Review

Revisiting the Commons: Local Lessons, Global Challenges

Science  09 Apr 1999:
Vol. 284, Issue 5412, pp. 278-282
DOI: 10.1126/science.284.5412.278

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Abstract

In a seminal paper, Garrett Hardin argued in 1968 that users of a commons are caught in an inevitable process that leads to the destruction of the resources on which they depend. This article discusses new insights about such problems and the conditions most likely to favor sustainable uses of common-pool resources. Some of the most difficult challenges concern the management of large-scale resources that depend on international cooperation, such as fresh water in international basins or large marine ecosystems. Institutional diversity may be as important as biological diversity for our long-term survival.

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