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Forest Commons and Local Enforcement

Ashwini Chhatre and Arun Agrawal
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Vol. 105, No. 36 (Sep. 9, 2008), pp. 13286-13291
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25464036
Page Count: 6
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Forest Commons and Local Enforcement
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Abstract

This article examines the relationship between local enforcement and forests used as commons. It uses a unique multicountry dataset, created over the past 15 years by the International Forestry Resources and Institutions Research Program. Drawing on original enforcement and forest commons data from 9 countries, we find that higher levels of local enforcement have a strong and positive but complex relationship to the probability of forest regeneration. This relationship holds even when the influence of a number of other factors such as user group size, subsistence, and commercial importance of forests, size of forest, and collective action for forest improvement activities is taken into account. Although several of the above factors have a statistically significant relationship to changes in the condition of forest commons, differences in levels of local enforcement strongly moderate their link with forest commons outcomes. The research, using data from diverse political, social, and ecological contexts, shows both the importance of enforcement to forest commons and some of the limits of forest governance through commons arrangements.

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