
remaining natural forest patches. In such cases, the collection of medicinal plants, leaf
litter and dead wood has been gradually accepted but removal of live wood is not normally
allowed. The control over these forests is closely inter-linked with local religious belief
and custom.

Asia 41

A religious basis for group management also exists in cases where trees and forest
reserves are owned or are under the supervision of monasteries or temples, or are
designated as common village properties. This occurs, for example, in Nepal, India and
Sri Lanka [84,93, 119]. Examples have even been observed of common property trees set
aside and managed exclusively for future socio-religious contingencies. In one Terai
(lowland) village of Nepal, certain mango trees, not intrinsically sacred, have been set
aside on common land, by village group decision, exclusively for use by treeless and
landless poor people for Hindu funeral pyres [ 119]. In Pakistan, trees in Muslim cemetery
grounds are reserved exclusively for the benefitof localreligious leaders (D. Messerschmidt,
personal communication 1990).

While a wide range of common forest management systems have been developed and
maintained in the past in many societies of South and Southeast Asia, in recent decades
many have been severely compromised by other development, or have lost their
importance, or have disappeared altogether from the landscape. Some causes of the
impairment of common management regimes are at least partially related to changes in
forest management practices.

As illustrated by the swidden-fallow related systems noted earlier, many indig-
enous practices seem to have been designed to control utilization of the natural vegetation
and to protect valuable tree species and their products. Little attention is given to active
tree propagation in the form of seeding or planting seedlings, although villagers some-
times take pains to protect and nurture naturally sprouted seedlings [87] (D. Messerschmidt,
personal communication 1990). This activity is usually unobserved and goes unrecorded
by researchers or forestry agents. Simple protection of forest and tree resources on
commons and reserves is a principle concern. Sustainability and regeneration for the
future, at least under earlier conditions, seems to have been taken for granted as a natural
process in which people do not often meddle.

Where tree planting does take place, the incentive is typically private. The planted
trees are owned mostly by the persons who plant them. In several regions such as south
Sumatra, Indonesia, the introduction of commercial tree crops, for example, rubber and
coffee has resulted in a declining importance of group-managed natural forests and forest
products. This, in turn, has contributed to the process of individualization, privatization
and commercialization [102]. Similarly, the advent of large-scale logging and the
extraction of other commercially valuable forest products in formerly isolated areas has
put heavy pressure on indigenous forest management practices. There are examples from
Sumatra [69] and from East Kalimantan, Indonesia [122]. In contrast to these observa-
tions, however, while private tree farming for profit has increased markedly in recent
years in the Nepal lowlands, no such concomitant decline in forest management on
commons has been noted [119].

One of the most important factors resulting in the decline of common forest
management appears to be the involvement and institutionalization of state control over
forest management. Several observers have noted that local interest in common forest
management has been reduced as a result of nationalization of forest land and the
development of national forestry services [6,120,121]. In Nepal, however, some observ-
ers question the actual impacts on village-managed forests by legislation nationalizing
forest lands. It has been proposed that, at least at some locations, the official cadastral
survey of 1975 had greater impact [57, see also 116].

42 Common Forest Resource Management

When some of the first national forestry codes were formulated, only limited
attention was given to the possibility of incorporating and developing local forest
management systems. In India, while some recognition of pre-existing local systems
did occur, only limited measures were taken to encourage or ensure their proper
functioning, such as the creation or further development of viable local institutions
for common forest management [7].

After India's independence, the area of forest under common property manage-
ment was greatly reduced and suffered from the inability of concerned persons to cope
with commercialization, individualization and demographic change [66,73]. In several
cases, privatization of common lands was even officially advocated in the framework
of land reform programmes [7, 113, 114].

Similarly, the conversion of common shamilat land management gradually
occurred in Pakistan's Azad Kashmir. Three phases of shamilat change have been
described. Informal partitioning came first, as families whose land adjoined shamilat
areas began to divide user rights among themselves. That was followed by incremental
appropriation, as partitioned lands began to be used for cultivation and the rights to
these lands became (informally) transferable. The final phase was gradual privatization,
and occurred as formal validation of private rights took place following abolishment of
the land tax on private lands [30, 31].

As a result of these kinds of changes, tenure and management arrangements
regarding commons in many Asian countries have now almost disappeared. These
include India, Indonesia, Philippines, and Malaysia or have survived only in weakened
form. In India, certain systems can still be found but mostly in the following agro-
ecological regions [7]:

* Arid and semi-arid regions, where communal lands have been reduced to an
average size of 20 ha per village; there are almost no specific management
regulations and due to their open access nature they have typically suffered heavy
degradation [Sect. "Semi-arid environments"];

* Hill areas, where communal lands may comprise 60 to 80 percent of the area,
sometimes up to one hectare per household, predominantly in the form of forest
lands which were formally under the control of the forest departments. Local
households have informal arrangements for collecting fodder, green mulch and
firewood on these lands [Sect. "Mountain environments"].

* Tribal belt in central India, where most forest lands were traditionally managed
as common properties. The main products collected were marketable minor
forest products, such as medicinal plants, honey, bamboo and marketable leaves,
rather than inputs to agriculture. Rapid and continuous privatization, much of it
by outsiders, has seriously weakened these systems [see also 10].

Despite the large number of sources cited here, there is, nonetheless, a dearth of
empirical data from which to evaluate the precise nature of indigenous management
systems or the scope and potential to re-invigorate or further develop them. Most studies
of these systems have been directed at specific forest products, and not at overall forest
management and utilization. Gilmour et al. [57] and other writers have noted that most
indigenous forest management systems emphasize the protection of larger trees and


often ignore seedling regeneration. As studies focus mostly on specific trees and tree
products neglecting whole forest systems, including forest grazing, full evaluation of the
merits of such systems is difficult.

A few studies of indigenous common forest resource management systems
support the notion that these systems allowed for both conservation and sustainability,
where "sustainability" refers to economic use and social conditions and not biological
regeneration. Arnold and Campbell [6] state that most indigenous forest management
systems tend to be very conservative and allow access to only a few products under
conditions of strict control. Molnar [93] observes that local management systems
develop when pressure on forest resources is sufficient to cause immediate concern but
not yet so great as to make locally applied controls unfeasible (also [56, 86, 87] and
Figure 2-2).

From our analysis it appears that many traditional and indigenous management
systems are directed at conserving forest resources but that current conditions call for
a change of focus-from the utilization of existing resources to the creation and
maintenance of new resources [7]. The response in many regions has been the
deliberate creation of new tree resources through tree planting as an essentially private
activity, by individual or household rather than as a public activity, by user group or

Both indigenous and traditional management systems are site- and culture-
specific and more precise empirical information is needed before firm conclusions can
be made about the long-term potential of specific cases. From available information,
however, we deduce that although existing forest management systems offer conclusive
proof about their significance, in many cases further adaptation of these systems
require attention to how they can be strengthened to withstand external pressures.
Modifications to existing management regimes may need to be made in institutional
and/or technical aspects. It is sometimes assumed that such adaptations can be
facilitated by carefully tailored external interventions. In the following discussion, we
describe the results of some outside interventions for common forest resource


Some externally linked systems are quite recent, and some date back several generations.
In this section, we discuss the following examples:

Indonesia, during the colonial period,

India, during the colonial period and recent experiences,

Nepal, recent experiences, and

Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka and Viet Nam, recent experiences.

The greater attention to India, Indonesia and Nepal reflects the relative wealth of
literature available from these countries [Sect."Country index"]. Other national examples
are rare or lacking altogether, suggesting need for further research.

44 Common Forest Resource Management

The colonial period
During the 1920s, under the Dutch administration, efforts were begun in Indonesia to
introduce formal common forest resource management schemes within the framework
of the marga system. The marga was a local juridical entity created in various parts of the
island of Sumatra which, among other things, was responsible for regulating land use
[ 102, 108]. The marga consisted of several villages and was headed by a council of village
leaders and elected representatives. Marga regulations were based upon a compromise
between local customary law and the colonial law. The marga jurisdictions included:

* regulation of land use; e.g. preservation of forest areas for future utilization or for
timber production by specific villages;

control over land allotments for swidden-fallow cultivation;

control over livestock grazing: marga members could freely graze their livestock
on marga forest land provided that agricultural crops were not damaged; sometimes
endangered agricultural lands were collectively fenced to protect them from
roaming livestock or wild animals; and

control over forest exploitation: any marga member could claim exclusive use
rights to valuable tree species for extraction of resin, gum or honey by marking the
tree and by annually clearing around that tree; outsiders had to ask permission to
collect such products and often had to pay a retribution to the marga council of one-
third the amount or value.

During the 1920s and early 1930s, the merits of such community organizations for
managing part of the natural forests was subject to various discussions within the
Indonesian forest department [60, 67, 68]. It was suggested that forest management
responsibilities be divided between the forest department and the local villages. Under
this proposal, the department would protect and manage crucial watersheds and commer-
cial timber production reserves, and local communities, with advice and technical
assistance from the forest department, would manage the remaining forests for local
needs. An experimental community forestry management scheme under supervision and
control of the district forest officer was also started in an area of teak forest on the island
of Java [3].

These innovative ideas, however, were never fully institutionalized. Under cus-
tomary law, planted trees were individually owned but after the introduction of commer-
cial tree crop cultivation of rubber or coffee, for example, interest declined as did
community involvement and control. Community control over forest land use also
diminished with the introduction of certain new laws, such as regulations on domain lands
and national forestry and agricultural ordinances. As a result, local land rights became
restricted to lands under actual cultivation [41, 102].

The colonial period
In the 1920s, British colonial authorities in India made a number of attempts at
introducing new local forest management systems. In Uttar Pradesh state, special local
"forest councils" (van panchayats) were created with the objective of providing a buffer
between state forests and local villagers [7, 9, 21, see also 107]. These councils were a

Asia 45

means to redress intense local opposition to the reservation of large tracts of state forest
lands. It was thought that the management of local forests should be carried out under
regulations drawn up and agreed upon by local communities.

The van panchayat council, which had a patron-client relationship with the larger
village community, could make rules dealing with local forest utilization, based on
general regulations issued by the government. The council was empowered to fine
offenders, impound cattle and deny a household use of forest resources if any of its
members broke the rules. To ensure adherence to the rules, including proper and fair
utilization of forest products, the forest councils normally appointed a paid forest guard.
Its own members could also act as forest watchers.

Opinions vary about the success of the forest council system. The most successful
examples shared certain characteristics [7, p. 31]. These included:

* the confidence of local villagers in the ability and willingness of government
institutions to adjudicate boundary disputes and large-scale external incursions,

* the confidence of local leaders in the forest council system, including agreement
to hold local elections in the absence of obvious or readily acceptable traditional

* the ability of the local council to maintain a guard system against encroachments
and illegal felling,

* internal rules to ensure equitable distribution and compliance, and

* a rule-making mechanism for rules to be created or changed as necessary.

Recent experiences
Several state governments in India, with national and international donor agency support,
have recently begun stimulating social forestry under CFR management schemes [8, 64,
110, 112, 118, 123]. The objectives of the project designs differ as do, not surprisingly,
their impacts and benefits. The results have been variably assessed in a plethora of
unpublished project evaluation documents. A recent review of the characteristics of
projects located in the hill regions of India provides the following observations regarding
their most common features [7, p. 33]:

* the amount of state forest land involved is relatively large, often around one hectare
per household,

* the state plays a major role in defining and protecting the boundaries of the forest
area against outside use and encroachment,

* most of the rules for forest utilization are developed by the village groups
themselves and vary widely between villages,

* harvesting forest products is generally controlled by simple rules that govern
timing, allowable tools and number of household members involved,

* fees, if any, are levied on a household basis rather than on the quantity harvested,

46 Common Forest Resource Management

* collected fees are most commonly used to pay for a guard,

* in most villages, all households have similar patterns of resource use and all use
the CPRs, and

* the local management organization is formed at the level of the village user group,
rather than at the level of formal village administration.

Two successful externally initiated projects in the dry region of India show the
following similarities [8]:

* the initiative to undertake projects came from external organizations, usually with
the support of influential local leaders,

* the management organization is much less dominated by powerful families than
is the case of locally initiated projects,

* investment costs were paid by the external sponsors but the costs of
maintenance, operation and reinvestment were met from income gained
through the project,

* the rules which were established for distribution of grass favoured households with
less private resources but the distribution of other benefits was proportional to
private resources,

* strict rules were employed to protect the forests against open access overgrazing
by large, privately owned livestock herds, and

* rules on forest management varied widely and could be changed frequently,
provided that these changes were locally discussed and evaluated for their

Various projects have shown that interest in common resource management is
facilitated in cases where the productivity of marginal lands is increased by technical
measures providing fast return. Examples are the increased production of grass for
fodder, marketable leaf products and water harvesting for crop cultivation. Tree
growing should be considered as a complementary activity. The development of
processing and marketing linkages also stimulates interest in common property
resource management [112].

Although these examples show that proper local institutions and technical mea-
sures may stimulate the development of new common resource management systems,
several authors have argued that, to be truly effective, further adjustments in the national
forestry codes are also needed [114] (see Figure 2-5).

Recent experiences
During the past decade, several new initiatives have been undertaken by forestry
departments and/or local development organizations in South and Southeast Asia to
stimulate community forestry management. Nepal, like India, provides some of the most
well-developed and promising examples.

Asia 47

Figure 2-5
Factors Influencing the Future Prospects of CPRs
in Dry Regions of India

Constraining framework Imperatives supporting Future of CPRs: possible
for CPRs rehabilitation of CPRs options and dilemma

Undeclared, regressive state
policy towards CPRs (privat-
-ization, lack of management)

* People's response: land grabbing
over-exploitation and indifference
to CPRs
* Missing CPR-perspective of
development interventions (fiscal,
technological and institutional
measures for CPRs)
* Negative side-effects of develop-
ment interventions (fiscal, techno-
logical and institutional measures
for CPRs)
* CPRs made open access re-
sources, conductive to tragedy
of commons

Ecological and long-term
sustainability concerns
(i.e. required resource use
systems in regions with
sub-marginal lands and
high climatic variability)

Complementarity of CPR
and PPR-based farming
systems (i.e. due to non-
covariability of input
needs and product flows
and narrow and unstable
base of private crop-

Sustenance of rural poor
(through product supply,
employment and income
generation, etc.)

Positive policies restricting
further reduction in CPR
area (obstacles: new social
culture, collective indiffer-
ence and land grabbing)

High investment needs for
high productivity
(obstacles: long gestation
period, invisibility of gains
by narrow cost-benefit

Rehabilitation and sustain-
ing of CPRs as high-
productivity community
assets (technology with
focus on diversification
and user perspectives;
management by user groups
based on equal stake and
equal share in gains)

A great amount of attention has been given recently to the development of
community forestry management in Nepal. Studies by Acharya [1], Arnold and
Campbell [6], Bista et al. [14], Fox [51], Gilmour et al. [57] and Messerschmidt [86]
represent only a small portion of the literature [see below, Country index]

Recent changes in Nepal's form of government, following a popular 1990
uprising, will certainly affect forestry management and development policy. The old
system of local village councils (gaun panchayats) is now gone, as is the system of
panchayat forests (PFs) and panchayat-protected forests (PPFs). The recently promul-
gated Forestry Sector Master Plan of 1989 has been postponed until new directions can
be considered and appropriate new, non-panchayat-based legislation put in place.
Community forestry and the fundamental tenants of community management of
resources are not likely to be abandoned, however. The literature reflects those earlier
conditions of panchayat forestry.

