Does Tenure Matter? A Comparative Analysis of Agricultural Expansion in the Mosquitia Forest Corridor

Hayes, Tanya Marie
December 2007
Human Ecology: An Interdisciplinary Journal;Dec2007, Vol. 35 Issue 6, p733
Academic Journal
This article compares how public protection of forests and common-property forest institutions serve to control outside encroachment into frontier forests in Honduras and Nicaragua. The article combines institutional analysis with ethnographically based fieldwork and analysis of land-cover images to evaluate how property-rights arrangements influence monitoring, enforcement, and compliance with rules to restrict agricultural expansion in two biosphere reserves in the Mosquitia Corridor. Findings show that territorial demarcation and common-property rights are important components for frontier forest conservation. In areas with weak enforcement mechanisms and heavy reliance on social norms over official regulatory measures, the findings suggest that the perceived legitimacy of tenure arrangements and their respective land-use rules are fundamental to controlling the agricultural frontier.


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