...exploring how people shape the world's forests

Local Enforcement and Better Forests


Current studies of local resource management examine many factors thought to be
associated with good resource conditions. Despite the number of studies and the importance of such resources to millions of people worldwide, a lack of theory and hypothesis testing beyond the case level limits the lessons empirical studies offer. We argue that regular monitoring and sanctioning of rules—rule enforcement—is a necessary condition for successful resource management. We test our theory using data regarding 178 user groups and by pairing rule enforcement with other important factors: social capital, formal organization, and dependence on forest products.

Gibson, C., J. Williams, E. Ostrom. 2005. World Development 33(2): 273-284

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