Millions of people across rural India depend on and share the ‘common’ (community) natural resources like forest, wasteland, grazing land, water resources, etc., for their livelihoods, whereas developing such ‘common resources’ through collective action for the sustainable village development is a challenging task for the rural community. Many a time, Common Property Resources (CPRs) also work like the shock absorbers (both income and employment) for the vulnerable poor during the lean seasons wherein no wage employment is available to sustain their livelihood, whereas developing the ‘common resources’ through collective action at the village—panchayat—level is a challenging task for the rural community.
An article from the Land and Rural Studies analyses how the CPR is managed and sustained by the village panchayat along with its impact on rural community. There are, however, some initiatives of long-standing community self-regulation of common resource management for farm and non-farm development, which need to be understood and replicated elsewhere by suitable and sustainable mechanism.
The active and responsible community participation is one of the prime requirements for promoting and sustaining the common natural resources. The public–private people partnership between the government, private institutions and the community is apparent for the integrated and sustainable village development. The study demonstrates that strong community participation with a vision, new institutional set-up and an efficient management and governance of CPR would benefit the society in many folds. Policy needs to be designed for CPR management from the bottom-up approach with the involvement of community to make development sustainable.
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