Common Property Resource Management
Common property resource means a good or service shared by a well-defined community. The community controls the use of such resource by individuals. However, enforcement is weak due to difficulties in monitoring. For example, water in a village pond, which is a common property resource, is used by the villagers only. The village as a community decides upon the manner and the purpose for which the pond water can be used, which results in a set of norms, evolved over time, and largely unwritten. In case of a breach of the norms, however, imposition of penalty is poorly enforced due to poor monitoring, subjectivity in the norms and ambiguities in property rights.
The common property regime for managing natural resources is frequently misunderstood. It is often observed as a situation in which there is no management regime in place; as a situation of open access, which is free for all. Accordingly resource degradation in the developing countries is incorrectly attributed to 'common property systems', whereas it actually originates in the dissolution of local level institutional arrangements. Therefore, there is a need to properly understand the common property resources and its management systems as these have direct bearing on the sustainable development of natural resources.