Dynamic and Flexible Aspects of Land and Marine Tenure at West Nggela: Implications for Marine Resource Management

Dynamic and Flexible Aspects of Land and Marine Tenure at West Nggela: Implications for Marine... ABSTRACT At West Nggela, access to high value marine invertebrate stocks is controlled by consanguineal corporate groups holding primary rights (which include rights of exclusion) over reefs bearing these stocks. Disputes over primary rights appear to result in a breakdown in management practices, resulting in overfishing and severe depletion of stocks. An understanding of the common causes of disputes is therefore of considerable importance to marine resource management, and development, in this region. This paper outlines first the essential, or ‘ideal’, processes of descent reckoning and property transfer that underpin the Customary Marine Tenure (CMT) system at West Nggela as they are presented to ‘outsiders’ such as government officials and anthropologists. It then deals with some of the many exceptions to this norm, and the ways these variations can contribute to disputes over primary rights to property. The pressures of economic development, and the resultant commodification of resources and property, in our view catalyse the conflict between the ideal, simplified model and the complexity of actual praxis in respect to property rights. Recent dramatic increases in the perceived value of many properties as a result of proposed lucrative developments may underlie present day conflicts which in the past would not have arisen. Examples are drawn from interview data as well as case studies of two formal property disputes which were heard in local courts at West Nggela in 1995. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Oceania Wiley

Dynamic and Flexible Aspects of Land and Marine Tenure at West Nggela: Implications for Marine Resource Management

Oceania, Volume 71 (1) – Sep 1, 2000

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
© 2000 The University of Sydney
ISSN
0029-8077
eISSN
1834-4461
DOI
10.1002/j.1834-4461.2000.tb02722.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

ABSTRACT At West Nggela, access to high value marine invertebrate stocks is controlled by consanguineal corporate groups holding primary rights (which include rights of exclusion) over reefs bearing these stocks. Disputes over primary rights appear to result in a breakdown in management practices, resulting in overfishing and severe depletion of stocks. An understanding of the common causes of disputes is therefore of considerable importance to marine resource management, and development, in this region. This paper outlines first the essential, or ‘ideal’, processes of descent reckoning and property transfer that underpin the Customary Marine Tenure (CMT) system at West Nggela as they are presented to ‘outsiders’ such as government officials and anthropologists. It then deals with some of the many exceptions to this norm, and the ways these variations can contribute to disputes over primary rights to property. The pressures of economic development, and the resultant commodification of resources and property, in our view catalyse the conflict between the ideal, simplified model and the complexity of actual praxis in respect to property rights. Recent dramatic increases in the perceived value of many properties as a result of proposed lucrative developments may underlie present day conflicts which in the past would not have arisen. Examples are drawn from interview data as well as case studies of two formal property disputes which were heard in local courts at West Nggela in 1995.

Journal

OceaniaWiley

Published: Sep 1, 2000

References

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