The local reality of tenure rights in community forest management and conservation in the Peruvian Amazon

Project: PhD

Project Details


This project analyzes how de jure (i.e., government issued land titles) and de facto (i.e., customary and other alternative rights) tenure impacts on forest management and conservation in communities in the Peruvian Amazon. The regularization of forest communities´ land and forest rights is generally a key element in climate, conservation, and livelihoods projects and policies in tropical forests. This practice is based on the common belief that communities can only sustainably manage their forests and resources when they have secure tenure rights over them. Without such secure rights, the risk that third parties, instead of the community members, benefit from the investments (i.e., through stealing the resources or taking over the land) is assumed to be too big for the investment to be worth its while. In the international policy arena, secure tenure rights are often equated with legal, or de jure property rights, such a communal land title. This leads to a somewhat limited but common approach, in which large scale REDD+, conservation and livelihood initiatives focus almost exclusively on land titling, a rather expensive and time-consuming activity, in the first phase of implementation. The body of literature that that focuses on how formal property rights contribute to REDD+, conservation and livelihood objectives show mixed results. An increasing number of scholars argues that equating secure tenure rights with de jure rights is not an ideal approach, as they consider that perceived tenure security, instead of formal property rights, influences communities´ decisions on how to use and manage their forests. This is the case, as community members might consider tenure security from de facto rights as stronger than from de jure rights, mostly if the private institutions (i.e., traditional leaders, customary methods) that enforce de facto rights are strong. Mostly in remote areas, the government enforcement mechanisms related to formal land rights tend to be weak.
Effective start/end date9/05/22 → …


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