Wetland ownership and management in a common property resource setting: A case study of Hakaluki Haor in Bangladesh
Schlager and Ostrom [Schlager, Edella and Ostrom, Elinor, (1992). Property-Rights Regimes and Natural Resources: A Conceptual Analysis. Land Economics, (August), 68(3), 249-262.] provide a theoretical approach to enable researchers to examine variation in ownership positions within a common property setting. Their approach provides a basis for developing hypotheses regarding the relationship between various ownership positions and subsequent incentives to invest in the long term maintenance of a natural resource. We use a survey approach to examine their theory as it applies to villagers living around the Hakaluki Haor, one of the largest wetlands in Bangladesh. Our key findings are consistent with Schlager and Ostrom's theory in several ways. First, we find that ownership positions vary amongst villagers in the common property setting that governs resource use in the Hakaluki Haor. Second, those that believe they possessed management rights were more likely to indicate that they participated in wetland conservation activities. An additional finding of interest is that women remained willing to support wetland conservation activities despite the fact that they generally characterized themselves as not having the right to participate in decisions regarding the management of wetland resources.
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