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Managing Agri-Envirnonmental Commons Through Collective Action: Lessons from OECD Countries

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Uetake, Tetsuya
Conference: Commoners and the Changing Commons: Livelihoods, Environmental Security, and Shared Knowledge, the Fourteenth Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of the Commons
Location: Mt. Fuji, Japan
Conf. Date: June 3-7
Date: 2013
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/8988
Sector: Agriculture
Subject(s): IASC
collective action
public goods and bads
Abstract: "Agriculture is a provider of food as well as commons such as biodiversity and landscape. Agri-environmental commons are very old, but their use and non-use values are newly appreciated by a wider community. Managing and producing them are key to society. However, previous research on agri-environmental commons and agri-environmental policies has focused on individual farmers, but much less on collective action. The paper examines 25 collective action cases from 13 OECD countries, which manage and produce various types of agri-environmental commons. Collective action can facilitate geographically appropriate management of resources, allow for shared knowledge among members and increase their capacities, and provide solutions for dealing with agri-environmental commons. However, sometimes, transaction costs may hinder collective action from being formed. Moreover, farmers often need external support such as scientific knowledge, technical information and financial assistance. Thus, external help from public agencies or other interested bodies may be necessary to promote collective action. The study indicates that many local and central governments in OECD countries encourage farmers and other stakeholders to take initiatives to govern commons by themselves through various policy measures including technical assistance and financial programmes. Collaboration with intermediaries is also necessary to facilitate state-community relationships. Governments can assist commons management rather than interfering with it."

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