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Environment and History

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Environment and History

Property Rights, Development Policy and Depletion of Resources: The Case of the Central Rainlands of Sudan, 1940s-1980s

Gaim Kibreab

Environment and History 7(2001): 57-108

Based on a case study of the Central Rainlands of Sudan, the paper challenges the assumptions and principles underlying the tragedy of the commons model and the property rights paradigm with regard to sustainability of resources owned in common. In the particular experience of the Sudan, and this is generally true of many developing countries, state interference in customary tenurial rights rather than communal property rights has been the ultimate cause of open access conditions of use and consequently of resource depletion.

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