Diversity of common property resource use and diversity of social interests in the western Indian Himalaya

  • Berkes F
  • Davidson-Hunt I
  • Davison-Hunt K
  • 3

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Abstract

Resources of mountain environments are often held and used as commons. This paper examines the use of mountain commons in two villages in the Manali area, KuLu Valley, Himachal Pradesh, India, where the land settlement of 1886 provided the local people with well defined resource rights and allowed a degree of local control. Each village had a resource area which included a series of zones from agricultural land at about 2,000 m to the highest pastures at about 4,000 m. Within this area, ten categories of land use were identified: three kinds of private property agricultural land; four kinds of common-property grazing land; and three kinds of forest land, two of which had elements of common-property. Diversity of land use was due to a diversity of interests based on gender, caste, and ethnicity. Village-based social institutions, mahila mandais and mimbers, allowed these diverse interests a voice in resource management.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Himachal Pradesh
  • India
  • Kulu Valley
  • common property resources
  • developing country
  • historical study
  • land use pattern
  • mountain area
  • resources management
  • rural society
  • village community

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Authors

  • F Berkes

  • I Davidson-Hunt

  • K Davison-Hunt

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