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Natural Resource Use: global and regional

Websites/Multiple Documents

Title: Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI)
Description/subject: "The Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) helps people to realize the benefits of their countries’ endowments of oil, gas and minerals. We do this through technical advice, advocacy, applied research, policy analysis, and capacity development. We work with innovative agents of change within government ministries, civil society, the media, legislatures, the private sector, and international institutions to promote accountable and effective governance in the extractive industries..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI)
Format/size: html, pdf
Date of entry/update: 03 December 2014

Individual Documents

Title: Sharing the Wealth: A Roadmap for Distributing Myanmar’s Natural Resource Revenues
Date of publication: 15 February 2016
Description/subject: "Myanmar's Union government collects much of the trillions of kyat generated by oil, gas, gemstones and other minerals each year, primarily through its state-owned economic enterprises (SEEs). In the face of such centralized control over revenue, many ethnic groups have long asserted their right to make decisions over resource management in their states. Combatants in areas of active conflict and leaders from several ethnic minority parties—particularly those associated with Kachin, Rakhine and Shan states—have openly called for greater resource revenue sharing. (See map below for more on Myanmar’s extractive geography.) In response, the newly elected National League for Democracy (NLD) has committed to "work to ensure a fair distribution across the country of the profits from natural resource extraction, in accordance with the principles of a federal union." As such, a resource revenue sharing system will undoubtedly be on the table in the upcoming discussion on federalism. However, as we have seen in other countries, these systems come with considerable risks. In the most extreme cases, such as Peru, they can actually exacerbate conflict, encouraging local leaders to use violence to compel greater transfers from the central government or gain control over mine sites. While these experiences are atypical, natural resource revenue sharing often leads to financial waste, local inflation, boom-bust cycles and poor public investment decisions. However, if well designed, resource revenue sharing can: improve development outcomes and the quality of public investment; attract high quality private investors to the sector; and help secure a lasting peace. Sharing the Wealth: A Roadmap for Distributing Myanmar's Natural Resource Revenues outlines options available under the current legal structure to help the new leadership fulfill its commitment to decentralize natural resource revenues. It is also meant to inform Myanmar's broader discourse on how best to distribute these revenues. First, it outlines the current state of fiscal decentralization in Myanmar. Second, it describes the size and location of extractive activities given the limited information currently available. Third, it aims to share good practices for revenue distribution and international experiences. Fourth, it outlines policy options and considerations for policymakers on intergovernmental transfers and addresses the debate on tax assignments..."
Author/creator: Andrew Bauer, Paul Shortell and Lorenzo Delesgues
Language: English
Source/publisher: Natural Resource Governance Institute
Format/size: pdf (2.4MB-reduced version; 12MB-original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.resourcegovernance.org/sites/default/files/documents/nrgi_sharing_myanmar_revenue-sharin...
Date of entry/update: 06 April 2016

Date of publication: April 2011
Description/subject: Summary: "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. Two models of communal tenure are presented in the paper; these models differ in terms of the function of the state, the length of tenure and the characteristics of the resource system concerned. In the first model, the permanent title model, the state fully and permanently hands the land over to local indigenous communities for private collective ownership. In this situation, the resource system is often multi-facetted, comprising agricultural lands as well as forest, water and pasture land. Permanent title for indigenous peoples’ communal land is a special claim supported by national legislation and by international conventions, coven ants and declarations that many countries have endorsed. Examples of permanent title in Asia include the Philippines and Cambodia, where legislation provides for collective rights of indigenous communities. In many instances such as Cambodia, Philippines or, for instance, Papua New Guinea, the indigenous groups or communities that are eligible by law for private and permanent communal tenure need to become a legal entity to be recognized as a communal right-holder by the state. This may require community incorporation. However, the process of incorporation can be cumbersome for people who are not necessarily literate in the national language or in the demands of state bureaucracy. In the second model, the delegated management model, the state maintains ownership of the resources and delegates management to local groups, most often villages, for a specific period of time, with the possibility of renewal. Such agreements are generally subject to national legislation only. In this case, the resources are often uniform and relate to, for example, community forestry, community fishery, pasture or irrigation group tenure that all come in many different forms with different bundles of rights. This model is far more common than the first, with Nepal, India, Thailand, Cambodia or Mongolia providing examples. In addition to these two general models, one may still find traditional customary communal tenure in remote communities. Here the state does not actually regulate or intervene in the management of resources, but all local communities in the area would know of the local rules of harvesting and withdrawal rights. Both the permanent title in communal land and the d elegated management model may originate from an existing customary arrangement, where the rules are known and have been adhered to by right-holders – and their neighbors – for generations. The state can acknowledge these existing communal systems through formalization of existing rules and rights. In a different situation, where customary arrangements are no longer present and the resource is degraded and under open access, the formalization of Communal tenure and the governance of common property resources in Asia delegated management of, for example, a new community forest, may imply setting up or inducing communal tenure institutions, where they did not previously exist. Inducing institutions is a major exercise in social engineering; the resulting induced institution must be carefully aligned with the physical and natural characteristics of the resources or resource system and, ideally, should build on an existing set of norms in the community. Where governments and/or donor projects have a pro-poor approach in inducing communal tenure for natural resource management, the pro-poor targeting mechanisms must be mainstreamed in the institution building. In all communal tenure systems, the physical and biological characteristics of the resource system factor decisively into the regulatory frameworks that communities establish. One must match with the other. In situations where both subsistence and market value products can be withdrawn from the resource system there are also many kinds of interlinked and embedded rights: the communal tenure is usually embedded within a larger nested hierarchy of institutions." Nowadays the communities will often need support an d recognition by the state in order to manage effectively their common pool resou rces. As a consequence, communities will need to establish two sets of rule s: (i) those rules that constitute the community as an entity in the eyes of the state and (ii) those that define internal rules of benefit sharing. Whereas constitutional rules de fine the community as a legal entity, internal community rules establish the management r ights in the resources and the fair appropriation of benefits. Interest in communal tenure and common property res ource management has risen since the 1980s among academics, governments and internat ional development organizations working on land and natural resources management. D ebates on communal tenure are still ongoing in many countries in Asia, in the con text of market pressures and dynamics, which call for privatization to increase productivity, and in the context of big business vying for a stake in valuable land and other natural resources, in some instances leading to land grabbing. The current mar ket driven pressures on natural resources create both challenges and opportunities for communities and governments. Overall, policies and institutions that promote acc ountability and good governance over these resources, both by the government at nat ional and local level and by communities, are required. Some specific approaches , such as communities’ mapping of their territories, are proving useful tools to s afeguard their lands, although they are not sufficient conditions: the wider political and regulatory environment must be supportive too. Communal tenure will very likely play a significant role in the policies and actions for climate change mitigation. With the emergence of in itiatives for Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD and REDD+) , governance and benefit sharing of carbon finance become critical questions in defining who owns the carbon stocked in forest. Marketable community rights to t his special resource unit (stocked carbon) must be supported by national legislation t hat favors communal tenure of some of the carbon properties. This may lead to a separa tion of rights to carbon from the broader rights to the forest and land, an aspect no t yet addressed by theoretical work on communal tenure..."
Author/creator: Kirsten Ewers Andersen
Language: English
Source/publisher: Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)
Format/size: pdf (464K-reduced version; 3.12MB-original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.fao.org/docrep/014/am658e/am658e00.pdf
Date of entry/update: 08 December 2014