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* The Invisible Map

* The Invisible Map

Community Tenure Rights

(p.291) 22 * The Invisible Map
The Social Lives of Forests
Deborah Deborah Barry, Ruth Meinzen-Dick
University of Chicago Press

In recent history, forests have been seen as the purview of the the state and private managers, regardless of historical uses and users. Local communities were often invisible to state institutions, which allocated concessions in ways that triggered significant conflict. More recently, more than 250 million ha of forests have been turned back to their communities on the basis of historical claims of access. The inscription of new and traditional forms of rights has altered access, use, and decision-making rights in profound ways. Local participation in reforms is a fundamental, but often-overlooked step. The legal devolution of forest rights to ancestral or new forest dwellers has spurred the emergence and growth of participatory community land-use mapping (PLUM), used by human rights activists, development practitioners, ethnographers, geographers, and conservationists, expanding opportunities for local community participation. This chapter explores a practical tool for mapping tenure rights to help communities clarify internal systems of rights, rules-in-use and responsibilities, or to note where these do not exist. Such tools can give the systems visibility and credibility for negotiating with the state, any regulatory or normative framework, development project, or private investment being considered.

Keywords:   Forest institutions, forest land reform, tenurial regimes, participatory politics, mapping, visibility and historic rights

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