Community perceptions of state forest ownership and management: a case study of the Sundarbans mangrove forest in Bangladesh

Roy, Anjan Kumer Dev and Alam, Khorshed and Gow, Jeff (2013) Community perceptions of state forest ownership and management: a case study of the Sundarbans mangrove forest in Bangladesh. Journal of Environmental Management, 117. pp. 141-149. ISSN 0301-4797


The Sundarbans Mangrove Forest (SMF) is the world's largest mangrove forest and it provides livelihoods to 3.5 million forest-dependent people in coastal Bangladesh. The first study aim was to analyse the efficacy of the state property regime in managing the forest through a close examination of the relationship between property rights and mangrove conservation practices. The second study aim was to explore forest-dependent communities' (FDCs) perceptions about their participation in management and conservation practices. The Schlager and Ostrom theoretical framework was adopted to examine the role of potential ownership variations in a common property resource regime. A survey of 412 FDC households was undertaken. Current management by the Bangladesh Forest Department (BFD) does not result in implementation of mandated mangrove conservation practices. It was found that allocation of property rights to FDCs would be expected to increase conservation practices. 92% of respondents expressed the view that the evidenced rapid degradation over the past 30 years was due primarily to
corruption in the BFD. About half of FDCs (46%) surveyed are willing to participate in mangrove conservation through involvement in management as proprietors. Consistent with Schlager and Ostrom's theory, the results indicate the necessity for de facto and de jure ownership and management change from a state to common property regime to ensure FDCs' participation in conservation practices.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Copyright 2012 Elsevier Ltd. Published version made not accessible.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Business and Law - School of Accounting, Economics and Finance
Date Deposited: 14 May 2013 23:22
Last Modified: 11 Jul 2014 01:30
Uncontrolled Keywords: common property; corruption; forest degradation; property rights; Sundarbans mangrove forest; Bangladesh
Fields of Research : 14 Economics > 1402 Applied Economics > 140201 Agricultural Economics
05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050205 Environmental Management
16 Studies in Human Society > 1606 Political Science > 160606 Government and Politics of Asia and the Pacific
Socio-Economic Objective: D Environment > 96 Environment > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960505 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Forest and Woodlands Environments
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2012.12.004

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