48 Common Forest Resource Management

In 1957, Nepal passed the Private Forest Nationalization Act which nationalized
virtually all forests in the country. New legislation in 1976 then reversed twenty years of
policy, quickly followed by amendments and rules creating PFs and PPFs; PFs consisted
of newly established plantations and PPFs referred to existing forests. (Currently, these
two types are both called "community forests".)

By the early 1980s, a special division of the forestry department was established
for panchavat-based community forestry, externally supported by the Food and Agricul-
ture Organization of the UN, the UN Development Programme and the World Bank.
Other donors designed forestry and watershed management projects with similar goals.
With their assistance, the formal establishment of PPFs took place in three steps (for
greater detail see [6, 46]):

* a request from the local panchavat (council) to the government to hand over a
designated forest area,

* the establishment of a PF user committee, to supervise and support all community
forestry activities, including equitable distribution of products, and

* the drawing up of a management plan, prepared by the village council (gaun
panchayat) with technical assistance by the district forestry officer and a community
forestry assistant. After approval by the regional forestry director, the plan served
as a legal agreement between the government, the village panchayat and the people
who comprise the local user group.

In order to assure proper functioning of the forest committees, several guidelines
were prepared [6, 129]. The guidelines stipulated that:

* the committee should represent the people who are directly utilizing the forest
lands, including women, who are usually the primary collectors of many forest

* the committee should be non-partisan and represent different social and political
groups; it is advisable that the chairman not hold an official administrative political
function. However, in more recent legal amendments the local chairman was
designated to preside over all user groups in his community. The composition of
the committee and number of members, 10 to 25, should remain flexible to
facilitate adjustment to different conditions; and

* the committee should be formed through open elections.

The actual number of management plans created and forests handed over to local
management committees is not encouraging. While considerable experience about
opportunities and constraints in the programme has been gained [57], by the late 1980s,
almost a decade into the community forestry programme, only about two percent of the
total forest area had been brought under this kind of formal community management

Much of the other 98 percent of forest lands, officially under the responsibility of
government forestry officers, is also used by local villagers to satisfy their subsistence
needs. In many areas they are managed by even more effective informal local and


customary methods [Sect. "Mountain environments"]. This observation questions whether
it is effective to establish a specific category of community forest areas, or whether the
state CFR management programmes should be changed to reflect the wide variety of
management types and local interests that exist among local forest user groups [57].

Recent experiences
A few other examples of recent changes are mentioned briefly in the literature. In Papua
New Guinea, after independence in 1975, customary land tenure became a major principle
in the formulation of national forestry legislation [106, 127, 130]. In Sri Lanka, it was
recently suggested that community forestry might best be stimulated by including not only
new plantations in common forest management schemes but also by involving villagers
in the management of existing natural forest regimes [132].

The experience of Viet Nam points out clearly the negative impacts that occur when
collective management is mandated directly from above without appreciation or under-
standing of local tradition, experience or capability and with little assistance from state
agencies. The Vietnamese result is, in comparison to other Asian countries, not very
promising. Since the mid-1970s, after the war, the Vietnamese system of land and tree
tenure has been variously and confusingly redesigned. All land, including forest land, is
controlled by the state. The state assigns management responsibility to various collective
management groups, and to individuals, including cooperatives, agricultural and silvicul-
tural production teams, military groups and various state-owned institutions and enterprises.
It has also implemented a contract system for collective enterprises for the production of
pulpwood, tree seedlings and timber.

It has been recently reported that, during the 1980s, collective groups had "been
given access to large areas of uplands very suddenly, with unclear rules, and with little if
any technical or financial assistance". The result "was an acceleration of forest degrada-
tion. In the absence of guarantees about the duration of the allocation, land users did not
invest themselves, and used the land in inappropriate ways" planting on steep slopes,
cutting trees indiscriminately, and "thereby accelerating the process of degradation
instead of reversing it, as the government hoped. ... it will take time and observation of
others' experiences before farmers realize that the long-term returns from trees are, in fact,
substantial and worth their efforts". But, so far, they have not exhibited a very positive
or long-term view [19, p. 4-6].


There may be several objectives, not all of which are necessarily congruent, for
stimulating CFR management systems. The potential and the success of such systems in
rural development can, therefore, only be properly assessed according to rather precisely
defined goals. An analysis of the problems confronting development should be clearly
made before deciding on the scope of specific local management plans. In making such
an analysis, two lessons from the literature must be borne in mind. One is the close
relationship that exists between natural resource degradation and both deprivation and
inequality among the rural poor. The other is that purely technocratic approaches and
solutions to resource management issues are insufficient without due attention to local
socio-cultural variables and other situational factors.

Common Forest Resource Management

In the past, many effective common forest resource management systems were associated
with small, independent and largely homogeneous communities, relatively self-sufficient
and remote from outside pressures and impacts. Many functioned under relatively informal
social organization and control arrangements. In some cases, institutional coordination was
weak, with cooperation tending to be ad hoc, based on casual contacts and voluntary
commitments, often lacking community-wide sanctions. Small-scale forest swidden-
fallow groups are one example. In comparison with farmer groups engaged in permanent
agriculture, forest swiddeners generally show weaker institutional coordination overall.
With changes in the socio-cultural and economic conditions that once underlay and allowed
for the existence of informal swidden-based forest management systems, their insufficiency
and weaknesses in the modern context can be seen. It is uncertain whether they can be
looked to as a basis for improved systems of common resource management, able to
withstand current conditions of increased competition for forest and land resources.

Several traditional arrangements for common forest management, such as those in
swidden-fallow cultivation areas, were closely linked to cultural values and religious
sanctions. These values are highly susceptible to change, however, and, therefore, little
correlation can be expected between such older collectivist traditions and successful
CFR management schemes in the modern context. Resource management systems which
were based on group decision making about land use practices, and less bound to cultural
sanctions and hierarchical control systems, seem to offer more scope for adaptation and
use in developing new and improved forest management schemes.

Most older CFR management practices were directed at the control and protection
of valuable forest resources and species. Active tree propagation in the form of tree
planting was not prominent. Tree planting was mostly a private activity which often
developed within the context of gradual individualization and commercialization of
natural resources, or as a direct response to increasing resource degradation and
inaccessibility, as Gilmour [56] points out (see Figure 2-2). Therefore, while traditional
but relatively formalized group management schemes lend themselves best to the
development of new forest management systems, those necessitating active tree propa-
gation through planting require the development of new practices and regulations.

Under current conditions of heavy competition for forest products by various
groups throughout Asia and the world, effective common forest management may
require more than a reliance on traditional models. Modem developments may require
modification of older models and newer forms of mixed management involving state
institutions. The latter may be necessary in order to provide local management groups
with the necessary authority, information and technical assistance to proceed. A gradual
transformation from a system based primarily on common property to a system based on
common interest may be necessary.

For the creation of effective local management control systems, there are three main
institutional requisites to consider:

* the provision of secure tenure for specific user groups,

* the development of systems of regulation and enforcement based on local decision
making, and


the design of mechanisms for reinvestment of proceeds from forest use for future
management needs.

As the rural environment becomes more complex, there is a greater need to
formalize collective forest management arrangements at both the local and state level. At
issue are questions of empowerment and enablement of local people in forest management
groups to maintain and improve forest resources, and to assure that there are incentives
for long-term involvement and sustainability of effort.

Regarding empowerment, collective forest management requires community or
other group control over the behaviour of the membership as well as the ability to exclude
outsiders. Neither follows automatically from statutory or customary ownership of forest
lands. Consequently, in developing CFR management systems, ample attention must be
given to the creation or strengthening of proper institutional foundations, based on
common interest and responsible for management and control. The creation of effective
local arrangements for control should receive attention at least equal to that received by
the introduction of new management techniques.

Regarding enablement, CFR management systems will not be sustainable if
measures are not taken to back them with appropriate legislation with respect to tenure and
cooperative organization. It is of special importance that state institutions legitimize and
assist local groups to formulate and enforce rules of group access to, and non-member
exclusion from, common forest areas.

Regarding incentives, the creation of assurance for proper implementation of resource
management practices is most important when developing new CFR management systems.
The creation of assurances is assisted by defining, as quickly as possible, the benefits to group
membership. This may be done either by securing early production pay-offs, e.g. harvest from
existing vegetation or by creating readily visible environmental protection measures, over
village water supplies, irrigation canals, soil stabilization, etc. Increased forest productivity,
however, may have counterproductive results, such as increased interest by others who are not
the traditional or targeted beneficiaries. Pressure toward privatization or illegal appropriation
of common lands and forests may rise. Therefore, in cases where common management
schemes are directed at specific categories of people, such as the very poor, women or tribal
people, attention must be given to ways to empower them to protect and sustain the benefits.
Empowerment itself is a strong incentive.

Group management schemes function best if they are organized in accordance with
local socio-economic and cultural realities. Under conditions of social stratification, care must
be taken that the local elite does not consider itself negatively affected by not being included
in schemes to give group rights to specific underprivileged community members. If they think
they have been discriminated against, or are being negatively affected by the development
effort, local power struggles may develop, or be enlarged, which could undermine or destroy
the forest management activity and have adverse effects on the resource.


After careful consideration of the objectives for developing CFR management systems,
three major sets of factors stand out for their roles in the successful implementation of such

Common Forest Resource Management

Local conditions which are generally conducive to common resource management include:

* a relatively homogeneous population,

* either small group size with membership based on common interests and self-
selected leaders, and/or relatively strong and generally accepted community
institutions for decision making and rule enforcement in the case of larger groups,

* existing (remnants of) traditional or indigenous common management systems,
based on group control rather than on hierarchical control,

reasonable equity among group members with respect to access to forest resources
and assurance about how individual members will participate in management
activities and benefits, and

* presence of local regulations with respect to reinvestment of part of the benefits
from communal forest management in sustainable control mechanisms.

Common forest management seems to offer most scope for further development under
the following conditions:

* where forests are intimately linked to not yet predominantly commercialized
farming systems,

* where management activities allow for early and clearly visible benefits in the
form of products to be used either in the household or the farm enterprise
(agriculture and livestock), and

where productivity of the forest (in minor forest products such as fodder, as well
as in wood) is sufficiently high or can be relatively easily increased so as to allow
for profitable returns to management investments.

The further development of common forest management is favoured by the presence of
the following certain state institutions:

regulations in respect to tenure on common property and/or to cooperative

government willingness to assist local groups to formulate and enforce rules of
group access to, and non-member exclusion from, common forest areas, and

forest policy andimplementation structure thatprovides at least equal attention to a "people-
centred" forestry paradigm as to the currently more dominant "forest-centred" one.

Successful common forest management is conditioned by all of these factors and
all of them operate in conjunction, rather than independently. Many of these conditional
factors are dynamic, rather than static. To be sustainable, CFR management systems
must, therefore, be amenable to regular adaptation to social and institutional change.

Asia 53


Altogether 132 references, mostly articles and books, were used in this study and are
annotated below. In compiling the materials, the authors utilized library collections at the
Agricultural University Wageningen, the Netherlands and the Overseas Development
Institute (ODI), London. Also consulted were the bibliography in Fortmann and Riddell
(1985) and the CAB (Commonwealth Agricultural Bureaux) bibliography data-base.
Extensive use of the literature review and state-of-knowledge report on CPRM in India
by Arnold and Stewart (1989) is also acknowledged. We wish to thank the librarians and
staff of the various institutions for their assistance.

Numbers in parentheses or brackets refer to other articles in this bibliography.










17, 22


45, 52, 53, 59, 62, 64, 66, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 90, 91,
92, 94, 101, 105, 107, 109, 110, 111, 112, 113,
114, 118, 121,123

3,36,41,42,60,67,68,69, 89,98,99, 102, 108, 122, 127

1,4,6, 14,27,29,34, 47,51,56, 57, 65, 81, 83, 84,
86, 87, 88, 93, 117, 119, 124, 129


127, 130

37,75,97, 115





20,54, 131, 132

21,58,76,77,78,94,100,120, 125


26,27,38,48,63,82,95, 116



2, 13,15,24,26,35,44,46,49,50,55,61,79,
80, 85, 96, 103, 104, 106, 122, 128

Common Forest Resource Management


1. Acharya, H.P. 1989. Jirel property arrangements and the management of forest
and pasture resources in highland Nepal. Development Anthropology Network
7 (2):16-25. Institute for Development Anthropology, Binghamton, USA.

NEPAL The author examines the major aspects of property arrangements in and
around the Jiri river valley in Dolakha District and the impact of these arrange-
ments on forest and pasture management. In Jiri, property rights to wood and
fodder are very complex and cannot be well comprehended by lumping them
grossly as "forests" and "pastures", or as "communal", "private" or "state
property". Not only are additional forms of ownership (e.g. joint and coopera-
tive) widespread but rights differ according to the particular resource, kinship,
residence, purpose, previous use and season.

The author describes the influence of government rules and acts, the joint
ownership system and usufruct rights, symbolic methods of protection, the
management of conflicts, property arrangements in the neighbourhood and some
policy implications. Even with increased external pressures, the Jirel people
have maintained a balance between the use of wood and its sustainable availabil-
ity in the forest. The diversified and differentiated property arrangements
practised by the Jirel people have positive effects on use, availability, distribu-
tion and conflicts associated with forest and pasture resources and should be
supported and strengthened.

2. Agrawal, B. 1986. Cold hearths and barren slopes: the woodfuel crisis in the
Third World. Studies in Economic Development and Planning 40. Institute of
Economic Growth, New Delhi, India.

GENERAL With depleting forests and shrinking supplies of firewood, a vast
section of the developing world dependent upon woodfuels for domestic energy
is facing a crisis. Evidence from Asia, Africa and Latin America is used to
analyse the scale of the crisis, its consequences and solutions offered for its
alleviation. Attempts to promote afforestation and improved wood burning
stoves are found to have had little success, largely due to socio-economic
inequalities and the poverty characterizing developing world societies. Based on
empirical evidence, a case is made for following a participatory approach in such
schemes, involving the rural poor and, especially, women. The importance of
community land use priorities and prevailing land distribution patterns when
initiating social forestry is stressed. The role of emerging movements among the
rural poor in pressing for change at the grassroots level is considered.

3. Anonymous. 1922. Desaboschjes. [Small village forests.] Tectona 15:77-78.
(In Dutch.)

INDONESIA In 1922, at Ngawi, Java, a village forest of 5 ha was established
under a forestry service initiative on forest land unsuitable for agriculture. The
forest was managed by the local village. Villagers were allowed to harvest timber
for local or commercial use. Forest grazing was forbidden. Overall supervision
and control was exercised by the district forest officer.

