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Ecological Economics 35 (2000) 7589 SPECIAL ISSUE
 

Summary: Ecological Economics 35 (2000) 7589
SPECIAL ISSUE
THE VALUES OF WETLANDS: LANDSCAPE AND INSTITUTIONAL
PERSPECTIVES
Property rights and the utilisation of wetlands
W. Neil Adger *, Cecilia Luttrell
School of En6ironmental Sciences, and Centre for Social and Economic Research on the Global En6ironment,
Uni6ersity of East Anglia, Norwich, NR4 7TJ, UK
Abstract
This paper argues that successful conservation of wetlands is fundamentally determined by the institutions and
property rights associated with resource management decisions. Thus an understanding of property rights regimes, the
constraints which they impose on users of wetlands resources, and the distribution of benefits of use among users and
non-users are essential if the economic values of wetland ecosystems and functions are to be realised. We outline
relevant theoretical perspectives on property rights and the sustainable utilisation of natural resources. We argue that
wetland resources tend to have unique property rights regimes due to their ecological characteristics, namely, their
multiple-resource characteristics, the indivisible nature of these resources, and the seasonal and cyclical nature of
different wetland resource components. Case studies of property rights regimes in Indonesia and Vietnam are
presented. These show that wetland resources are often managed as common pool resources, and that state
appropriation of resources or the imposition of private property rights can contribute to unsustainable utilisation or
conversion of wetlands to other uses. 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

  

Source: Adger, Neil - School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia

 

Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology