Yuracare forest community, Department of Cochabamba, northern Bolivia

Resource System
Forest ecosystem and associated watershed
Resource Units
Floral and faunal resources, including fuelwood, fodder, timber, water, and wildlife

The Yuracare forest community is located in the department of Cochabamba, in northern Bolivia.  It encompasses a geographical area of 250,000 ha in the Rio Charape watershed. The case study spans from early 1990s to 1997, and catalogues an action situation involving 400 families, which are dependent on the forest for fuelwood, fodder, timber, water, and game species, among others.  Timber and a variety of forest products are the main stationary resource units.

This case illustrates how external drivers can disturb common-pool resources systems by affecting resource use patterns through the introduction of an economic activity based on natural resource extraction. The external intervention introduced scarcity to the system.

The original case study authors focused on the viability of a self-managed system by indigenous communities such as the Yucare community. The case study has subsequently been used in comparative analyses regarding Ostrom's Design Principles (see bibliography).

As one of the cases analyzed by Cox et al. (2010), it was deemed as a failure due to deterioration of timber natural infrastructure and social infrastructure. Cox et al. (2010) and Baggio et al. (2016) identified the following design principles in this case: clearly defined social boundaries (1A), clearly defined biophysical boundaries (1B), collective choice arrangements (3), monitoring (4A), monitoring the monitors (4B), graduated sanctions (5), conflict-resolution mechanisms (6), rights to organize (7), nestedness (8).