IDS Bulletin Vol. 28 Nos. 4

Challenges to Community?Based Sustainable Development: Dynamics, Entitlements, Institutions

Published on 1 October 1997

Summary Recent approaches to community?based natural resource management frequently present ‘communities’ as consensual units, able to act collectively in restoring population?resource imbalances or reestablishing harmonious relations between local livelihoods and stable environments. Arguing that these underlying assumptions and policy narratives are flawed as guidelines for policy, this article presents an alternative perspective which starts from the politics of resource access and control among diverse social actors, and sees patterns of environmental change as the outcomes of negotiation or contestation between their conflicting perspectives. The notion of ‘environmental entitlements’ encapsulates this shift in perspective, and provides analytical tools to specify the benefits that people gain from die environment which contribute to their well?being. The processes by which people gain environmental endowments and entitlements are, in turn, shaped by diverse institutions, both formal and informal.

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Leach, M., Mearns, R. and Scoones, I. (1997) Challenges to Community?Based Sustainable Development: Dynamics, Entitlements, Institutions. IDS Bulletin 28(4): 4-14

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Institute of Development Studies


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