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Conservation and Society
An interdisciplinary journal exploring linkages between society, environment and development
Conservation and Society
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ARTICLE
Year : 2008  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 117-129

The Robustness of Indigenous Common-property Systems to Frontier Expansion: Institutional Interplay in the Mosquitia Forest Corridor


Departments of Environmental Studies and Public Affairs, Institute for Public Service, Seattle University, 901 12th Ave, PO Box 222000, Seattle, WA 09122-1090 and Center for the Study of Institutions, Population and Environmental Change, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, 47408-3799, USA

Correspondence Address:
Tanya M Hayes
Departments of Environmental Studies and Public Affairs, Institute for Public Service, Seattle University, 901 12th Ave, PO Box 222000, Seattle, WA 09122-1090 and Center for the Study of Institutions, Population and Environmental Change, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, 47408-3799
USA
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DOI: 10.4103/0972-4923.49206

This article compares how indigenous residents in the Mosquitia Forest Corridor of Honduras and Nica訃agua have responded to agricultural expansion in two distinct institutional environments: a reserve under public management and a reserve where the indigenous residents hold territorial rights. The article com苑ines institutional analysis with ethnographically-based fieldwork to (1) identify whether the indigenous common-property systems in the Mosquitia remain robust when residents are confronted with private計roperty institutions and land markets introduced by colonists; and (2) examine the links between main負enance of the common-property systems and the broader institutional environment. The analysis pays particular attention to how the protected area policies in each reserve impact the transaction costs in苞urred in local rule-making and individual land use strategies in response to migrant farmers and ranchers. The findings suggest that the broader institutional environment, specifically the protected area policies and processes, significantly influence the transaction costs and risks involved in collective rule-making, and thereby impact the capacity of the indigenous residents to sustain their common-property systems.


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