Property Rights Issues in Small-scale Forestry in the Philippines

Steve Harrison


Weak or inappropriate property rights can be a major impediment to efficient and sustainable use of natural resources. The system of property rights governs what landholders can do with their land and other resources and the incentives which exist to undertake tree growing activities. In the forest sector, the property rights regime is conditioned largely by the forest administration infrastructure, forestry funding arrangements and environmental policy. Often measures to make forestry more sustainable have unintended adverse impacts on the property rights of tree growers. In the Philippines (as in other countries, both developed and developing), various anomalies in property rights in forestry are often noted. These tend to discriminate against plantation forestry and, in particular, small-scale forestry. Reform of property rights in forestry is a challenging task.

Keywords: concept of property; tenure security; harvest and transport rights; transferability.

Annals of Tropical Research 25(2):(2003)
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