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This book and its companion volume, "Property Rights and the Environment: Social and Ecological Issues," concern the institutional dimensions of environmental sustainability. Humans interact with their environment through systems of property rights that are embedded in social, political, cultural, and economic context. The outcome of that interaction affects both the quantity and quality of environmental resources. It is becoming increasingly clear that although national and international economic policies have often ignored the environment, economic development ultimately depends on institutions that can protect and maintain the environment's carrying capacity and resilience. The knowledge of how property rights regimes, as particularly important types of institutions, function in relation to humans and their use of the environment is critical to the design and implementation of effective environmental protection. This volume contains a number of case studies that address questions of design application in the following areas: design of governance systems for sutainability; the relationships among equity, stewardship, and environmental resilience; the use of traditional knowledge in resource management, the mechanisms that link humans to their environments; and the role played by poverty and population.

Publisher: World Bank

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