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Conservation and Society
An interdisciplinary journal exploring linkages between society, environment and development
Conservation and Society
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Year : 2010  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 140-150

The Rents of Illegal Logging: The Mechanisms behind the Rush on Forest Resources in Southeast Albania

Independent Scholar, 4696 Rue de Grand Pre, Montreal, QC, H2T 2H7, Canada

Correspondence Address:
Johannes Stahl
Independent Scholar, 4696 Rue de Grand Pre, Montreal, QC, H2T 2H7
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-4923.68916

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Since the collapse of socialism, Central and Eastern Europe has experienced a massive rush on forest resources. This paper examines the concrete mechanisms through which the postsocialist transformation has spurred this rush through a case study of a forest sector in southeastern Albania, where various kinds of actors collide in a struggle over rent from illegal firewood extraction and trade. I argue that the broader political and economic changes of postsocialism have altered rural resource values, changed the mechanisms through which forest users gain access to productive resources, and shifted the creation and distribution of resource rent among actors. Together, these changes affected forest users' incentives, decision-making and practices. Over the past two decades they have caused this rush and severe forest degradation.

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