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Determinants of successful environmental regimes in the context of the coastal wetlands of Goa

Sonak S, Sonak M, and Kazi S , 2012

Land Use Policy, Volume 29, pp.94-101

Abstract

While community based resource management was practiced for centuries by many traditional societies of the world, these resources are continuously being eroded in the recent years. This paper uses a case study of the Khazans, the coastal wetlands of Goa, in order to study determinants of successful environmental regimes. Khazans are the low-lying coastal lands that have been reclaimed from marshy mangroves by the construction of embankments and sluice gates. Traditionally, khazans were managed by the organized groups of self-regulating tribal peasant communities called the gaunkari, who were renamed as the communidades, during the Portuguese regime in Goa. In 1961, with the merger of Goa and the Indian Union, as a measure of the agrarian reform, legislations were enacted and the responsibility for management of the khazans came to be statutorily imposed upon the tenants' associations. This gradually weakened the control of the gaunkars, particularly as the state control over the functioning of the communidades increased. This paper describes the evolution of the land resource management system over a period of about two thousand years and also comments on the reasons for the success of traditional community based land resource management systems.

Keyword(s)

Khazan, Gaunkar, Communidade, Tenant association