Social Capital and Natural Capital: A Comparative Analysis of Land Tenure and Natural Resource Management in Guatemala
This paper argues that the existence of social capital can substitute for well-defined legal property rights in both private and common property resource tenure regimes. A comparative analysis of two regions in Guatemala suggests that, where significant social capital exists among natural resource users, it fosters a sense of ownership and respect for boundaries, and provides the foundation for use rules, monitoring, and enforcement mechanisms which help preserve the natural resource base. In contrast, an absence of social capital in a situation where property rights are poorly defined can lead to resource mining in both private and common property regime
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