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Resource access and rights

Drafting of the Stung Treng Community Fishery rules


Natural resource-dependent individuals, households and communities become marginalised because they either have no rights to the resources on which they are dependent -- or no feasible way to exercise the rights they do have. Clashes between traditional and contemporary systems of property rights are often at the root of livelihood and environmental insecurity. The most vulnerable communities are invariably the poorest and most marginalised, for whom alternatives are non-existent or come at exorbitant cost.

The programme will focus on the livelihood security of Lower Mekong communities from the perspective of rights to aquatic resources – the “missing link” between poverty and resource degradation -- and demonstrate the links between the existence and quality of rights to aquatic resources and the economic role of resource rights in sustaining livelihoods.

Land and resource rights are highly sensitive issues, both culturally and politically. They must be addressed objectively and in conjunction with other variables in the equation of livelihood security, including among other factors, resource degradation and population increase.