Wednesday, September 18, 2013
ARTICLE: Land Matters for the Environment—Especially the Commons
Last week we mentioned the Land Matters discussion being hosted on the DevEx website. Executive Director of the Foundation for Ecological Security (India) and longtime CAPRi collaborator Jagdeesh Puppala contributed a recent piece to the discussion on why land—and especially the commons—matters for the environment.
Forests and other commons need to be maintained for the ecological functions and services they provide, the biodiversity they harbour, and to absorb harmful greenhouse gases. We believe that the major problem in forest conservation is in viewing forests in isolation; instead, our efforts are concentrated at locating forests and other commons within the larger ecological, social and economic setting, which offers scope to institute arrangements that balance the interests of preservation, conservation and exploitation of natural endowments.
Another important dimension that needs to be reinforced is the thinking that local communities can capably manage their resources. Instead of relying on big government apparatus undertaking what local communities can capably manage, or transferring such vital resources to private interests, the government machinery should ideally be playing a larger adjudicatory role that would secure the interests of the local communities.
Read the whole piece here.