Wildlife conservation has been a public issue since time immemorial, and a cause of increasing concern over the course of the 20th century. Today, much of the dispute over wildlife conservation involves property and property rights. As the scope of wildlife resource governance expands to the global level, it has come into contact with conflicting property claims and has generated new claims involving maritime and landed resources, wildlife, and intellectual property. This paper focuses on wildlife conservation, and specifically on the angle of property rights, arguing that the political determination of property regimes is critical to conservation, especially in regard to wild fauna. Property rights concerning wild fauna, differ from other property rights claims, including landed property, intellectual property, and rights governing the use of wild flora. It is also argued that no single property form is adequate for wildlife conservation. Property as an institution is incomplete; the exceptional character of wild fauna and the property rights that govern it are organic.
World Development – Elsevier
Published: Aug 1, 1995
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