DFID Know-For - Property Rights (under Maria Ojanen)

Project leader Maria Ojanen
Email m.ojanen@cgiar.org
Project status CLOSED
Project start 2013-03-31
Project end 2015-09-30
Property rights to natural resources comprise a major policy instrument for those seeking to advance sustainable resource use and conservation. Despite decades of policy experimentation and empirical research, systematic understanding of the influence of different property rights regimes on resource and environmental outcomes remains elusive, however. A large, diverse, and rapidly growing body of literature investigates the links between property regimes and environmental outcomes, but has not synthesized theoretical and policy insights within specific resource systems and especially across resource systems. Here we provide a systematic review of empirical evidence on this topic gathered over the past two decades. We ask the following questions: a) which property regimes are associated with environmentally sustainable outcomes within and across resource systems?; b) under what conditions? We assess current knowledge of the impacts of property rights regimes on environmental outcomes in three resource systems in developing countries: forests, fisheries and rangelands. These resource systems represent differing levels of resource mobility and variability. The review uses a bundle of rights approach to unpack the constituent rights of three broad property regimes, common, government, and private property, while considering the impact of open access and contested property regimes. Our analysis emphasizes major insights while highlighting important gaps in current research


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