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Duraiappah A.K.,United International University Dhanmondi | Asah S.T.,University of Washington | Brondizio E.S.,Indiana University | Kosoy N.,McGill University | And 4 more authors.
Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability | Year: 2014

Hardin in his seminal paper described the management of the commons as a tragedy. Three decades later, Ostrom and colleagues argued that the management of the commons was more of a drama than a tragedy. They identified that the management of common pool resources is dependent on the institutions at play at the specific scale and across scales and the various stakeholders involved in the access and use of these resources. In this paper we go one step further by arguing that the plurality of values within and across individuals coupled with the spatial scales at which different institutions are organized and at which ecosystem services are produced create mismatches in the management of the New Commons. We define the New Commons as the mosaic of land, water, and climate, and their underlying processes that regulate ecosystem structure and functions to maintain a sustainable supply of common pool resources for human well-being. A conceptual framework capturing these mis-matches and the multiple spatial scales at which ecosystems provide services is presented in this paper. This framework sheds new light on the key inter-linkages among nature and human well-being which the newly established Intergovernmental science-policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) is expected to address. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Do Carmo M.S.,Grande Rio University | De Oliveira J.A.P.,United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies
Resources, Conservation and Recycling | Year: 2010

The rise of environmentalism and the opportunities for profiting from waste have changed thewaysociety sees recyclers' work from something dirty and nasty (negative semantics) to a much more positive view (positive semantics), such as people doing good for the environment and saving resources. How have the semantics of garbage affected the organizations (cooperatives) of recycling workers? On the one hand, this change has facilitated their organization and brought public support to the cooperatives, as recyclers had struggled to be accepted by society and by governments. On the other hand, the positive semantics have led cooperatives to face much fiercer competition from private recycling firms, especially in the profitable"high end" waste, making recyclers' lives and their collective organization harder. This study analyzes the public interventions in three cooperatives in the city of Rio de Janeiro in order to understand the main obstacles recyclers have faced to organize themselves and how those obstacles evolved over time due to semantic changes. The article concludes that a more positive semantics of garbage may be necessary, but not a sufficient condition to improve the well-being of recyclers, as positive semantics can also bring negative effects, particularly in their incomes. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Suneetha M.S.,United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies
Sustainability Science | Year: 2010

Biodiversity is acknowledged as one of the most important resources that helps to sustain life's processes. Additionally, it is also one of the most important sources of livelihood for different kinds of stakeholders at various levels of resource markets-local, domestic, or international. With globalization and increasing sophistication in the methods of commercial trade in biological resources, various issues arise related to the sustenance of resources, of ecological balances, and equity in transactions. All of these are concerns to be addressed to achieve a state of 'sustainability.' This paper prescribes to the definition of 'sustainability' as the capacity to maintain a certain process or state for "improving the quality of human life while living within the carrying capacity of supporting eco-systems" (IUCN/UNEP/WWF, in Caring for the Earth: a strategy for sustainable living. Gland, Switzerland, 1991). This goes beyond ensuring inter- and intragenerational equity in access to resources and includes several other parameters, including equity among stakeholders to returns from biological resources, related knowledge, trade-offs, and ethical business practices related to these resources. Through the prism of an examination of a simplistic supply route(s) and value addition chain of biodiversity resources for commercial use, this paper reviews and highlights issues related to 'sustainability' at each stage. Evidence points to shortcomings in the sustainable use of biological resources at each stage of value addition, calling for focused and specific measures to address them. © 2009 Integrated Research System for Sustainability Science, United Nations University, and Springer.

Gu H.,United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies | Jiao Y.,Yunnan Normal University | Liang L.,University of Tokyo
Forest Policy and Economics | Year: 2012

The rapid disappearance of traditional agricultural landscapes is a worldwide concern. How to balance the needs between conservation and development has become a major policy issue. Based on a case study of the Hani Rice Terraces - a mosaic agricultural landscape composed of forests, villages, rice terraces and water system in Yunnan, China, this article examines the issues pertaining to tourism development and its impact on the relationship between the Hani Rice Terraces and their custodian communities. It also discusses measures to strengthen the resilience of rural communities to adapt to changing socio-economic conditions. Drawing on a comparison between the Hani Rice Terraces and the Ifugao rice terraces, this article proposes an endogenous development strategy aiming at harnessing tourism for poverty reduction and enhancing community custodianship. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Moreno-Penaranda R.,United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies | Kallis G.,Autonomous University of Barcelona
Ecological Economics | Year: 2010

This paper studies the coevolutionary ecological-economic dynamics of agro-environmental change. The case study is Santa Rosa (Brazil) and the modernization of subsistence agriculture followed by the more recent emergence of organic farming. We use coevolution as an integrative framework for explaining how and why economic production changed over time in Santa Rosa in interdependence with the ecosystem resulting in a mosaic of diverse farm practices. A coevolutionary framework expands the explanatory breadth of prevailing accounts of agro-environmental change that rely on a notion of shifts from one singular, homogeneous production economy to the next. It unveils the complex processes driving agro-environmental change, instead of focusing on the structures resulting from it. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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