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Unformatted text preview: ESPM 50 Worksheet F09 Elinor Ostroms model for evaluating long term sustainability of CPR systems In his article The Tragedy of the Commons Garret Hardin argues that common pool resource systems (CPRs) tend toward degradation and ultimately collapse unless some authority allocates and enforces property (and in some cases reproductive) use rights in order to achieve a sustainable ratio between population and resources productivity. Systemic collapse, according to Hardin, only can be prevented if CPRs are managed under a system of private or state property and enforced by the coercive power of the state or some other authority that is viewed as legitimate by users and has the capacity to enforce rules. Hardin assumes that all resource users are rational actors in a competitive marketplace, in which decisions are based exclusively on the short-term self-interest of the individual. He also assumes that the competitive marketplace precludes communication or cooperation between resource users outside of networks of market exchange (i.e., buying and selling goods and services), making it impossible for users to limit use by negotiating with one another and realizing their shared interest in conserving resources. In their article Benefits of the Commons, Berkes et al. argue that the allocation of property (or reproductive) rights is not the only means of achieving CPR sustainability. They point to empirical studies of CPR management under common, private and state property rights systems, and suggest that each of these systems may lead to degradation or sustainability, depending on specific circumstances. Elinor Ostroms model offers a means for evaluating the relative likelihood of long-term CPR sustainability or degradation. Ostrom provides an alternative to Hardins argument and expands on Berkes et al.s critique. She identifies three core principles incentives, rules prohibitions and co-operation trust that must be realized in one form or another in order to achieve CPR sustainability. Sustainable CPR management must be based on incentives to participate in rule-based systems that govern CPR control, access and use by fostering co-operation and trust between resource users. The seven points in the outer circle of her model are qualities of successful CPR management systems. They are progressive ideally, in that the first one (clearly defined boundaries) sets a precedent for creating the possibility for the second on (rules of utilization adapted to the local situation), and so on . However, in reality, some systems may have sanctions, for instance, without having effective means of surveillance. Management systems that are built upon all seven points are the most likely to achieve CPR sustainability, but those with only some of the qualities may also prove relatively resilient to degradation. In any case, the key is to establish a system of rules that is viewed as legitimate by all resource users, and which facilitates and is based on communication and cooperation between all interested parties in establishing, enforcing, and mediating administration of the rules. ...
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- Spring '09