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Sustainability 2015, 7(1), 496-521; doi:10.3390/su7010496

Self-Governance and Sustainable Common Pool Resource Management in Kyrgyzstan

1,†
,
2,†
and
2,†,*
1
HTW Berlin—University of Applied Sciences, Treskowallee 8, Berlin 10318, Germany
2
Division of Resource Economics, Humboldt University Berlin, Hannoversche Str. 27, Berlin D-10115, Germany
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Vincenzo Torretta
Received: 30 October 2014 / Accepted: 23 December 2014 / Published: 5 January 2015
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Abstract

How to best govern natural resources in order to enable a sustainable way of handling them is what both research and practice aim to achieve. Empirical findings from several studies indicate that resource users are able to successfully cooperate in the management of common pool resources and solve social dilemmas through self-governance arrangements. The authors explore the potential success of self-governance in irrigation systems, focusing primarily on the factors influencing compliance of irrigation water users under self-crafted and self-enforced rules in two Kyrgyz communities. A field experiment is employed to provide insights and some quantitative empirical data, further complemented by qualitative methods (questionnaires, group discussions and interviews) to enhance the analysis of the findings about working rules in irrigation at the community level. The results show that Kyrgyz irrigation users of the selected communities generally respond better in a self-governance setting in terms of rules compliance, distribution efficiency and equity. Compliance and cooperative behavior depend on group as well as individual variables including communication, social norms and the legitimacy of rules. View Full-Text
Keywords: common-pool resources; sustainable water management; field experiment; Kyrgyzstan common-pool resources; sustainable water management; field experiment; Kyrgyzstan
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Baerlein, T.; Kasymov, U.; Zikos, D. Self-Governance and Sustainable Common Pool Resource Management in Kyrgyzstan. Sustainability 2015, 7, 496-521.

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