Privatization of Commons: Impacts on Traditional Users of Provisioning and Cultural Ecosystem Services

dc.contributor.authorUnnikrishnan, Hita
dc.contributor.authorNagendra, Harini
dc.coverage.regionMiddle East & South Asiaen_US
dc.description.abstract"The city of Bangalore, India, is well known for its extensive network of lakes, traditionally managed as commons. Although owned by plural state authorities, often with overlapping jurisdictions and responsibilities, they still are accessed by a variety of communities who influence their access and management, thus forming operational commons. Today, many of these lakes have been lost or degraded due to the pressures of urbanization. In recent years, an experiment with decentralizing management of lakes to private stakeholders was carried out through Public Private Partnership (PPP) models. This change in management meant state led reclamation of commons through restricted access to ecosystem services. Though widely critiqued by civil society and legal machinery, it continues to be operational in three lakes. Using these lakes to understand the impact of privatization on ecosystem use in urban commons, this paper evaluates differences in land and resource use, by comparing the three privatized (converted commons) with adjacent, non-privatized lakes (managed as community commons). We contrast land use patterns seen within a hundred meter radius around each lake. We then map the provisioning and cultural uses of these lake ecosystems that are managed using different institutional approaches. The perceptions of users regarding the services provided by each category of lake ecosystems have also been evaluated. Our results indicate that lakes constituting operational commons support greater diversity of traditional livelihoods and non-commercial uses compared to privatized lakes. Greater pressures of urbanization with pronounced inequities in housing distribution were observed along the privatized lakes. This study indicates the possible negative implications of privatization in impacting the diversity of traditional ecosystem services provided by commons in this inland city. It also suggests that privatization appears an incomplete solution, one with potential to exacerbate existing inequities in social access to urban ecological services in the global South."en_US
dc.identifier.citationconfdatesJune 3-7en_US
dc.identifier.citationconferenceCommoners and the Changing Commons: Livelihoods, Environmental Security, and Shared Knowledge, the Fourteenth Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of the Commonsen_US
dc.identifier.citationconflocMt. Fuji, Japanen_US
dc.subjecturban commonsen_US
dc.subjectenvironmental servicesen_US
dc.subject.sectorSocial Organizationen_US
dc.subject.sectorWater Resource & Irrigationen_US
dc.titlePrivatization of Commons: Impacts on Traditional Users of Provisioning and Cultural Ecosystem Servicesen_US
dc.typeConference Paperen_US
dc.type.methodologyCase Studyen_US


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