Sustaining Pastoral Resources in the Kuloko and Zuluga Communities in the Bawku Municipal, Ghana
Natural resources are managed under various property regimes: open access, state property, private property and common property. Various scholars have over the years tried to justify the importance or effectiveness of each property regime. Garret Hardin was the first to extol the virtues of the private property regime in his Tragedy of the Commons theory. This theory expressed doubts in the sustainable management of resources held under the common property regime and thus recommends the privatization of open access and common property resources. Private ownership and management was thus seen as the best way forward in avoiding the ‘misuse’ of natural resources and ensuring their sustainability. However, since Hardin’s publication of the theory of ‘Tragedy of the Commons’ in Science in 1968, many scholars have also come out to highlight the effectiveness of the other property regimes in the management of natural resources. This paper examines the management of grazing lands in the Kuloko and Zuluga communities in the Bawku Municipal under the common property and private property regimes. This study used key informant interviews and focus group discussion in the collection of information. Among the two property regimes, the common property regime or communal management by far provides a more robust institutional framework for managing grazing lands, at least in the study communities. This property regime presents a basket of institutional arrangements that largely define and enforce rules, as well as monitor compliance. Nonetheless, the study revealed that all the property regimes face various problems in the management of grazing lands, including the difficulty in regulating use and excluding potential users.
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