Asia 55

4. Applegate, G.B. and Gilmour, D.A. 1987. Operational experiences in forest
management development in the hills of Nepal. ICIMOD Occasional Paper.
International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, Kathmandu,

NEPAL The authors discuss relations between forests and the mixed farming
systems in the middle hills and review recent developments in forestry, particu-
larly in light of experiences of the Nepal-Australia Forestry Project (NAFP).
Farming systems are heavily dependent on the forest which is being rapidly
depleted. The long-term sustainability of farming systems in their current forms
depends on a substantial increase in the area under some form of tree cover.
Community forestry programmes established during recent years have produced
heartening results but the scope and vision of these projects must be greatly
expanded if they are to have any lasting impact. Almost all uncultivated land
capable of supporting trees will need to be managed for tree crops. If forest
management is to be carried out directly for the local people, it is only logical that
management be carried out by the local people, albeit with guidance from those
with technical expertise.

5. Arnold, J.E.M., Bergman, A. and Djurfeldt, G. 1987. Forestry for the poor?
An evaluation of the SIDA supported social forestry project in Tamil Nadu, India.
SIDA Evaluation Report Series 1987/8. Swedish International Development
Authority, Stockholm, Sweden.

INDIA Objectives, performance and achievements, and assumptions underlying
a social forestry project in India are reviewed in relation to silviculture, ecology,
economics, sociology and project management. Although 158,000 ha of planta-
tions were established on communal lands (71 percent of target), survival rates
and yields have been very poor. So far the project has had little effect on the target
groups of villagers (landless, small and marginal farmers, women and children).
One of the assumptions underlying the project concerns the previous use of CPRs.
The authors conclude that conflicts over the use of CPRs were handled too easily
and the complexities of changing use of the common lands and resources were

6. Arnold, J.E.M. and Campbell, J.G. 1986. Collective management of hill
forests in Nepal: the Community Forestry Development Project. Pp. 425-455, in
Proceedings of the Conference on Common Property Resource Management.
National Research Council/BOSTID. National Academy Press, Washington

NEPAL The topic of this paper is the progress made in initiating and institution-
alizing community forestry in the hill areas of Nepal through the Community
Forestry Development Project (CFDP). The study encompasses an initiative by
the Nepal government to provide a widely applicable framework for developing
productive local forest management systems suited to current needs, which
builds upon local traditions and practices for CFR management. The historical
background of the CFDP Project, decision making arrangements, pre-existing
local forest management systems, project-based patterns of interaction and
outcomes are discussed. Although experiences to date are limited, they are
regarded as being quite encouraging.

Common Forest Resource Management

7. Arnold, J.E.M. and Stewart, W.C. 1989. Common property resource manage-
ment in India. Report to the World Bank, India Agriculture Division. World
Bank, Washington DC, USA.

INDIA The authors review the state-of-knowledge regarding CPRM in India,
based on published and unpublished sources and discussions with researchers. In
the 19th century, up to two thirds of the land in India was under community
control but privatization and government appropriation have reduced this share.
Many traditional and indigenous forms of CPRM have weakened or collapsed.
The condition of remaining CPRs, factors influencing the value of CPRs,
institutional requisites for CPRM and some promising approaches are reviewed.
The authors conclude that, despite the erosion of CPRs and CPRM regimes, they
still play a very important role in agricultural systems and in the livelihoods of
the poor. In order to make progress towards sustainable CPRM it will be
necessary to give high priority to correcting policy, legal anomalies and weak-
nesses which undermine CPRM arrangements or which encourage further

8. Bahuguna, S. 1988. Chipko: the people's movement with a hope for the survival
of humankind. IFDA Dossier No. 63:3-14. International Foundation for Devel-
opment Alternatives, Geneva, Switzerland.

INDIA This paper describes the philosophy of the chipko movement in India,
whose members "hug" trees to prevent them being felled and who have revived
traditional agroforestry. In the countrywide debate on new forest policy, the
movement's stand is:
remaining natural forests should be preserved;
water should be declared the main product of forests, besides oxygen and
monoculture forests should be converted into mixed forests with priority
given to food, fodder, fuel, fertilizers and fibre trees for self-sufficiency in
basic needs; and,
community control over the forests, development and environment are

9. Ballabh, V. and Singh, K. 1988. Managing forests through people's institu-
tions: a case study of van panchayats in Uttar Pradesh hills. Indian Journal of
Agricultural Economics 43(3):296-304.

INDIA The historical evolution, organizational structure, management, resource
utilization and enforcement of regulations of four forest councils (van panchayats)
in India are discussed. Forest councils have the authority to levy fines for misuse
of forest resources and collect fees from users. They are responsible for internal
management and grazing, the collection of fuelwood, fodder and for protection.
Forest Council members are informally elected and produce is distributed fairly
among the members of the village community. Although the authority to levy fees
and fines and to punish offenders has been reduced because of rule changes, this
method of forest management is considered promising.

10. Basu, N.G. 1987. Forests and tribals. Manisha Granthalaya, Calcutta, India,
196 pp.

Asia 57

INDIA Forest problems are analysed from the point of view of forest-
dwelling communities. A new forest policy with a new outlook for
management is suggested to arrest further denudation of the forests and to
enlist people's participation in the forest regeneration movement. The study
is based on formal and participatory research and on demonstrative
experiments in the forest zones of India. Case studies of forest village
dwellers in eight villages of West Bengal and three in Ranchi District,
Bihar, are presented. They include accounts of women headloaders on the
Chotanagpur Plateau of Bihar, a community forestry management project
and utilization of common lands.

11. Basu, N.G. 1984. Community forestry and the local community. Pp.193-204, in
Strategies and designs for afforestation, reforestation and tree planting: proceedings
of an international symposium on the occasion of 100 years of forestry education
andresearch in the Netherlands, Wageningen, 19-23 September 1983. Wageningen,

INDIA The importance of non-governmental or private voluntary organizations
(NGOs, PVOs) in the successful development of community forestry is discussed
in the context of a case study from Bero, in Bihar. Some 120 villages there are
inhabited mostly by tribal people, where deforestation has reduced the land still
under forest to 12-15 percent. Some villages have independently initiated
schemes for protecting and developing the remaining natural forest. The catalytic
role of local NGOs in stimulating further development of communal forest
management is noted.

12. Bentley, W.R., Singh, G.B. and Chatterjee, N. 1987. Tenure and agroforestry
potentials in India. Pp.231-237, in Raintree, J.B. (ed.). Land, trees and tenure:
proceedings of an international workshop on Tenure Issues in Agroforestry.
International Council on Research in Agroforestry, Nairobi, Kenya.

INDIA In this article, the degradation of land and tenure problems are briefly
described. Current land use and tenure problems can be understood in terms of
legal forests, marginal cultivated lands and commons or revenue lands. The
authors conclude that there are tenurial insecurities on at least 100 million ha of
cultivated and common lands. Clarification and assignment of tenure rights could
increase productivity and assignment of rights to villagers, organizations and
individuals representing the resource-poor or landless offer potential for using the
productivity increases to alleviate poverty.

13. Berkes, F. (ed.). 1989. Common property resources: ecology and community-
based sustainable development. Belhaven Press, London, UK.

GENERAL This is a wide-ranging survey of the role and importance of natural
resources held in common ownership and the issues raised by their conservation
as a key element of sustainable economic development. Theoretical problems and
case studies are presented by several authors.

14. Bista, R.B., Sivapati, B.B. and Shrestha, S.M. 1986. Forest management and
utilization. A special report submitted to the CFDP, Study Group B. Community
Forestry Development Project, Kathmandu, Nepal.

Common Forest Resource Management

NEPAL This report deals with the process of management plan preparation and
implementation in the Community Forestry Development Project (CFDP).
Indigenous forest management systems are reviewed together with the current
state of people's participation in the management planning process. Two ex-
amples of local forest management through informal village committees are
given. The scope and functions of management plans are reviewed. A brief
description of experience with management plan formulation and implementa-
tion is also given.

15. Blaikie, P. and Brookfield, H. 1987. The degradation of common
property resources: common property resources and degradation worldwide.
Pp.186-196, in Blaikie, P. and Brookfield, H. (eds.). Land degradation and
society. Methuen, London, UK.

GENERAL The authors describe how and why CPRs are particularly vulnerable
to induced degradation. The paper provides a definition of CPRs and describes
a framework which links resources to management. Social interaction between
users and outcomes in terms of maintenance or degradation of resources,
relations between private and common lands and the role of the state are
discussed. Changes in CPR decision making and management are analysed.

16. Blaikie, P., Harris, J.C. and Pain, A.N. 1986. The management and use of
common property resources in Tamil Nadu, India. Pp.481-504, in Proceedings of
the conference on Common Property Resource Management. National Academy
Press, Washington DC, USA.

INDIA This study focuses on land-based CPRs, like fuel, fodder and other
forest products, in Tamil Nadu. The commons in Tamil Nadu are those lands
defined as:
poromboke or lands incapable of cultivation or set apart for public or
communal purposes,
"wastelands", and
areas designated under terms of the forest act as either reserve forests or
revenue forests.

Field investigations at the village level show that there is a good deal of diversity
regarding the importance of CPRs in the economy. The CPR is analysed
according to the model of Oakerson [96], paying particular attention to technical
and physical attributes, decision making arrangements and patterns of interac-

17. Blair, H. 1987. Local government and rural development in the Bengal sundarbans:
an inquiry in managing common property resources. Paper prepared for the
Smithsonian Institution/SSRC/ACLS Sundarbans Workshop, Washington DC.
Smithsonian Institution and Joint Committee on South Asia of the Social Science
Research Council and American Council of Learned Societies, Washington DC,

BANGLADESH and INDIA The Bengal sundarbans constitute the one remaining
major natural resource of Bangladesh and India's West Bengal region that has not
been fully exploited. The area of the sundarbans appears to have been both


expanding and contracting over the years. It contains usable forest species,
including a wide variety of mangroves. Population pressure and the economic
value of sundarban resources, however, threaten the resource; an immensely
valuable CPR is in grave danger. In order to forestall over-exploitation, one
possible approach is to encourage local authorities to manage the resource in their
own long term interest by treating it as a CPR for sustained yield. The potentials
and outlooks for CPRM in Bangladesh and, specifically, for the sundarbans are

18. van Blitteswijk, J.D. 1985. Non-governmental organizations and social forestry
in India. Department of Forest Management, Agricultural University Wageningen,

INDIA A review of the literature, including a list of non-governmental organi-
zations involved in forestry activities. A case history of the efforts of the Ranchi
Consortium for Community Forestry, Bihar, is included. The consortium was
established to stimulate community forestry activities.

19. Bloch, P.C. and Oesterberg, T. 1989. Land tenure and allocation situation and
policy in Viet Nam, with special reference to the Forest Development Area (Vinh
Phu, Hoang Lien Son and Ha Tuyen Provinces). A report to SIDA. Swedish
International Development Agency, Stockholm, Sweden.

VIET NAM This is ajoint assessment (the first of its kind) of the current situation
regarding land tenure and policy and land allocation with special reference to the
Forestry Development Area in three provinces in which SIDA is working with the
Vietnamese government. The report is divided into several parts, including recent
policy reform, recommendations for reconsideration of regulations and policy,
recommended policy studies prior to and during the project period, cadastral
activities, assessment of land allocation policy and proposals on project activities.
The authors provide ample evidence of the difficulties of top-down intervention
in land and tree resource management at the local level without due attention to
local tradition, experience and capabilities and without the necessary assistance
to help collective groups and farmers deal with the technical problems.

20. Bogahawatte, C. 1986. Erosion of common property resources: evidence from
villages in the dry zone districts of Sri Lanka. Agricultural Administration

SRI LANKA CPRs form a major agricultural resource base in the villages of Sri
Lanka but they have deteriorated in recent years. This research study was
conducted in two districts to investigate the major causes. The irregular felling of
trees for timber and the clearing and burning of forests for rainfed rotational
cultivation were evident. Over-grazing of communal pastures is not a serious
problem due to the low cattle and buffalo population. Income from CPRs is
significant in the drier districts.

21. Brinkman, W. 1988. Village woodlots and other approaches to community
forestry as means of rural development: the case of Ban Pong, Sri Saket,
Northeast Thailand. MSc student paper. Department of Forest Management,
Agricultural University Wageningen, Netherlands.

6 0 Common Forest Resource Management

THAILAND This paper presents a detailed qualitative case study of the village
of Ban Pong in Sri Saket Province, in Thailand. The research focuses on
management and possible use of village woodlots established under a country-
wide project on renewable non-conventional energy by the Royal Thai Govern-
ment and USAID. The set-up and results of the woodlot are critically examined.
Villagers did not participate in the planning and no plans for management or for
the distribution of benefits were agreed upon. The poorer classes, especially, are
heavily dependent on free access to grazing land and forest resources for the
collection of fuelwood and fruits. This case illustrates the need for villagers' active
involvement in the planning and design of development projects. Social organiza-
tion and the various interest groups of villagers should be taken into account.

22. Briscoe, J. 1979. Energy use and social structure in a Bangladesh village.
Population and Development Review 5(4):615-643.

BANGLADESH Distribution of natural resources in a Bangladeshi village is
related to the control over resources and the structure of the social institutions
present. The production and distribution of food, fodder, fuel and fertilizer is
examined in a village sample. The findings show that traditional patron-client
relationships, through which the poor and landless used to gain access to fuels
such as crop residues from rich landowners' fields, have broken down. Under the
current system, distribution of land and other resources takes place among
people of the same class. The poor, particularly the Hindu minority, are
constrained by this arrangement. The bulk of income of such families is spent on
food and the increasing amount of money spent on fuel increases their depriva-
tion. Introduction of energy-saving technologies would be ineffective due to the
control of resources and power by the richer members of the community.

23. Brokensha, D. 1988. Village-level management of common property re-
sources, especially fuelwood and fodder resources, in Karnataka, India. A report
to the World Bank, Washington DC, USA.

INDIA This report is based on a tour in Karnataka State, supplemented by
interviews and selected reading. The author discusses CPRs and considers a
wide range of socio-economic and biophysical factors. The common lands of
Karnataka include gomal lands, tank foreshores and "wastelands". Most common
lands are degraded. A report by N.S. Jodha is summarized in some detail and
important CPRM issues are addressed. The author concludes that CPRs cannot
be examined in isolation. Without participation in decision making and
management of social forestry projects there is no social forestry. While
Karnataka's social forestry programme is not a failure, it can be improved.

24. Brokensha, D. 1986. Local management systems and sustainability. Paper
prepared for the annual meeting of the Society for Economic Anthropology,
Riverside, USA.

GENERAL The essence of this paper is the "fit" between "new things"
(specifically agricultural policies and innovations) and "customs" (local systems
and natural resource management). It is organized in four sections:
an overview of writers who have recognized the salience of what local
farmers actually do in considering agricultural change; the author says that


there are many illustrative examples from Asia and Latin America but
confines himself to rural Africa;
a critical examination of the advantages and associated problems of trying
to incorporate local management systems to attain sustainability in rural
households, including a summary of major negative perceptions of this
specific issues of implementing such "development from below", and
recommendations and conclusions.

