As people living near forests in many parts of the world receive recognition of resource
management rights, questions arise about where forest boundaries should be set and
who should legitimately receive these rights. Drawing on research conducted among
forest-dwelling Kenyah communities in Kalimantan, Indonesia, during 1995 to 1998,
this paper shows that the realization of resource rights must be understood in the
social context of how boundaries are interpreted and negotiated. Access to and control
over forest resources is as much a matter of boundary keeping as of boundary setting.
The analysis shows that boundary keepers assessed whether someone should be
given access based on the potential user’s entitlement, identity, and the potential for
exchange. Understanding the ‘fuzziness’ of how seemingly clear boundary rules are
applied should provide a more realistic picture of how groups gain and control access to
resources in practice.
Topic: property rights,right of access,boundaries,forest resources,ethnic groups,Aquilaria
Publication Year: 2003
Source: Environment and Planning A 35(6): 1007-1023