It’s not always a collective action problem

Commons thinking has had a profound influence on how we understand sustainability, land rights, and natural resource management.  This school of thought traces its origins most notably to Nobel laureate Elinor Ostrom and believes that under the right circumstances...

Disconnect, Reconnect Differently: Pandemic as Opportunity

Connectivity and resilience Are you also having a feeling of déjà vu?  The events of the past few months surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic are retelling a story that was told during the 2007-2008 financial crisis.  The characters in the story have different names, but...

What religion has to offer sustainable landscapes

The nature-religion connection Those of us working toward sustainable landscapes should be ready, in fact should actively seek out, to engage with religion.  For huge numbers of people, religion frames what life is about and for and what is important.  It guides how...

When Participatory Approaches Mess up Your Plans

I never imagined that this man who had brought his herd into this other community’s pastures and flouted the community’s grazing rules, and whose actions had disrupted our training workshop would become a champion of our approach.   The Interrupted Workshop I had...

False Dichotomies and Suspicious Phrases in Environment and Development

Trust in God AND tether your camel! In one version of the story behind this Middle Eastern proverb, which is sometimes attributed to the Prophet himself, two Bedouin herders get into an argument, one claiming that reality is harsh and that people have to take care of...