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Process, Property and Patrons: Land reform in upland Thai catchments

Roger Attwater

Report/paper, 18 pages

Where common pool resources are important elements of local livelihoods, getting the processes right for management is essential for sustainable development. In these situations, and where a range of organisations and individuals have claims to these resources, property entitlements need to be developed through a process which is socially and ecologically appropriate.
This paper presents a case study from the upland areas of Thailand, where the government is currently promoting land reform. The author used soft systems methodology, a participatory approach to inquiry, to identify and develop partnerships for specifying and building property entitlements. A number of collaborative actions have developed as a result, and include local collective management of a water supply; partnerships relating to elements of conservation and production within the local agroecosystems; and socially legitimate patronage to support formal protocols of land reform.

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