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Managing Indian Forests: A Case for the Reform of Property Rights

Research reports

During the 20th century the proportion of land in India designated as state-owned forest reserves expanded, but deforestation on this and other forest land also increased. This paper weighed up the complex arguments for and against public ownership of forest land, especially in light of the Indian government's proposals to strengthen their control of the resource. Although the government's view of forests as a state asset was valid, they were unable to manage the forest reserves effectively. The author proposed a locally adaptable system of endowing present forest residents with lease rights to the reserves, with the state acting as a trustee.

Simon Commander