Communal tenure and the governance of common property resources in Asia

This paper presents an overview of the distinctive features of communal tenure in different community-based land and natural resource management systems. Communal tenure refers to situations where groups, communities, or one or more villages have well defined, exclusive rights to jointly own and/or manage particular areas of natural resources such as land, forest and water. These are often referred to as common pool resources: many rural communities are dependent on these resources for their livelihood. In communal tenure, both the boundaries of the resource owned in
common and group membership are clearly defined. These are necessary conditions to exclude outsiders and to secure the rights of group members so that these rights cannot be taken away or changed unilaterally.