212 pages, 15 illustrations
An Institutional Analysis of Forest Resource Uses in Nueva Segovia, Nicaragua offers a well elaborated discussion of the institutional and social causes of deforestation and forest degradation in the upland pine forest of Nueva Segovia, Nicaragua. While this study recognizes that the enforcement of new institutions in places such as Nueva Segovia, a region with a long history of political instability and social conflicts, rely on the government's capacity to enforce law and order, it also shows that the maintenance and change of institutions in that region rely on power relations and on the capacity of institutions to continuously provide a benefit stream for the involved actors. Through a sensitively conducted analysis this study shows that a change in the forest legislation at the central level does not necessary means a change in the rules in use at the local level. The challenge in making sense of all this is that forest management in Nueva Segovia is political and subject to many different interests by different parties. The forest legislation is contested, and there is a remarkably wide gap between rhetoric, the intention of the law and what really goes on in the field. These findings are highly relevant and corroborate the results of other studies on the lack of successful institutional reforms to halt deforestation and forest degradation in other tropical regions. The case study presented here is an example of how de jure institutions are created and enforced from the top-down, have an effect in the local communities and how, in turn, human agency is affecting the changing of institutions.
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