25. Brokensha, D. and Castro, A.H.P. 1987. Common property resources. Back-
ground paper for the expert consultation on Forestry and Food Production/
Security, Bangalore, India. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United
Nations, Rome, Italy.

INDIA The authors introduce and define the subject of CPRs and review relevant
literature. General trends are considered: rapid population growth, commercial-
ization of resources, state intervention and privatization. Several case studies are
presented in which opinions about CPR regimes are developed and illustrated. In
addition to case studies from Africa (Kenya and Niger), a study from the drylands
of India is given. The authors present ten conclusions on the value of CPRs and
on the possibilities and requisites of successful CPRM.

26. Bromley, D.W. 1986. On common property regimes. A paper presented at the
ICIMOD/EAPI/AKRSP workshop on Institutional Development for Local Man-
agement of Rural Resources, Gilgit, Pakistan. International Centre for Integrated
Mountain Development, Kathmandu, Nepal.

GENERAL and REGIONAL The author establishes the basic terms and
concepts essential for discussing CPRM systems. For collective goods, those
provided by groups for their own benefit, management systems require not only
appropriate institutional arrangements (property rights) but also organizational
arrangements (group management structures) which, together, create the common
property regimes. The functions of CPR regimes are discussed, including
defining who is a member of the group and how decisions are made. Four criteria
for success of CPR regimes are recognized:
the degree to which views on outcomes and equity are shared by
the amount of effort expended to achieve compliance,
the capacity to cope collectively with unexpected perturbations in the
short run,
the capacity to adjust to new scarcities, problems and priorities over the
long run.
(Also summarized in 39.)

27. Bromley, D.W. and Chapagain, D.P. 1984. The village against the center:
resource depletion in South Asia. American Journal of Agricultural Economics

NEPAL and REGIONAL A review of the institutional aspects that define
there source use behaviour of villagers in South Asia. The tensions between the
village and the centre are discussed in terms of different priorities in resource

62 Common Forest Resource Management

use, objectives regarding that use and the means for addressing conflicts
among users at the local level or between local and outside levels.

The nationalization of all forest lands in Nepal in 1957 is taken as an
example, and the priorities and objectives of resource use of 140 people in a
Nepali village are examined and discussed. The authors conclude that there
exists a certain "background ethic" or norm that influences collective
resource use decisions. This ethic is threatened by growing population
pressure and by a national government passing laws and formulating admin-
istrative policies by which resource stewardship is shifted away from the

28. Campbell, J.G. 1980. Outstanding social issues in the proposed Madhya
Pradesh Social Forestry Project. A report to the U.S. Agency for International
Development, New Delhi, India.

INDIA The state of Madhya Pradesh gives a large percentage of usufruct rights
on state land free. Revenue lands are freely available for unlimited grazing unless
claimed by the government or panchayat (local council) for some particular
project. Traditional access rights (nistar) give unlimited grazing and minor forest
collection rights to rural residents in forests classified as protected and even in
the remaining forests classified as reserved. The government reserves to itself the
right of cutting any of the most valuable tree and bamboo species existing on
private lands. Management of public lands almost exclusively consists in
protecting the division of harvesting rights within the same lands between the
government and the people. There is a high degree of ambiguity about the
ownership rights on uncultivated revenue land, illegally occupied revenue land
and illegally operated forest land.

29. Campbell, J.G., Shrestha, R.P., and Euphrat, F. 1987. Socio-economic
factors in traditional forest use and management: preliminary results from a
study of community forest management in Nepal. Banko Janakari 1(4):45-54.
Department of Forests, Kathmandu, Nepal.

NEPAL This paper presents preliminary results of a survey conducted in four
hill districts of the Community Forestry Development Project (CFDP). Ques-
tionnaires and sample plots were used. Data indicate that the forests benefit from
active local user management. Improvements to the forest are associated with
local harvesting controls devised by the communities dealing with time and area
limitations, and the tools allowed; continuing deterioration of the forest is
associated with traditional government controls such as user fees and tree
marking for felling.

allocate forests to specific user group villages,
endow local forest committees with certain legal authority,
assure local financial support to pay community forest watchers, and
encourage management under community-agreed harvesting rules.

(This article is one in a special issue of Banko Janakari on Forests for the People,
based on the community forestry experience in Nepal.)


30. Cernea M.M. 1985. Alternative units of social organization sustaining afforestation
strategies. Pp. 267-293, in Cernea, M.M. (ed.). Putting people first: sociological
variables in rural development. Oxford University Press, New York, USA.

PAKISTAN Social forestry has often come to grief through lack of forethought and
caution with respect to the unit of social organization to sustain afforestation. In the
first part of this article, the objectives and defects of the Azad Kashmir Hill Farming
Technical Development (FTD) Project are analysed. Important sociological factors
ignored in the implementation of this World Bank co-financed project include:
the existing land tenure system,
the usufruct system,
the local power and authority system, and
the absence of social structures for collective action.

Contrary to expectations, community land (shamilat) appeared not to be truly
community land but was often operated and used as private land. In the second part
of the article, the author analyses collective vs. individual innovation and describes
various units of social organization (e.g. communities, associations and small groups)
capable of being social actors in forestry management and development programmes.
Establishing a functional social group implies a process of self-selection by members,
a willingness for association and participation, a perception of both self-advantage
and co-responsibility and the establishment of an enduring social structure with well-
defined functions. The author provides a framework for the analysis of socio-
structural variables in social forestry programmes. Land tenure and patterns of group
organization are particularly important.

31. Cernea, M.M. 1981. Land tenure systems and social implications of forestry
development programs. World Bank Staff Working Paper 452. World Bank,
Washington DC, USA.

PAKISTAN This report describes a World Bank project on common lands in which
initial assumptions to contrary, community control of the project lands had been
supplanted over time by individual wealthy families who now controlled the land and
therefore were the project's main beneficiaries. This experience provides clear
warning about the necessity of determining the de facto as well as the de jure status
of land. (See also annotation 30.)

32. Chandrakanth, M.G., Gilless, J.K., Gowramma, V. and Nagaraja, M.G. 1990.
Temple forests in India's forest development. Agroforestry Systems 11 (3):199-211.

INDIA Historically different types of temple forests were present in India and served
many spiritual and religious purposes. These forests included star forests which
facilitated the worship of stars personified in specific tree species; nine planet forests
in which trees representing the planets, which are considered to control a person's
destiny, can be worshipped; and the zodiac forests in which trees representing the 12
zodiac signs are planted. In most cases, these forests are managed by religious
institutions or community groups. Active creation and promotion of temple
forests could contribute to the maintenance and extension of forest resources.

33. Chakravarti, R. 1976. Forestry for the masses. Forest Resources Survey,
Bhopal, India.

Common Forest Resource Management

INDIA Nistar refers to traditional access rights to forest produce such as
fuelwood, timber and bamboo. In the latter half of the 19th century, it was the
general practice in India to allot to each village an area of forest and "wasteland"
limited to twice the area of the cultivated land of the village. All forests in excess
of this were designated as reserved forests and brought under the Indian Forest
Act, except in some tribal areas where no use rights were regulated. Under
population pressure, people turned to the reserve forests to meet their nistar

34. Chapagain, D.P. 1984. Managing public lands as a common property resource:
a case study in Nepal. PhD Dissertation. University of Wisconsin, Madison,

(Not consulted)

35. Ciriancy-Wantrup, S.V. and Bishop, R.C. 1975. "Common property" as a
concept in natural resources policy. Natural Resources Journal 15:713-727.

GENERAL Institutions based on the concept of "common property" have
played socially beneficial roles in natural resource management from economic
pre-history up to the present. These same institutions promise help in solving
pressing resource problems in both the developed and developing countries. This
article discusses the policy implications of common property in the solution of
natural resource policy problems. The article reviews common property as a
social institution, the social framework of common property institutions and the
commons in economic history.

36. Colfer, C.J.P. 1980. Change and indigenous agroforestry in East Kalimantan.
Bornea Research Bulletin 15(1-2):3-20, 70-86.

INDONESIA In describing the gathering of minor forest products, the author
indicates that these are considered free goods available to be taken by anyone.
These rights, however, are not dealt with specifically. Contracts between the
government and timber companies specify that people are free to utilize the
forests in their "customary manner", including using trees for house building.
This right is sometimes used to justify timber harvesting for sale, on the theory
that nails and other goods must be bought to finish a house. Ironwood is the
species about which the most conflict and confusion exists, as it is not owned by
the timber concession holder. Yet it holds a prominent place in the traditional
timber use patterns in the area.

37. Conklin, H.C. 1980. Ethnographic atlas of the Ifugao: a study of environment,
culture and society in northern Luzon. Yale University Press, New Haven, USA.

PHILIPPINES This atlas provides a detailed description of interrelations
between forest, food and water among Ifugao wet rice terrace builders and
swidden-fallow cultivators of the Cordillera, Central Luzon. It contains many
maps, descriptions of relations between land and society and a detailed analysis
of the ritually monitored agricultural year. Forest use and management systems
are described. Distinctions between privately owned woodlots and the open
access forest are described. The forest is open to use by all who share the

Asia 65

watershed, for timber and fuelwood extraction and for hunting. It can also be
converted to swidden. Outsiders are not allowed to use local forest resources. The
most cogent rationale behind these rules lies in Ifugao awareness of the ecological
functions of wooded land.

38. Dani, A.A. and Campbell, J.C. 1986. Sustaining upland resources: people's
participation in watershed management. ICIMOD Occasional Paper 3. Interna-
tional Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, Kathmandu, Nepal.

REGIONAL A conceptual framework is provided for documenting, analysing
and evaluating people's participation in watershed management activities in the
Hindu Kush-Himalaya. Current land use in upland areas of the region are
described. The ways in which 18 different projects in Bangladesh, China, India,
Nepal and Pakistan have incorporated and encouraged people's participation are
also examined. A number of promising strategies are described, but it is not known
which are the most effective under what conditions nor to what extent they are an
effective measure. The implications for project design and evaluation are dis-
cussed. As a central hypothesis, it is stated that the most efficient way to promote
participation is to reinforce existing motives and behaviours that suit the goals.
Watershed management must build on upland residents' existing motivations for
sustaining their environments through increasing resource value, renewability,
security, manageability and equity.

39. Dani, A.A., Gibbs, C.J.N. and Bromley, D.W. 1987. Institutional development
for local management of rural resources. EAPI Workshop Report No. 2. Environ-
ment and Policy Institute, East-West Center, Honolulu, USA.

PAKISTAN A report based on presentations and discussions at a workshop held
in Gilgit, Northern Pakistan. The workshop aimed at developing a framework for
analysing institutional arrangements for collective management of renewable
resources at an operational level in mountain regions, at applying the framework
in the field and at developing implications and a research agenda for understand-
ing institutional change. The presence of the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme
(AKRSP) in northern Pakistan permitted the workshop to function in an area rich
in existing and new forms of resource management. The report describes the
region, the AKRSP and the set-up of the workshop. A theoretical approach to CPR
regimes is presented. One field trip and discussions are described and recommen-
dations presented. Case studies are summarized in an appendix and abstracted

40. Dorji, D.C., Chavda, B., Thinley, S. and Wangchuk, S. 1986. Social forestry
and community action. Pp. 94-102, in Proceedings of the national workshop on
the Design and Implementation of Rural Development Strategies and Projects.
Thimphu, Bhutan. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations,
Rome, Italy.

BHUTAN Attention is focused on community forestry as a strategy for
ruraldevelopment. Bhutan's forests are used mainly as sources of wood for
construction and fencing, of fuel and grazing and of shelter for livestock. They
also provide a major part of livestock feed requirements, contribute to local
income and employment and play a vital role in conserving soil and water on the

66 Common Forest Resource Management

predominant steep, sloping land. In considering social forestry, tree planting by
individuals is a major component. There is a distinction between this and social
forestry as it is conceived and practised elsewhere. The authors examine social
forestry elsewhere and the extent to which it is desirable or feasible for Bhutan.

The idea of social forestry has now been adopted in Bhutan. There is a clear need
under the Sixth Plan, however, for a specific social forestry strategy designed to
encourage community action, not only for tree planting but also for their
subsequent management and controlled utilization. This requires public aware-
ness campaigns and technical advice and assistance, the provision of planting
materials and consideration of social and economic aspects.

41. Dove, M.R. 1983. Theories of swidden agriculture, and the political economy of
ignorance. Agroforestry Systems 1:85-99.

INDONESIA Swidden agriculture is the focus of a great deal of debate in the
context of agroforestry development in humid, tropical countries. Based on
studies in Indonesia, the author argues that much of the debate deals not with the
empirical facts of swidden agriculture but with widely accepted myths that
explain the widespread failures of developmental schemes involving swidden
agriculturalists. Three myths are discussed in some detail:
that swiddeners own their land communally (or not at all), work it com-
munally and consume its yields communally,
that swidden on forested land is destructive and wasteful, and
that swidden is a totally subsistence economy.
The origins of each myth are discussed and the myths analysed and debunked.

Such myths have facilitated the extension of external administration and exploi-
tation into the territories of swidden agriculturalists and can perhaps be explained
as a reflection of the political economy of the larger societies in which they are

42. Dove, M.R. 1980. Development of tribal land rights in Borneo: the role of
ecological factors. Borneo Research Bulletin 2(1):3-19.

INDONESIA This article deals with the dynamic nature of land tenure arrange-
ments in shifting cultivation systems of the Kantu in Kalimantan. Originally,
swiddening took place in natural forest areas but after cessation of tribal warfare,
secondary forest areas were utilized, being easier to farm. Gradually, households
began to claim use rights to specific swidden and fallow areas for themselves.
With growing population pressure on the land, these rights were extended to the
next generation.

43. Dove, M.R. and Rao, A.L. 1986. Common property resource management in
Pakistan: Garrett Hardin in thejunglat. EAPI Discussion Paper. Environment and
Policy Institute, East-West Center, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, USA.

PAKISTAN and INDIA Hardin's "tragedy of the commons" is analysed in the
context of three case studies from South Asia. The analysis suggests that Hardin's
argument is incorrect since, in Bromley's terms, it applied to open access
resources, not common property. The authors describe two social forestry


projects in Pakistan and suggest that utilizing existing, traditional but still
powerful local institutions provides possible solutions to the problems of creating
new institutional arrangements. Three case studies in traditional CPRM are given:
an analysis of livestock and rangeland management in Baluchistan, Pakistan,
an analysis of livestock systems in Rajasthan, India, and
a study of tribal tenure in Swat, Pakistan.

These cases demonstrate the capacity of CPR systems to promote sustainable use
of environmental resources when supported by strong, traditional tribal sanctions.
When traditional institutional arrangements are removed, people abandon the
balanced use of natural resources. (See also annotation 38.)

44. FAO. 1985. Tree growing by rural people. FAO Forestry Paper 64. Food and
Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, Italy.

