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Capacities of rural forest dependent communities in the northern Bolivian Amazon in times of legal reforms

This project provides an analysis of rural forest-dependent settlements in the northern Bolivian Amazon at a time when the implementation of wide reaching legal reforms (initiated in the nineties) took place in the region. A case study approach was used in analyzing four settlements that had been selected on the basis of established criteria and differing variables in order to assure to represent a broad spectrum of heterogeneous communities in the region. The study is embedded in the theoretical field of New Institutionalism covering aspects such as property rights, path dependency, asymmetric information and power relations. In addition, the analytical framework uses Social Capital as well as the Capabilities and Functioning approach by A. Sen in order to highlight strengths and constraints in political participation and organization at village level. It is examined how rural forest-dependent communities and their use of resources are shaped by legal reforms and internal conditions. These provide the frame for the outcome in future benefit-capturing and forest management after devolution. The results of the study contribute to a better understanding of institutional, structural and socio-historical influences shaping forest use and the well-being of ‘independent communities’.
Projektbeginn: 2000
Projektende: 2005
Gottwald, Carmen. Dissertation

Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
Professur für Environmental Governance

Tennenbacherstraße 4
79106 Freiburg

Telefon: 203- 3708
Fax: 203-3729
Email: Heiner.Schanz@envgov.uni-freiburg.de


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