Saga of a Star Fish: Participative Design of Sustainable Institutions for Natural Resource Management


"Management of natural resources requires reconciliation in the conflicting world views of different stake holders. The conflicts emerge because of the variation in (a) the perception of nature, (b) associated socio-ecological interactions and (c) the ethical values generating respect for non voting members of our society. It is not easy to design institutions for collective action such that resources are managed not only for the current generation but also in a manner that options of future generations are not compromised. An organization becomes an institution when its members use internal commands (i.e. the directions for action emanating from within one self) instead of external demands (i.e. external regulation or direction for individual action). The cultural conditions in both the cases are very different. "The paper provides discussion on the issues which affect 'Our' participation in 'Peoples' organizations and institutions in part one. Much of the literature on participation deals with the opposite, i.e. how people participate in the organizations designed by us. The eco-sociological perspective for survival of households over space, season and sector is given in part two. The nature of risks and the strategies for coping with the same are described. The relationship between culture and ecology is discussed in the light of eco-specificity of social interactions in part three. The problem of collective action, the role of risk and redundancy, and resource diversification are discussed in part four."



resource management, sustainability, collective action, households, citizen organization, indigenous institutions, common pool resources