GENERAL Local tree growing activities are increasing in importance as
the principle means of maintaining needed supplies of forest products. In recent
years, programmes to encourage and support rural people in these efforts have
become one of the principle tasks of forest services. This study brings together the
accumulated wisdom. It aims at assembling a clearer picture of the different
circumstances in which the growth, management and use of trees and tree outputs
is of benefit to rural people and also indicates effective ways in which support can
be provided. The report describes current activities of community forestry in
Nepal and India and the prerequisites for successful community forestry
programmes based on those experiences.

45. Fernandes, W. 1987. Afforestation programmes, voluntary action and commu-
nity organization. Social Action 37(3):275-295.

INDIA This is a revised version of a paper presented at the World Congress of
Sociology held in New Delhi in 1986. The author studied a number of afforesta-
tion projects carried out by voluntary organizations in different parts of India
(Orissa, Karnataka and Maharashtra). Different types of organization were
deliberately chosen, large and small, successful and unsuccessful. Some organi-
zations view plantations only as an income-generating activity so that their
decision making processes (the species chosen and other procedures), while
making the plantation scheme successful, do not necessarily help the marginalized
peoples in their process of community building.

46. Fisher, R.J. and Gilmour, D.A. 1990. Putting the community at the center of
community forestry research. A paper prepared for the seminar on Research
Policy for Community Forestry, Bangkok. Regional Community Forestry Train-
ing Centre (RECOFTC), Kasetsart University, Bangkok, Thailand.

GENERAL The major blockages to the successful implementation of commu-
nity forestry are social (specifically institutional and organizational) rather than
technical. It is argued that research should focus on implementation of community
forestry and attempt to resolve those social (human) problems. Community
forestry calls for the village users to be the forest managers, with assistance and
advice from forest technicians. Thus, they should be at the centre of all aspects of
research activities problem identification, research action, adaptation of

Common Forest Resource Management

solutions on-farm or in-forest and evaluation. This sort of research will require
genuine interdisciplinary cooperation between specialists and a revamping of
current research methodology. (Authors' summary.)

47. Fisher, R.J., Singh, H.B., Pandey, D.R. and Lang, H. 1989. The management
of forest resources in rural development: a case study of Sindhu Palchok and
Kabhre Palanchok District of Nepal. ICIMOD Mountain Populations and Devel-
opment Discussion Paper 1. International Centre for Integrated Mountain Devel-
opment, Kathmandu, Nepal.

NEPAL This report explores the nature of village level forest resource manage-
ment in the Nepal-Australia Forestry Project areas. The authors discuss some of
the processes involved in external interventions and propose ways in which
project activities can be modified to build on existing institutions. The study
examines the institutional basis for effective local management of forest re-
sources. In the two districts, indigenous forest management systems are found to
be relatively common, and they are often effective, particularly as protection
regimes. Institutionalized norms, based on a degree of consensus among users,
are the essence of all indigenous forest management systems. The absence of
organizational structures does not necessarily mean that no management systems
exist. One of the most striking findings is that the indigenous forest management
systems have only recently developed (since 1950). The systems provide a model
for viable local resource management institutions. In externally sponsored
systems, formal organizations often exist without institutionalized norms or roles
and, therefore, do not function effectively. When setting up forest management
systems, one should note existing use rights or make sure that there is an adequate
institutional basis for local organization.

48. Foley, G. and Barnard, G. 1984. Farm and community forestry. Technical
Report 3. Energy Information Programme. Earthscan, London, UK.

REGIONAL This report provides a systematic appraisal of the experience to
date with community forestry. It describes the main lessons that have been
learned and analyses the factors which determine the scope and impact of
programmes under local conditions. Part I presents main conclusions of the
study, an overview of the prospects for farm and community forestry and the
problems that have been encountered. Part II discusses the context within
which farm and community forestry must work. It analyses the forces causing
tree depletion and examines the reasons why people plant or are constrained
from planting trees. Part III describes the main approaches taken in programmes
to date and discusses the local factors determining their scope and limitations.
It includes chapters on community forestry and land allocation schemes. Part
IV covers key aspects of programme design and implementation, including
technical problems, wood demand patterns, the role of extension services and
programme planning requirements. Part V summarizes the experience in eight
countries where major programmes have been undertaken. (For a summary, see
the Social Forestry Network Paper lb. 1985. Overseas Development Institute,
London, UK.)

49. Fortmann, L. and Bruce, J.W. (eds.). 1988. Whose trees?: proprietary dimen-
sions of forestry. Westview Press, Boulder, USA.

Asia 69

GENERAL This derives from work at the Land Tenure Centre (University of
Wisconsin, Madison, USA) and ICRAF (Nairobi, Kenya) to identify, review and
annotate the literature on rights in trees and land with trees and the impact of those
rights on planting and conservation of trees. The book begins with an essay on why
tree and land tenure matter and concludes with a discussion of the "daily struggle"
for rights in trees and land with trees. In Chapters 2-8, the authors provide excerpts
and whole works from 39 sources worldwide. Each piece begins with a short
annotation. The topics are tree tenure, tree and tenure interactions, communities
and trees, tenure and deforestation, tenure and afforestation, the gender division
of tenure and the state and the forest.

50. Fortmann, L. and Riddell, J. 1985. Trees and tenure: an annotated bibliography
for agroforesters and others. The Land Tenure Center, Madison, USA, and
International Council on Research in Agroforestry, Nairobi, Kenya.

GENERAL An annotated bibliography on aspects of tree and land tenure. Land
tenure is regarded as one of the most important institutional arrangements in
agroforestry projects. In the introduction, the authors briefly state some important
dimensions of the relationship between land and tree tenure and the implications
of this relationship for sound project planning.

51. Fox, J.M. 1983. Managing public lands in a subsistence economy: the perspective
from a Nepali village. PhD dissertation. University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA.

NEPAL Fox describes the public and private lands of a village in Nepal and how
they are used for meeting farm needs. The study documents the practices
(agriculture, grazing and forestry) that compete in using public lands and the
relations of these practices to land degradation. He determines whether present
need, distribution of benefits and labour requirements could influence the
cooperation of farmers with controls on public land use. Subsistence farming in
Nepal is based on a close relationship between people, land, livestock and the
forest. Major implications of the study for public land use management are
discussed and a general strategy for designing village-level land use plans is

52. Gadgil, M. and Iyer, P. 1989. On the diversification of common-property
resource use by Indian society. Pp. 240-255, in Berkes, F. (ed.). Common
property resources: ecology and community-based development. Belhaven
Press, London, UK.

INDIA Traditionally, many commonly used resources, such as fuelwood, were
controlled by small multi-caste village communities, in which the different caste
groups were linked to each other in a web of reciprocity. These communal management
systems have favoured sustainable use of CPRs until the colonial conquest. British
rule led to the disruption of communal organization and converted communally
managed resources into open access resources. Pockets of goodresource management
under communal control, however, have persisted. Characteristic features include
acceptance of quantitative quotas, closed seasons, protected life history stages of
wildlife, protection of individual tree species, such as fig, and complete protection of
specific localities, such as patches of forests. These examples may serve as models for
reassertion of communal control of natural resources.

Common Forest Resource Management

53. Gadgil, M. and V.P. Vartok. 1976. The sacred groves of the Western Ghats in
India. Economic Botany 30(3):152-160.

INDIA Traditionally, local people in India have preserved patches of forests of
from less than 0.5 ha up to 10 ha as sacred groves under protection of the reigning
deity of the grove. The cults associated with these sacred groves originated from
hunting-gathering societies, and removal of any product was taboo. With increas-
ing deforestation, these groves have become the last remnants of the natural forest
and, thus, are increasingly important for collection of forest products, such as
medicinal plants, leaf litter and dead wood. Removal of live wood is mostly still
a taboo but, in emergency cases, timber is sometimes harvested. Currently, the
groves are owned by private persons or a temple trust, or they are under
government control. Formerly there were also inam groves in which no deity
resided but which were presented for the collection and sale of fruits and other
products by priests; they seem to have been destroyed everywhere.

54. Gamage, D. 1987. Community forestry project: baseline survey. Research
Study Series 76. Agrarian Research and Training Institute, Colombo, Sri Lanka.

SRI LANKA The Community Forestry Project was launched in 1982 by the
government in order to increase local-level participation in growing miniforests in
five districts of the country. This report provides the findings of a detailed survey
of two project villages in Badulla district. Baseline socio-economic conditions for
the project localities are provided, including the physical environment, demography,
employment, income distribution, living conditions, land ownership, agroforestry
cultivation, farmers' experiences, sources of fuelwood and timber, attitudes
towards forest fires and the farmers' woodlot programme. The conditions and
attitudes of non-participant farmers are then outlined by way of contrast.

55. Gibbs, C.J.N. and Bromley, D.W. 1986. Institutional arrangements for sus-
tainable management of rural resources: common property regimes and conser-
vation. Pp. 22-32, in Berkes, F. (ed.). Common property resources: ecology and
community-based sustainable development. Belhaven Press, London, UK.

GENERAL The authors first define both resources and property, then discuss
the characteristics, functions and performance of common property regimes.
They argue that understanding and respecting customary rules and conventions
for the management of resources as common property must be increased. These
arrangements are of special interest to conservationists, because they have
provided access to resources equitably and sustainably at reasonable cost. The
paper concludes by relating institutional arrangements to the depletion of
renewable resources and arguing for institutional innovation for the future
without losing sight of the past.

56. Gilmour, D.A. 1989. Resource availability and indigenous forest management
systems in Nepal. EAPI Discussion Paper No.17. East-West Center, Environ-
ment and Policy Institute, Honolulu, USA.

NEPAL It is a widely held view that Nepal has undergone widespread defores-
tation. The reality is that while some parts of the hill regions have lost a great deal
of their forest cover, many others are still well covered. It is postulated that

Asia 71

villagers respond to shortages of forest products by developing indigenous
systems for managing the forests under their control. This happens in spite of the
fact that the legal ownership of most of the forests rests with the government. The
type of system that arises and the way it develops depends on the "perceived
need" of the villagers for particular forest products. A model is described, which
explains the various reactions of individuals and community groups in terms of
resource accessibility. This also allows insights into why externally sponsored
community forestry programmes may succeed or fail.

57. Gilmour, D.A., King, G.C. and Hobley, M. 1989. Management of forests for
local use in the hills of Nepal. 1. Changing forest management paradigms.
Journal of World Forest Resource Management 4:93-110.

NEPAL This is the first in a series of papers which focus attention on various
aspects of forest management as they relate to the hill areas. Since 1950, the
government of Nepal has shown a dramatic change in its attitude towards hill
forests. Early indifference changed to acute awareness as the extent of defores-
tation became known and its impact on village life became better understood.
The initial reaction was to enforce protection through nationalization legislation
but this failed. During the past 28 years, there have been several legislative
changes reflecting shifts in policy aimed at handing back the forests and forest
management to village users themselves. This change has been accompanied by
emergence of a new "people-centred" forestry paradigm as opposed to the earlier
"forest-centred" one. The new paradigm became necessary as it was no longer
possible to solve the problems of community forestry by remaining with the
older paradigm. As the two paradigms presently co-exist, however, there is a
potential for misunderstandings and conflicts between their protagonists.

58. Grandstaff, T.B. 1980. Shifting cultivation in Northern Thailand: possibilities
for development. Resource Systems Theory and Methodology Series No. 3.
United Nations University, Tokyo, Japan.

THAILAND Swidden (swidden-fallow) cultivation in Northern Thailand is
examined. Private long-term ownership of specific swiddens is rather antitheti-
cal to the values of society and to the integrated socio-economic methods by
which swiddeners make a living. In areas where established swiddeners already
manage discrete village territories, the first priority should be to grant legal land
tenure. Usually such rights are already well recognized by these swiddeners but
not by permanent-field farmers or other outsiders who may wish to appropriate
swidden-fallow lands for their own purposes. Secure tenure is a key need for
maintaining good systems on a sound basis. (For a shorter version of this article
see Fortmann and Bruce 1988; annotation 50.)

59. Guha, R. 1989. The unquiet woods: ecological change and peasant resistance in the
Himalaya. Oxford University Press, New Delhi, India.

INDIA The popular chipko ("hug the trees") movement in the Himalayan foothills
of North India is internationally renowned as an ostensibly recent attempt by the
local people to save a dwindling common resource the forest in the face of
government policy which allows, even encourages, contract cutting by outsiders for
commercial gain. What is less known is the long history of the movement, stretching

72 Common Forest Resource Management

back over a hundred years. The author presents a social and ecological history of
peasant protest in Tehri Garhwal and Kumaun Districts of Uttar Pradesh. While the
history of peasant resistance differs in each case, they both reflect a common "moral
economy of provision" in opposition to commercial forestry and apolitical economy
of profit. At one point, the author contrasts forest-based peasant protests in India with
those of early capitalist Europe, and challenges Eurocentric theories which hold that
peasants and peasant movements will disappear in the modem world. The study
suggests that "Western-style industrialization is unlikely to be replicated in the Third
World on account of ecological constraints".

60. Haga, B.J. 1933. Inlandsche gemeenten en boschbeheer in de buitengewesten.
[Indigenous communities and forest management in the outer provinces.] Tectona
26:517-520. (In Dutch.)

INDONESIA The author advocates leaving the greater part of the forests to be
managed by local communities. Forest management by the central government
should only be established if the local communities cannot do this satisfactorily. The
author believes the forest service should provide advice and help as necessary.
Furthermore, the forest service must manage those forests for which preservation is
crucial and which cannot be adequately managed by local communities. One
observer reacted to Haga by proposing to divide forest management in the following
manner: the hydrological forest reserves and production forests for export and
regional wood supply would go to the forest service, the remaining forests to local
communities (see also 67, 68).

61. Hardin, G. and Baden, J. (eds.). 1977. Managing the Commons. Freeman and Co.,
San Francisco, USA.

GENERAL An anthology of readings that explore the implications of Hardin's
"tragedy of the commons". The "commons" are the world's common resources; the
"tragedy" the "remorseless inherent logic" is that it is clearly to an individual's
advantage to exploit a common resource as thoroughly as possible. The first two parts
(Discovering the Commons, and The Growing Awareness) trace the development
of the concept of commons, especially with respect to increasing population
pressure. The third part (Grappling with the Commons) focuses on ways in which
the potentially destructive cultural norm of independence of individual action,
regarded as the "cause" of the tragedy, may be changed to promote continued human
welfare and survival. Most examples refer to commons in the United States.
(Hardin's "tragedy of the commons" thesis has been variously critiqued and disputed
in the literature; see annotations 43, 63, 85; and D.W. Bromley and M.M. Cemea.
1989. The management of common property natural resources: some conceptual and
operational fallacies. World Bank, Washington, DC, USA).

62. Hazary, N. and Hazary, S.C. 1987. Community action in environmental
conservation: an experiment in Orissa. Pp. 231-266, in Sapru, R.K. (ed.).
Environment Management in India, v. II. Ashish Publishing House, New
Delhi, India.

