Commons as an Ecological Imperative

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David Bollier:

"Historically, commoning has been the dominant mode of managing land and even today, in places like Africa, Asia and Latin America, it is arguably the default norm, notwithstanding the efforts of governments and investors to commodify land and natural resources. According to the International Land Alliance, an estimated 2 billion people in the world still depend upon forests, fisheries, farmland, water, wild game and other natural resources for their everyday survival. This is a huge number of people, yet conventional economists still regard this “subsistence” economy and indigenous societies as uninteresting because there is little market-exchange going on. Yet these communities are surely more ecologically mindful of their relations to the land than agribusinesses that rely upon monoculture crops and pesticides, or which exploit a plot of land purely for its commercial potential without regard for biodiversity or long-term effects, such as the massive palm oil plantations in tropical regions.

Commoning is a way for we humans to re-integrate our social and commercial practices with the fundamental imperatives of nature. By honoring specific local landscapes, the situated knowledge of commoners, the principle of inalienability, and the evolving social practices of commoning, the commons can be a powerful force for ecological improvement." (