Contested Spaces: Forest Rights, Registration, and Social Conflict

Peter Ho

in Institutions in Transition

Published in print June 2005 | ISBN: 9780199280698
Published online July 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602528 | DOI:

Series: Studies on Contemporary China

Contested Spaces: Forest Rights, Registration, and Social Conflict

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Assesses the forest property rights system with particular reference to forest registration and customary forest rights. It is argued that—different than in the case of cropland—the forest tenure system is far from socially acceptable and credible. This is expressed through improper forest management, forest degradation, and the loss of forest through illegal conversion to non-forestry land. In addition, the forest sector also features a relatively high incidence of social conflict over forest land. Forest disputes have been a particular problem since forest registration started in the early 1980s. To illustrate the problems in forestry, the chapter also includes a description of two cases that demonstrate the complexity involved in the recognition of customary and historical forest claims.

Keywords: customary rights; deforestation; forest rights; social conflict

Chapter.  14118 words. 

Subjects: Economic Development and Growth

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