INDIA In this paper the origins and development of a spontaneous movement in
villages of the state of Orissa are discussed. The movement was initiated in
Kesharpur village of Puri District by the first author, a university lecturer, with

Asia 7 J

the headmaster of a local middle school. They communicated to the villagers the
need to conserve forests, which were necessary for the ecological balance of the
region. The villagers soon organized themselves to ensure that no grazing or
felling of trees took place. At the time of the monsoon, they planted large numbers
of trees. For the rest of the year they reared the saplings, protected the plantation
and diverted their cattle to other pastures. They also travelled long distances to
collect firewood. It is hoped that eventually the local conservation efforts will
enable villagers to obtain all their requirements of firewood and forest produce
from the protected hills and plants. Much of their animal fodder requirements are
already being met locally, and springs of fresh water are appearing where none
have been seen for the past two decades.

63. Herring, R. 1988. Rethinking the commons and the tragedy thereof. Workshop
Paper, Ecology and Development. Indian Council for Social Science Research,
New Delhi, India.

REGIONAL The author discusses several dilemmas of CPR, including the
structure of CPR regimes, the influence of colonial law and Hardin's "tragedy of
the commons", especially in relation to South Asia. The dilemmas within the
tragedy of the commons produce a confrontation of values which cannot be
avoided: livelihoods for marginalized populations versus conservation of nature
and local democracy versus higher order values of global and intergenerational
preservation of a common natural heritage.

64. Ho, W.W.S. 1986. Indian forest policy and a tribal viewpoint: an exploratory
survey of the level of participation in a social forestry scheme, implemented by
the government in a forest area. Department of Forest Management, Agricultural
University Wageningen, Netherlands.

INDIA In Part A, a general description is given of the district of Dangs, in the
south of Gujarat State, including its geography and inhabitants, history and
administration, land use and socio-economic and development aspects. In Part B,
methodology and results are described for a specific survey made of the factors
influencing participation in the Malki Land Reclamation Scheme, a social
forestry programme implemented in the district since 1977. In Part C, the results
are discussed in the context of the historical background in order to determine
strategies and approaches which pursue the development of forests and forest
dwellers in an integrated manner.

65. Hobley, M. 1987. Involving the poor in forest management: can it be done? The
Nepal-Australia Project experience. ODI Social Forestry Network Paper 5c.
Overseas Development Institute, London, UK.

NEPAL Community forestry should not be defined by scale or end product but
by where the decision making power about the resource lies. Participation and
control by local people in the establishment, sustenance, access to and distribu-
tion of benefits are prerequisites for a sound community forestry programme. The
author discusses the implications of such an approach on the decision making
process and whether action of the rural poor can be supported or encouraged in
the bilateral Nepal-Australia Forestry Project. The situation in two villages is
examined. Conclusions are that villagers always considered the forest to be

Common Forest Resource Management

community owned. Community forestry, however, is unlikely to be obtained
without invoking deep social change.

66. Iyengar, S. 1989. Common property land resources in Gujarat: some findings
about their size, status and use. Wastelands News 5(1):23-37.

INDIA It is only in recent years that common property land resources have
attracted the attention of scholars and others. The development of infrastruc-
ture facilities, such as roads and transport networks, has opened up markets for
some natural resources. While this is a healthy development, it has also
resulted in far too rapid growth in the rate of exploitation of the resources.
Since independence, the population, including that of rural areas, has grown
at a very rapid rate. This has increased pressure on available land. The area
under CPR land in villages has decreased and continues to do so because of
privatization. Over-use and over-exploitation of land has also led to deterio-
ration in its quality. As a result, the status and area of CPR land has changed
considerably. This article is based on a study in 25 villages located in five
different geo-physical regions in Gujarat state.

67. Japing, C.H. 1932. Inlandsche gemeenten en boschbeheerin de buitengewesten.
[Local communities and forest management in the outer provinces.] Tectona
25:1583-1592. (In Dutch.)

INDONESIA A plea is made for dividing forest management between the forest
service and the local communities (margas). The margas should control the
forests destined for local interests (wood production, agricultural reserves) and
should be responsible for the forests they themselves use. The forest service will
save time and money which can be used for more intensive management of the
forests of general interest.

68. Japing, C.H. 1929. De wenschelijkheid van het in beheer geven van bosschen
aan inlandsche rechtsgemeenschappen. [The desirability of giving the manage-
ment of forests to local communities.] Tectona 22:599-631. (In Dutch.)

INDONESIA The author discusses several legal categories of forest land and
summarizes experiences with traditional forest management in south and west
Sumatra. Normally, community members have the right to collect forest
products and to open up agricultural plots on village forest lands. Sometimes
specific forest areas are reserved and left undisturbed. Outsiders have to pay a
fee for forest product collection. Forest areas that are hydrologically or economi-
cally unimportant could officially be managed by local communities under the
supervision of the forestry department. Following the article is a discussion of
foresters on the proposals, in which many objections are raised.

69. Jessup, T.C. and Peluso, N.L. 1986. Minor forest products as common property
resources in East Kalimantan, Indonesia. Pp. 505-531, in Proceedings of the
conference on Common Property Resource Management. National Research
Council/BOSTID. National Academy Press, Washington DC, USA.

INDONESIA The authors describe an investigation of the environmental
effects of people's forest-related activities in Kalimantan and identify the


contexts in which people engage in, or alter, those activities. In explicating the
case study of three commercially important minor forest products (rattan, aloes,
wood and birds' nests), the Oakerson model [96] is followed for the analysis of
common property problems. Villagers' rights to clear forest land and harvest
forest products have been restricted, since timber concessions have been granted
to a few large companies. This policy, amongst others, has changed the traditional
common property status of many forest resources and has increased stress on local
economies and environments. It is concluded that local CPR users' organizations
cannot by themselves manage forest resources in East Kalimantan, where so many
external influences affect forest exploitation. Traditional village groups and
cooperatives, however, can be incorporated into programmes of forest conserva-
tion and development.

70. Jodha, N.S. 1990. Rural common property resources: contributions and crisis.
SPWD Foundation Day Lecture, 16 May. Society for Promotion of Wastelands
Development, New Delhi, India.

INDIA The author reviews the present status of the management of CPRs such
as water, grazing lands and forests. The review is based on extensive studies on
the presence and importance of CPRs in the dry zones of seven states. Based on
numerous micro-level village studies of the contribution of CPRs to the village
economy, the extent of the dependence of various user groups on these CPRs and
their management characteristics are indicated. The decline in CPR area, as well
as the physical degradation and deterioration of the management arrangements,
are discussed. This decline is caused by effects of public interventions, commer-
cialization, technological change and demographic factors. Rich and poor people
respond in different ways to the changing status of the CPRs. While rich people
tend to withdraw from CPR use and increasingly rely on alternative land use
options (including CPR privatization), the poor tend to continue to rely on CPRs
for sustenance; they attempt to maximize the complementary relations between
CPRs and private resources. Although there are various factors constraining the
present and future management and proper utilization of CPRs, there are three
important reasons to improve prospects for future CPRM:
ecological imperatives to keep fragile lands under low-intensity use,
the complementary nature of CPRs to private property resources, and
sustenance of the rural poor who lack alternative options for resource

Factors to consider in strengthening CPR management are positive CPR policies,
increased productivity through higher investments and new technology, im-
proved management regulations and formation of well-defined user groups.

71. Jodha, N.S. 1987a. The degradation of common property resources: a case of the
degradation of common property resources in India. Pp. 196-207, in Blaikie, P.
and Brookfield, H. (eds.). Land Degradation and Society. Methuen, London, UK.

INDIA The problem of land degradation is particularly severe in rural CPRs,
which constitute a significant proportion of total land resources in the semi-arid
regions. The author describes the situation in Rajasthan, where control over
CPRs was exercised through a landlord who could impose charges on access
and produce. A land reform conducted in the early 1950s removed this system

Common Forest Resource Management

of control, encouraging over-exploitation and depletion. There is no private
cost of using CPRs anymore and, consequently, CPRs have declined. This
resulted in soil erosion and redistribution of land resources, ultimately
disadvantaging the poor.

72. Jodha, N.S. 1986. Common property resources and rural poor in dry regions of
India. Economic and Political Weekly XXI(27):1169-1181.

INDIA CPRs play a significant role in the life of the rural poor. In this paper, part
of a larger study on the role of CPRs in farming systems of the dry areas of India,
the author attempts to quantify the extent to which the rural poor benefit from
CPRs, based on data from over 80 villages in 21 districts. The study reveals the
significant contribution of CPRs towards the employment and income generation
of the rural poor; i.e. labour and small farm households. Despite the contributions
of CPRs, their area and productivity are declining in all of the regions. Large scale
privatization of CPRs has taken place during the last three decades, in an effort
to help the poor. However, 49 percent to 86 percent of the privatized CPRs ended
up in the hands of the non-poor. Furthermore, most of the land received by the
poor households was also given up by them because they did not have
complementary resources with which to develop and use it. This situation, it is
concluded, calls for greater attention to CPRs as a part of the anti-poverty

73. Jodha, N.S. 1985. Market forces and erosion of common property resources. Pp.
263-227, in Agricultural Markets in the Semi-Arid Tropics. Proceedings of an
International Workshop. ICRISAT, Patancheru, India.

INDIA CPRs constitute a significant component of the agricultural resource base
in rural areas of developing countries. Broadly speaking, the CPRs are those that
are utilized jointly or individually by the members of the community, with or
without usage charges, without any exclusive individual property right on them.
In the context of village India, CPRs include: village forests, community
pastures, "wastelands", community threshing grounds, river/rivulet banks and
beds, watershed drainages, ponds, tanks and groundwater; etc. The CPRs directly
or indirectly play an important role in enhancing and stabilizing the income,
employment and sustenance of village communities. Under the pressure of
circumstances, however, CPRs have been declining and deteriorating rapidly
during recent decades. Institutional changes, increased pressure on the land and
the free play of market forces seem to be primary factors behind the decline of
CPRs. This paper, after highlighting the contribution of CPRs to village income,
presents evidence on their erosion. Factors contributing to this erosion are
discussed with the help of village-level data from selected areas of Rajasthan and
Madhya Pradesh states in India. The role of market forces in the process is

74. Kaul, M. 1987. Common property resources: 1880-1986 in the Bisagama
Cluster, Delhi. Lady Shri Ram College, University of New Delhi, New Delhi,

INDIA This paper describes the changes occurring in the rural villages surround-
ing the metropolitan centre of Delhi. While the process of modernization brought


advantages for these villages, it also brought a tremendous upsurge in demo-
graphic expansion, thus upsetting the balance between resources in the region. It
has led to the breakdown of traditional institutions like the village community.
There has been an increasing diversion of common lands from community
ownership to private ownership and a diversion of common lands from arable and
pastoral use to non-arable and non-pastoral use. As a result, the pressure on the
shrinking wastelands increased.

75. Kikuchi, Y. 1971. Preliminary notes on the social structure of the Pala'wan,
Palawan Island, Philippines. Asian Studies 9:315-327.

PHILIPPINES Traditional hamlets in the Palawan Islands had a headman, who
parcelled out pieces of commonly owned land to individual families and who
directed labour reciprocity and swidden-fallow activities. Contact with lowlanders
has led to the desire for consumer items. Cash is gained by selling forest products
and labour. This has led to a re-emphasis on the household as the economic unit,
with a loss of importance of the community and a decline in the headman's

76. Kunstadter, P. 1988. Hill people of Northern Thailand. Pp. 93-110, in Denslow,
J.S. and Padoch, C. (eds.). People of the tropical rain forest. University of
California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles, USA.

THAILAND The author provides a description of tradition and adaptation of
swidden-fallow cultivation management by ethnic Lua farmers. Swidden lands
were traditionally considered as common village property and swiddens were
reallocated as necessary by village religious leaders. Cutting, burning and
planting swiddens was traditionally controlled by the chief priest of the village
who was paid a nominal tribute for the right to cultivate. Several rules and
regulations were set in order to manage the area properly, according to custom.
The traditional system has broken down, however, due to several reasons:
increasing immigration of neighboring Karen peoples,
new national laws stating that all forested highlands belong to the state, and
the advent of Christianity.

The authority of traditional leaders has eroded, and traditional claims on land and
usufruct rights are no longer recognized.

77. Kunstadter, P. 1980. Implications of socio-economic, demographic and cul-
tural changes for regional development in Northern Thailand. Pp. 13-27, in Ives,
J.D., Sabhasri, S. and Voraurai, P. (eds.), Conservation and development in
Northern Thailand: proceedings of a workshop held in Thailand in 1978. United
Nations University, Tokyo, Japan.

THAILAND Land in the middle latitudes is being alienated from its long
established customary use in regular rotation swidden-fallow systems. Tradition-
ally, in Thailand, agricultural land was considered to be owned by the village
community and allocated temporarily by village religious leaders for use by
individual households. In the last two or three decades, land laws appropriate for
lowland irrigated rice farming were proclaimed in disregard of traditional land
claims. This has left the villagers without legal title to their land which, now

Common Forest Resource Management

officially belongs to the Royal Forest Department. The market economy and
expanding populations have made land a saleable commodity, in spite of the
absence of legal title, and individual highlanders have sold portions of what was
once considered common property. Stabilization of land holdings at the village
level is essential in any attempt at maintaining or strengthening highlander
village structures.

78. Kunstadter, P. 1974. Usage et tenure des terres chez les Lua. [Land utilization
and tenure of the Lua.] Etudes Rurales 53-54-55-56:449-466. (In French.)

THAILAND The Lua of NW Thailand live in a hilly area and practise a bush
fallow form of swidden-fallow cultivation for rice production. In this system, the
land is cultivated for one year and kept in fallow for nine years. Lua land use is
based on the village which is organized along patrilineal lines. The bush fallow
areas are commonly owned, whereas some irrigated fields on terraces are
individually owned and can be sold or rented. The group system of resource
management includes forests for hunting and gathering. Such traditional systems
are changing. Due to lack of social and cultural flexibility, the Lua are losing
ground to more flexible Karen people, who have similar agricultural practices.

79. van de Laar, A. 1990. A framework for the analysis of common pool natural
resources. ISS Working Paper Series No.77. Institute of Social Studies, The
Hague, Netherlands.

GENERAL The author tackles the issue of property rights regimes in the context
of common pool situations. He reviews the literature on CPR management and
rights, examining the technical and physical attributes, decision making arrange-
ments, patterns of interaction and outcomes. His proposed new analytical
framework is an attempt to expand on earlier models (particularly the Oakerson
model [96]) and to make it relevant to real life situations and useful to profession-
als from a variety of disciplines.

80. Lekanne dit Deprez B.E.J.C. 1990. Pp. 7-15 in Bijdragen Saheldag. November
1989. Sahel Coordinatie Programme, Bureau of Foreign Affairs, Agricultural
University Wageningen, Netherlands. (In Dutch.)

GENERAL This paper takes a general look at questions of natural resources
management in which local people have responsibility for forest maintenance.
(Specific reference is made to the situation in the African Sahel but the discussion
has broader implications.) The collective aspects of management are discussed
theoretically, and a framework for the analysis of collective action is presented.
The paper concludes with some implications for forest development project
interventions, stressing the importance of institutional aspects.

81. Leuschner, W.A. and Shakya, K.M. 1988. Local participation through develop-
ment planning: a case study in Nepal. Journal of World Forest Resource Manage-
ment 3(1):1-13.

