Property Rights, Institutions and Forest Resources Management in Developing Countries


The objective of this paper is to propose a conceptual framework stimulating the sustainable management of natural resources in Central Africa. Based on the forest resources, we show how good identification and allocation of property rights strengthen the joint management of forest resources. Cameroon is selected as an example, since the country represents one of the most forest-intense areas in Africa. In doing so, we first evaluate the performance of institutions in fostering sustainable forest management. Second we show how good elaboration and allocation of property rights may contribute to improving efficiency in forest management. Using the New Institutional Economic (NIE) theory we provide an outline of the potential relationships between forest management and property rights allocated to stakeholders involved in forest exploitation. Finally we provide two forms of institutional structures that could improve forest management efficiency: public-private partnership and multi-stakeholder management approaches. Public-private partnerships are joint project management processes operated by both private businesses and public entities in order to combine public prescriptive mechanisms with private operational roles. Multi-stakeholder management approach is also a co-management initiative combining public entities, private actors and local population to increase the involvement of local dwellers living in forest areas in the decision process.

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Thiam, D. (2014) Property Rights, Institutions and Forest Resources Management in Developing Countries. Natural Resources, 5, 107-118. doi: 10.4236/nr.2014.54012.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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