Commons: Old and New -- On Environmental Goods and Services in the Theory of Commons

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Department of Sociology and Political Science, Norwegian University of Science and Technology
"The modern and largely academic and urban initiated concern with environmental protection of landscapes, species, watersheds, biodiversity, ecosystem-services etc. are framed by a language suggesting that the main concern is the protection and preservation of precarious resources of common interests for mankind. "Thus the values deserving the attention of environmental protection seem to be very different from the concerns shaping the evolution of traditional commons: the control of access to and extraction of resources seen as limited but essential for the survival of local communities. "The paper will explore the theoretical differences and similarities of the two types of interests driving the concern for preserving values. It will be suggested that a basic difference lies in the distinction between values where there is rivalry in appropriation and values where there is non-rivalry. It will further be argued that in designing new institutions for managing protected areas, an understanding of traditional commons and how the new values to be protected are different from and interact with the old values will be important to achieve sustainability of resource use within the protected areas."
common pool resources--theory, environment, environmental protection--theory, protected areas, property rights--theory