NEPAL The authors state that the cooperation of local residents and district officers
is important for success of CFR projects and is facilitated by involving these groups
in local development planning. Resource assessment, project capacity and local


participation form the basis for such planning, and three variations are given.
Although the systems successfully involved villagers in planning, generated enthu-
siasm and communicated project goals, the authors say that they are costly, can cause
an expectation trap and may not always lead to the implementation of plans.

82. Mahat, T.B.S. 1987. Forestry-farming linkages in the mountains. ICIMOD Occa-
sional Paper 7. International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, Kathmandu,

REGIONAL This pilot study aims to broaden the understanding of forest farming
interrelationships and to discuss forestry contributions to hill farm economics. The
author attempts to analyse the role forestry can play in the socio-economic develop-
ment of rural people and, thus, to establish the place of forestry in rural development.
The economy of the Hindu Kush-Himalayan area (the region on which ICIMOD is
mainly focused) is dominated by a rural sector based exclusively on farming. Crop
production, livestock husbandry and forestry constitute the three principal, close and
inseparable components of much of the farming systems. People-oriented forestry
development activities have a high potential for helping hill farm economies. The
report gives a list of policy implications derived, including the need for integrated
management, reorientation of forestry policies to people's need-oriented strategies
and local people's participation.

83. Mahat, T.B.S., Griffin, D.M. and Shepherd, K.R. 1987. Human impact on some
forests of the middle hills of Nepal. Part 4. A detailed study in Southeast Sindhu
Palchok and northeast Kabhre palanchok. Mountain Research and Development

NEPAL This is the fourth in a five-part series in which the authors set in historical
context the influence of local people on the middle hill forests. A detailed study of two
districts is described. Interviews were held with 56 people, mainly elderly, to
determine local forest history for the village panchayats (communities) on the eastern
slopes of the Sun Kosi River. There was no evidence of significant changes in areas
of agricultural or forest land for at least a century, despite large population increases.
Forests have declined in quality, however, and most forest products are now in short
supply. Rapid decline occurred during 1951-53, coinciding with changes in the
control of forests. A local system of forest use seems to have regulated forest land use
fairly well, while this use originated largely from within the area. But, the increased
urbanization of nearby Kathmandu Valley created pressures on forests which local
functionaries were unable to control, and the system collapsed in the decade after
1951. Extensive data were obtained on the quantitative and qualitative use of many
forest and tree products. The development of community forestry since 1973 is traced.
By that year, there were local movements to re-establish control over the forest
remnants. Such initiative is considered essential for resource improvement.

84. Mansherger, J.R. 1991. Keeping the covenant: preservation of sacred forests in
Nepal. PhD dissertation. Geography Department, University of Hawaii, Manoa,

NEPAL This work deals with the place of, tenure connected with and rights to
sacred forests and groves in the context of religion and society. The author
addresses management issues, as well as ownership and condition of the resource.

80 Common Forest Resource Management

He also gives recommendations concerning their current and future preservation.
The collective management situation regarding sacred forests is ambiguous and
tenuous but there is scope and hope for improvement based on local concern for
this form of common resource. Their preservation is urgent. As one Nepalese
official put it, sacred groves are currently like a "stray dog".

85. McCay, B.J. and Acheson, J.M. (eds.). 1987. The question of the commons:
the culture and ecology of communal resources. University of Arizona Press,
Tucson, USA.

GENERAL This is a collection of 18 original essays evaluating the use and
misuse of CPRs. The starting point of all essays is the assertion from G. Hardin' s
thesis about "the tragedy of the commons" that common property is doomed to
over-exploitation in any society. This book represents a cross-cultural test of
Hardin's thesis and argues that while tragedies of the commons do occur under
some circumstances, local institutions have proven resilient and responsive to
the problems of common resources use. The case studies depict and analyse
cultural and situational variation in human relationships to natural resources and
contribute to an anthropology and human ecology of the commons. Fisheries is
one of the main subjects examined in the case studies. The editors' lead article
(on the human ecology of the commons), generally examines the commons and
the tragedy thereof.

86. Messerschmidt, D.A. 1987. Conservation and society in Nepal: traditional
forest management and innovative development. Pp. 373-397, in Little, P.D.,
Horowitz, M.M. and Nyerges, A.E. (eds.). Lands at risk in the Third World: local
level perspectives. Monographs in Development Anthropology, Westview
Press, Boulder, USA.

NEPAL This article provides an analyses of forest degradation in Nepal, where
the rate of deforestation is now proceeding at 25 percent per decade. The cause
of degradation is attributed to a combination of flawed forest policies, popula-
tion pressure and a fragile environment. Drawing on work as social scientist with
a resource management project, the author describes the most hopeful manage-
ment options based on the identification and incorporation of local indigenous
and traditional management techniques. He describes a "village dialogue" (gaun
sallah) approach to project planning that solicits the knowledge of local leaders
and farmers, local organizations and traditional rules regulating forest use.
Considerable detail is provided on local management techniques and on the
ethnographic method by which they can be discovered and incorporated.

87. Messerschmidt, D.A. 1986. People and resources in Nepal: customary resource
management systems of the upper Kali Gandaki. Pp. 455-480, in Proceedings of
the conference on Common Property Resource Management. National Academy
of Sciences, Washington DC, USA.

NEPAL The author presents data and an analysis of traditional resource
management systems located in two districts along the upper Kali Gandaki River
watershed in north central Nepal. Examples of both local forest and irrigation
management systems are given. After this, the common property issues are
analysed according to the Oakerson framework [96], in which the tendency to

Asia 81

ignore or de-emphasize the cultural context of local understanding and decision
making is regarded as a weakness. Physical and technical attributes, the decision
making arrangements, the patterns of interaction and the outcomes of the Nepali
CPRM systems are discussed. It is concluded that cultural diversity and diversity
of form, function, meaning and use provide a key to understanding how and why
common property management systems survive and thrive in the world.

88. Messerschmidt, D.A. 1984. Using human resources in natural
resource management: innovations in Himalayan development. ICIMOD Water-
shed Management Systems Working Paper I/1. International Centre for Inte-
grated Mountain Development, Kathmandu, Nepal.

NEPAL This paper deals with the experiences gained and lessons learned
regarding people's participation in the development and management of natural
resources in the Nepal Himalaya. The author has two objectives:
to describe and discuss certain lessons learned about local participation in
resource development and planning and local user group mobilization for
resource management, and
to discuss the larger issues of local group and community conventions and
their relevance for (watershed) resource development and management.

The author describes established systems of group control and use rights for
natural resources and common properties in Nepal, for which several examples
of CFR management are mentioned.

89. Metzner, J. 1983. Innovations in agriculture incorporating traditional produc-
tion methods: the case of Amarasi (Timor). Bulletin of Indonesian Economic
Studies XIX(3):94-105.

INDONESIA Swidden is a remarkably adaptable type of cultivation as reflected
in a multitude of different clearance, cropping and rotation systems. A particu-
larly illuminating case of a successful autochthonous approach to stabilizing an
agro-ecosystem is described from Amarasi, on the island of Timor. The account
concerns several regulations based on the traditional local power situation (adat),
including the obligation of every farmer to plant leguminous plants on the
swidden-fallow plots before abandoning them and to solve related conflicts
through a strictly observed land use zoning system.

90. Moench, M. 1988. "Turf" and forest management in a Garwhal hill village. Pp.
127-136, in Fortmann, L. and Bruce, J.W. (eds.). Whose trees?: proprietary
dimensions of forestry. Westview Press, Boulder, USA.

INDIA This article is based on field research in Tehri Garhwal, Uttar Pradesh and
describes a system of locally recognized inter- and intra-village customary rights
to land and trees (turf). The customary rights system supersedes national statutory
rights and results in a reasonable level of forest management. Turf controls forest
use and access. The concept of turf can be useful in designing forestry projects.
In many areas unofficial village level control over forest resources and traditional
forest management systems on the village level are common. They provide basic
opportunities for, and place fundamental constraints on, group forestry programmes
and other rural development activities.

Common Forest Resource Management

91. Moench, M. 1986. Cooperative resource management in an Indian mountain
village. Working Paper. Environment and Policy Institute, East-West Center,
Honolulu, USA.

INDIA The author emphasizes cooperative management of interrelated food,
fodder and fuelwood resources through a case study in the northern state of Uttar
Pradesh. The study highlights a form of CPRM and represents an elaboration of
turf in a Garhwal village. The author finds that cooperative resource management
systems occur in situations where interdependence, need and environmental
hospitality are high. The role of interdependence requires further testing, as does
the relationship between interdependence, environmental hospitality and the
formality of institutions. If the concepts prove valuable, they could act as useful
tools in both the understanding and design of cooperative resource management.

92. Moench, M. and Bandyopadhyay, J. 1986. People-forest interaction: a ne-
glected parameter in Himalayan forest management. Mountain Research and
Development 6(1):3-16.

INDIA The village of Munglori, in the mountains of Uttar Pradesh, is used for
a case study of rural forest management. The authors point out that the subsis-
tence needs of the villagers have invariably been omitted from forest manage-
ment planning. The research was directed at the biomass flow of the village,
concentrating on the fuel, fodder and the yearly migration cycles. Relationships
between village biomass consumption and forest productivity are demonstrated.
Management of common grasslands around Munglori by 18 villages with the
traditional management techniques for using the commons clearly indicates that
civil forests, grasslands or reserved forests can be successfully managed with the
participation of the people, particularly women.

93. Molnar, A. 1981. The dynamics of traditional systems of forest management in
Nepal: implications for the Community Forestry Development and Training
Project. Consultant report to the World Bank, World Bank, Washington DC,

NEPAL The Community Forestry Development Project (CFDP) aims at increas-
ing supplies of fuelwood, fodder, grass and timber by allocating'greater respon-
sibility for forest management and protection to local communities. This report
investigates the dynamics of the traditional systems of forest management in a
number of communities in the hills of Nepal. The author examines changes in
strategy needed to insure better project implementation. She looks at existing
constraints and the active involvement of local farmers in forest plantation,
rehabilitation and preservation. There is no single formula for local participation;
rather, attention to the individual adaptation of a community management system
to local conditions and needs is the main criterion for success. Because traditional
systems do not conform to a single pattern, they do not seem to provide a model,
per se, for participation. It is important that they be encouraged where they do
exist in the course of project implementation and that the project activities
undertaken do not undercut them administratively or organizationally.

94. Morse, R. and Tingsabadh, C. 1987. Peoples' institutions for forest and
fuelwood development: a report on participatory fuelwood evaluations in India


and Thailand. Jointly produced by the East-West Center Resource Systems
Institute and Environment and Policy Institute, the Appropriate Technology
Development Association, the Chulalongkorn University Social Research Insti-
tute and the USAID/S and T/Office of Energy. U.S. Agency for International
Development, Washington DC, USA.

INDIA and THAILAND This study suggests that project evaluations, like
project designs, should take into account the perceptions of the affected population.
It reports the results of evaluations of two fuelwood projects, one in a hill area of
northern India and one in a rainfed rice-growing area of Thailand. The evaluations
were conducted by farm families and other local residents and their conclusions
differed sometimes greatly from those of external evaluation teams.
Methodologies used, detailed findings and policy and action recommendations
are discussed.

The authors also highlight some conclusions drawn from both evaluations:
since individual villages can differ widely in social and biophysical features
affecting forest and fuelwood development, projects should be specifically
tailored to the village level,
the folk knowledge of forestry possessed by villagers (especially women,
who bear the greatest fuelwood-related burden) is often a neglected resource
in project planning and management, and
the importance of developing an atmosphere of trust and partnership between
villagers and the government must not be underestimated.

The report includes recommendations for strengthening the capacity of local
institutions to participate in project planning, implementation and evaluation.

95. Noronha, R. 1980. Village woodlots: are they a solution? Paper prepared for the
panel on Introduction and Diffusion of Renewable Energy Technologies. Na-
tional Academy of Sciences, Washington DC, USA.

REGIONAL This paper examines how to get village residents to cooperate in
increasing their fuelwood resources. It is not merely a question of the diffusion of
technology but an examination of the ways in which people cooperate and of the
occasions on which this cooperation is forthcoming. Woodlot programmes are
examined in China, Korea and India (Gujarat) in Asia, as well as in Tanzania and
Niger in Africa. The paper deals with several relevant economic, social and
political aspects. The author concludes that there is a fundamental need to
understand village social, cultural, economic and political structures, needs,
priorities and perceptions. It is also necessary to develop an organization which
is linked to people at all levels and involves their participation.

96. Oakerson, R.J. 1986. A model for the analysis of common property problems.
Pp. 13-29, in Proceedings of the conference on Common Property Resource
Management. National Academy Press, Washington DC, USA.

GENERAL The author presents a model to analyse common property problems,
whatever the resource or facility. The model is specific enough to offer guidance
in the field, yet general enough to permit application to widely variable conditions.
It examines four facets:

84 Common Forest Resource Management

technical and/or physical attributes of the specific resource or facility,
decision making arrangements (organization and rules) that currently
govern relationships among users (and others relevant),
patterns of interaction among decision makers, and
outcomes or consequences.

The four components are introduced, the relationships among the components
examined, and finally, ways for applying the model iteratively to understand the
impact of institutional change and adaptation are suggested. (For examples of
the application of this model to CFRM systems, see annotations 6, 16, 69, 87,
103, 109.)

97. Olofson, H. (ed.). 1981. Adaptive strategies and change in Philippines swidden
based societies. Forest Research Institute College, Laguna, Philippines.

PHILIPPINES This book is a compilation of several articles on the multiple
facets of swidden-fallow cultivation in the Philippines. The author aims at a
better understanding of the swidden (shifting) cultivator societies. Traditional
and changing systems are described. The articles describe the more technical
aspects of the management systems used by swidden societies but also contain
information on the organizational aspects of the management systems. There is
also an annotated bibliography of 174 titles from the literature on swidden-
fallow cultivation in the Philippines and worldwide.

98. Peluso, N.L. 1986. Report on social forestry research in West and Central Java.
State Forestry Corporation and The Ford Foundation, Jakarta, Indonesia.

INDONESIA This is a summary of the findings of social forestry research at
12 project locations in Java and Sulawesi. The interactions between the rural
population and different kinds of state forest lands (natural and plantation
production forest, protection forest, recreational forest and nature reserves) were
studied. A distinction is made between formal and informal forest uses. Formal
uses involve some kind of contractual arrangements between the forest service
and the users; informal uses involve no contract and are not the formal
responsibility of the forest service to administer. They often involve products
which are either unprofitable or too difficult to manage by the forest service but
which are of great value to local people. Sometimes local people actively
manage the exploitation of these informal forest products, often on the basis of
residual customary territorial rights. These rights vary from tree tenure systems
to systems in which lands are divided into locally recognized territories, where
members of particular families/communities may collect grass, graze cattle, etc.
Sometimes privatization of such informal collection rights may occur.

99. Persoon, G. 1989. The Kubu and the outside world (south Sumatra, Indonesia):
the modification of hunting and gathering. Anthropos 84:507-519.

