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Commons, indigenous rights, and governance

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This chapter focuses on Latin American cases because the extent of formal recognition in this region has been particularly significant and diverse. Data analyzing changes in statutory regimes around the world show that Latin America is the developing region where the most significant changes appear to have occurred, at least on paper, in the transfer or recognition of rights designed for the use and management of communities. In Latin America, 59% of forest lands are owned and administered by the state, compared to approximately 92% in Africa and 62% in Asia. The chapter analyzes the evolution of indigenous claims to common pool resources and the recognition of indigenous rights to resource commons. It utilises commons theory to analyze the evolution of indigenous claims to commons, draws on cases from Latin American to illustrate the process of formalization of indigenous rights to land and forest resources. The chapter demonstrates that the challenges of establishing effective governance of indigenous commons.

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