The inconvenient implications of community-driven development

Motherhood, participatory approaches and apple pie. I’m on the board of an organization that is in the midst of some soul searching about its role in natural resource management, land rights, landscape approaches, and community-based conservation.  These are things...

Objectives for the International Year of Rangelands and Pastoralists

Objectives of the IYRP During its meeting in late September and early October of this year, the United Nations Committee on Agriculture (COAG) endorsed the proposal to declare 2026 as the International Year of Rangelands and Pastoralists (IYRP).  There are further...

Against IPAT

I recently had a lively conversation with my teenage daughter about our environmental footprint, a concept that she was studying in school.  Like a lot of young people, she is quite concerned about the direction the world is going, about how many planet Earths we...

When NOT to use a landscape approach

I am generally optimistic about approaches for environmental management and governance that are based on dialogue and deliberation, bringing together diverse stakeholders, and searching for common ground.  And I am, obviously enough, a believer in the potential of...

Why can’t we get past the “tragedy of the commons”?

Last year I postponed a rant about the ill-named “the tragedy of the commons” concept.  I can contain myself no longer. Since Garrett Hardin published his influential 1968 paper of that name, decades of scholarship has shown that he got it wrong.  In the right...