INDONESIA In the past, the external relations of hunters and gatherers living
in the forest areas received little attention. Stress was put on the isolated and self-
supporting nature of these small-scale societies. Recently the focus has changed.
Retrospectively, many hunter and gatherer societies are found to have long-
standing relations with sedentary farmers or pastoral peoples. In this paper, the


changing relations between the Kubu, a people living on hunting, gathering and
some cultivation, and the sedentary Malay peasants in South Sumatra are
described. The Kubu nowadays can hardly survive independently from the
farming population. The traditional lifestyle no longer exists. Change has been
influenced by:
the gradual extension of land used for agricultural purposes by Malay
peasants, which led to loss of primary forest for the Kubu,
logging operations under commercial concession on Kubu land, and
government development programmes, such as resettlement schemes for
tribal groups.

100. Rathakette, R., Somnasang, P., Ratanapanya, S. and Homchoen, S.
1985. Taboos and traditions: their influence on the conservation and
exploitation of trees in social forestry projects in north eastern Thailand. Pp.
363-370, in Rao, Y.R., Vergara, N.T. and Lovelace, G.W. (eds.). Community
forestry: socio-economic aspects. Food and Agriculture Organization of the
United Nations, Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (FAO/RAPA),
Bangkok, Thailand.

THAILAND The authors comment on the results of a preliminary 1984 survey
of local concepts and practices of conservation and preference, taboos and
avoidances regarding the use of trees and forests in some villages of NE Thailand.
The basic assumption of the survey is that for social forestry projects to be
environmentally and socially sound, there must be active involvement of local
villagers and an understanding of their values, beliefs and practices. Although
some of these traditions and taboos are now being modified or lost in the face of
modernization, the content and implementation of social forestry development
projects could be greatly enhanced by drawing upon local religious beliefs and
values. Two examples of traditional Thai beliefs that might be used to reinforce
forestry-based rural development programmes are taboos against the use of
particular tree species for certain activities and belief in village sacred groves.
Apart from their religious and aesthetic value to local inhabitants, sacred groves
also serve as reservoirs of biological diversity. The success of development
programmes can also be improved with involvement of traditional leaders. In
NEThailand, the influence of monks, village headmen and teachers is important
to the outcome of specific projects. Informal leaders, especially elders, are
equally important and exert much influence over families, social groups and,
often, over the whole village.

101. Romm, J. 1981. The uncultivated half of India. The Indian Forester 107(I):1-23,

INDIA Part I If the way land is classified in India reflects how it is viewed
for policy, then the general policy purposes for uncultivated land is not to
promote productive land use but to protect property jurisdictions. Land policy
pegged to property lines may neither address land as an economic resource
nor productively shape the motives of those who use the land for economic
ends. Insecurity about ownership and uncertainty about who benefits from
fruits of longer term investments, encourages short-term exploitation of land
resources. Villagers will not plant or protect forests if they are not sure that
forest produce will be theirs.

Common Forest Resource Management

Part II There are large discrepancies between the conditions of management
assumed in current administrative structure and those actually prevailing on
common lands. Forest departments act as custodians of more than 20 percent of
the land, on the assumption that these lands are forested, unoccupied and with
sufficient land pressure to endanger regulatory controls. But more than half the
area is denuded, over-grazed and under private, rather than public control. There
is need to survey tenurial arrangements.

102. Royen, J.W. van. 1927. De marga van Palembang: enzn land en water rechten.
[The marga of Palembang and its land and water rights.] PhD Dissertation. State
University of Leiden, Leiden, The Netherlands. (In Dutch.)

INDONESIA This study describes the marga system, a local juridical entity
created by the Dutch colonial power in south Sumatra, Indonesia. It has
indigenous origins. The marga consisted of several villages and was headed by
a marga council, including a headman, village leaders and elected members. In
addition to matters of family rights, it had jurisdiction over land use, including
regulations on land use zoning, control over allotment for swidden-fallow
cultivation and control over forest exploitation. With increased cultivation of
commercial tree crops, control of forest exploitation rights declined. Marga
control was further limited with the advent of laws under which local land rights
were gradually limited to actually cultivated lands.

103. Runge, C.F. 1986. Common property and collective action in economic devel-
opment. Pp. 31-60, in Proceedings of the conference on Common Property
Resources Management. National Research Council/BOSTID. National Acad-
emy Press, Washington DC, USA.

GENERAL Common property provides a complex system of norms and
conventions to regulate individual rights to use a variety of natural resources,
including forests, range and water. This paper describes a number of reasons why
common property may be as viable as private property on grounds of both
efficiency and equity. Problems of common property result from tensions in the
structure of joint use rights adopted by a particular village or group. These
tensions may arise from a variety of complex causes, like population pressure and
political forces. The thesis of this article is that too often these causes have been
confused and the problem ascribed simply to the "tragedy of the commons", in
which the misuse of resources is attributed to the institution of common property
itself. The problems with this view are investigated. In many cases, common
property institutions may play a key role in the effective management of scarce
natural resources, complemented and combined with private rights.

104. Runge, C.F. 1981. Common property externalities: isolation, assurance, and
resource depletion in a traditional grazing context. American Journal of Agricul-
tural Economics 63:595-606.

GENERAL Institutional alternatives to common property externalities are
wider than argued by private exclusive property rights advocates. The "tragedy
of the commons" is not a prisoners' dilemma, characterized by the strict
dominance of individual strategies. The non-separable common property exter-
nality is an "assurance problem". The assurance problem provides striking


perspectives in analytical and policy terms. It redefines the problem of the
commons as one of decision making under uncertainty. Institutional rules
innovated by the group to reduce uncertainty and coordinate expectations can
solve the problem of over-exploitation. Rules come in many forms, of which
private property is only one.

105. Sanwal, M. 1986. The social forestry design framework: the hill areas of Uttar
Pradesh. ODI Social Forestry Network Paper 2d. Overseas Development Insti-
tute, London, UK.

INDIA This paper critically discusses the policies and objectives usually
practised in development plans. It is argued that the goal to be achieved should
not be the "protection of watersheds" as an end in itself but, rather, as a means to
achieve food, fuel and fodder for the villagers. The complete causes of the crisis
in the lives of the hill people in Uttar Pradesh are analysed. Secondly, institutional
arrangements for an alternative strategy social forestry are described.
Social forestry is not a technology but a process that requires the acceptance and
participation of the entire community in decision making and the sharing of
benefits. Communities can be offered effective ownership in exchange for
management, where the government will provide the resources. Traditionally,
communities have done this very effectively. Finally, general lessons for devel-
opment policy are drawn. One is that in marginal areas where CPRs are available,
the impact of exogenous influences needs to be studied for the legislative
impediments they create to the exercise of traditional rights.

106. de Saussay, C. 1987. Land tenure systems and forest policy. FAO Legislative
Study 41. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, Italy.
(In English and French.)

GENERAL This report examines the broad range of land ownership types and
the impact that ownership patterns have on forest and forest management. A basic
distinction is between public and private land ownership. Within this broad
classification, many variants can be found; customary ownership and group
forests are two examples. In many cases, the land tenure regime not only provides
the framework within which forest policy will operate but may occasionally
create obstacles to its proper implementation. This report describes forest
policies on private and public land, including community land. Traditional tenure
has survived in India, Papua New Guinea and elsewhere. In Papua New Guinea,
customary land tenure has become a political principle.

107. Saxena, N.C. 1987. Commons, trees, and the poor in the Uttar Pradesh hills. ODI
Social Forestry Network Paper 5f. Overseas Development Institute, London,

INDIA Deforestation, apart from creating immediate shortages offuelwood and
fodder, has directly affected the quality of people's lives. The government of
Uttar Pradesh State has responded to the increasing deforestation by creating
several new divisions to afforest the common lands. This paper addresses the
following questions: is the tide of deforestation reversed? and, is the priority
given to civil lands as opposed to panchayat, private or reserved lands, justified
by the experience gained in the last 15 years? It is suggested that the panchayats

88 Common Forest Resource Management

and the farmers should be involved in the plantation. They, along with the forest
department should concentrate on the "wastelands" on which they have the best
control. The key to understanding the issue of exploitation of uncultivated land
in the hills lies in analysing tenurial relations, as almost 80percent of the land is
in non-private institutional hands.

108. Schnepper, W.C.R. 1922. Betekenis van het bosch in de Minangkabau
schesamenleving. [The importance of the forest to the Minangkabau commu-
nity.] Tectona 15:405-415. (In Dutch.)

INDONESIA For Minangkabau villagers of West Sumatra, the forest plays a
prominent role. After establishing a village forest, lands are demarcated as
boundaries of the community. The lineages ruled and divided unreclaimed lands
for agricultural use and established forest reserves for the protection of local
water sources or for a future timber reserve; these reserves were controlled by
community selected forest guards. Lineage members had the right to collect
forest products and reclaim agricultural lands in the forests. Non-lineage mem-
bers had to pay a retribution for collecting products. With increasing wood
shortage, group plantations of local species were also established. The agrarian
regulations in this area are a compromise between the local customary law and
European laws.

109. Sen, D. and Das, P.K. 1987. The management of people's participation in
community forestry: some issues. ODI Social Forestry Network Paper 4d.
Overseas Development Institute, London, UK.

INDIA The social forestry programme in India has recently attained great
significance in the overall effort to promote rural development. The programme
aims to establish plantations in private, common or government "wastelands" in
rural areas. The responsibilities of raising, protecting and maintaining social
forestry lie with the people, with technical and institutional support coming from
the forest department. The social forestry programme is being implemented
through, amongst others, afforestation on degraded lands, mostly under govern-
ment initiative and plantations on community or government "wastelands" with
community participation. The paper discusses people's participation as a vital
component of social forestry programmes and the fact that there is no element of
individual incentive in community forestry. It then looks at some of the problems
encountered in the management of community forestry. The final section
presents some emerging issues in the process of implementing community
forestry programmes.

110. Shah, P. 1989. Criteria for selection of agroforestry systems by various socio-
economic groups. Paper prepared for the conference on Agroforestry Principles and
Practice. University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK.

INDIA The author describes a study in the village of Mauja, in Gujarat State, set up
to get information on the criteria used by small landholders in selecting agroforestry
systems. This information is needed for the development of a framework which can
be used in an extension programme in agroforestry. The choice of an agroforestry
system is affected, in part, by the extent of fullfilment of their basic needs and is
related to the overall resource position in the village. In this respect, CPRs are very


important because small farm holders have been found to meet a substantial portion
of their fuelwood and fodder needs from them and have to spend a substantial amount
of time collecting fuelwood from them. The size and state of the CPRs in and around
the village, the extent of fuelwood and fodder needs being met from CPRs and the
existence of management systems for upgrading CPRs are important in deciding the
agroforestry system.

111. Shah, T. and Ballabh, V. 1987. Ownership/use rights and community involvement
in forestry wastelands development experiences from Gujarat. Workshop paper
on common property resources. Sariska Palace, Rajasthan, India.

INDIA The main purpose of this paper is to evaluate alternative institutional
arrangements to redeem the health of India's wastelands and use them to augment
the resource base of the poor. Historically, poor people were heavily dependent
on these (common) resources. Recent experiences in privatizing these resources
and entrusting ownership/usufruct rights to individual poor families does not
appear to have produced encouraging results either in restoring productivity of
this land or in expanding the resource base of poor families. The paper presents
the experiences of six NGOs in and around Gujarat which have experimented
with different mechanisms to organize small communities of poor rural families
on wastelands. Important considerations in evolving an organization for developing
the "wastelands" are:
establishing the instrumentality between individual reward and quality of
effort, and
explicit efforts in group action to establish clearly each member's stake, rights
and responsibilities in the resource.

112. Shah, P. and Wier, A. 1987. Approaches to social forestry in western India: some
aspects of NGO experience. ODI Social Forestry Network Paper 5b. Overseas
Development Institute, London, UK.

INDIA The authors outline some approaches to social forestry in India by briefly
reviewing examples of projects supported by the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) and
conclude with the identification of major themes, based on the experience of the last
three years. The main thrust of the AKF's social forestry strategy in India is to work
with local NGOs to:
assist the poor and landless to gain access to common village property and forest
department land on which they can grow appropriate trees and grasses for
additional income generation,
select cost-effective technical solutions appropriate to a particular ecological
zone, establish links with sources of technical innovation and initiate relevant
field-based experimentation, and
organize local communities to undertake development work efficiently and
equitably and help them increase the effectiveness of government service to
ensure a more equitable access to these services.

Examples (from Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Gujarat) illustrate various ap-
proaches to the crucial issues facing the rural poor through social forestry.

113. Shiva, V. 1986. Coming tragedy of the commons. Economic and Political Weekly

90 Common Forest Resource Management

INDIA The author argues that the current Wasteland Development Programme
(like the Tree Patta scheme) is simply a means to privatize common land, thus
accentuating rural poverty and increasing ecological instability. Only a few
marginal and landless farmers will gain at the cost of the majority who derive a
wealth of benefits from these lands.

114. Singh, C. 1986. Common property and common poverty. India's forests, forest
dwellers and the law. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.

INDIA In this publication, the author considers the exact legal position concern-
ing the current rights of forest dwellers in India and ascertains what can be done
for them in future legislation. The subject is discussed in the following sections:
property and poverty, forest and people, rights in common, civil rights, eco-
nomic rights, eminent domain, occupancy rights, public purpose, compensation,
the basis for equality, the way to equality and national interest. Most rural
Indians depend on CPRs for their energy and housing needs; the dependency
being the greatest in tribal areas. One conclusion is that the Indian Forest Lands
Acts should be repealed and that new acts should be created, in order to reach a
point of equal distribution and use of natural resources.

115. Siy, R.Y. 1982. Community resource management: lessons from the Zanjera.
University of the Philippines Press, Quezon City, Philippines.

PHILIPPINES This book is an intensive study and multidisciplinary analysis
of a rural organization, the zanjera, a type of water users' association found
primarily in the Northern Philippines. It is an organization that has demonstrated
remarkable and sustained success in mobilizing local, low opportunity cost
human and material resources for the construction, operation and maintenance
of irrigation systems. The study demonstrates that there is much logic and
pragmatism in the managerial and technical choices made by rural people and
that the major factors behind the effectiveness, dynamism and adaptability of
indigenous groups are organizational and technical principles, which are left out
of many development plans and projects.

116. Spencer, J.E. 1966. Shifting cultivation in Southeastern Asia. University of
California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles, USA.

REGIONAL Spencer examines swidden-fallow cultivation practices through-
out SE Asia. The distribution, overall structure and importance of this produc-
tion system are extensively described. The author reviews the concepts of
control and administration of land among those culture groups employing
swidden-fallow cultivation and jungle appropriation in the operation of their
economies. The author also deals with the institutional changes that take place
in the control and administration of land when the formal political state replaces
simpler systems of territorial organization. Although the author only tentatively
treats the basic conceptual and operating principles, he gives insight into the
variety and complexity of swidden cultivator land control in further detail.

117. Speth, K. 1990. Forest utilization and management practices of a Nepalese hill
community. Department of Forestry, Agricultural University Wageningen,
Wageningen, The Netherlands.

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