Gabriel Popkin reports: To preserve a natural landscape, kick people out. This “guns and fences” paradigm of conservation relies on drastically restricting local people’s activities—or even displacing them altogether. Today, it has spread around the world, with disastrous consequences for communities. But in many cases, it may be misguided, argue a growing chorus of experts.
Can there be a collective search for paradigms and pathways towards a world that is sustainable, equitable and just? How can such frameworks and visions build on an existing heritage of ideas and worldviews and cultures, and on past or new grassroots practice? This note attempts to layout a few thoughts towards such a process.
Felix Padel writes: An Adivasi economy, in its traditional or pre-globalization form at least, was based in many ways on ecological principles. In the words of a Kond elder in Kandhamal district, Odisha, “Where are the saints in your society? In this village we are all saints. We consume little, share everything, and waste nothing.”
Didier Prost writes: Development impacts on the climate, the way fertile land is used and on ecosystems are catastrophic for the environment. A “return to (the notion of) land as a common good” requires us to raise “awareness or consciousness of place” in order to rebuild relationships of co-evolution between human settlements and the environment.
Book excerpt: Both corporations and governments alike, who seek to consolidate their land ownership, often push for clearly defined tenurial rights rather than have to deal with messy overlapping custodianships. Many scholars have highlighted the limits of tenurial security in achieving conservation and that a tenure creates willing stakeholders in large scale land use change.
Navi Radjou writes: My thesis is that powerful centripetal forces are gaining great momentum and are about to usher in the Age of Convergence. This epochal shift provides India a once-in-a-millennium opportunity to assume global leadership in co-creating innovative solutions to tackle socio-economic challenges that will severely afflict the whole of humanity in coming decades.
David Bollier writes: How are we to imagine and build a radically different world when the incumbent system aggressively resists change? Our challenge is not just articulating alternatives, but identifying strategies for actualizing them. The commons —a paradigm, a discourse, an ethic, and a set of social practices— holds great promise in transcending this conundrum.
Broroti Roy writes that in India, many are reluctant to use the term ‘degrowth’ because growth is seen as the only way to get rid of poverty. However, there are many grassroots initiatives emerging here, too, which follow the same principles of respecting the planet’s limits and pursuing the core values of equity and justice.
Economic development and modernity have transformed livelihoods into deadlihoods. They are wiping out millennia-old livelihoods that were ways of life, with no sharp division between work and leisure; replacing them with dreary assembly line jobs where we wait desperately for holidays… Less visible is the pauperisation of those deprived of natural resources they depended on.
Richard Norgaard writes: Two centuries of explosive economic growth have radically altered our world. With human activity now the major driver of geological change, the industrial era has come to be called the Anthropocene. In this essay, I instead adopt the term Econocene, thereby underscoring its ideological foundation: economism, the reduction of all social relations to market logic.
Pierce Nahigyan reports: Founded in 2014, WeFarm is a free, peer-to-peer service designed for farmers around the world. It enables farmers to share information with each other via SMS, or text messaging. WeFarm translates and connects queries from continent to continent, and has thus far provided more than 100,000 answers to its 43,000 registered farmers.
Cat Johnson writes on Shareable.net: The sharing economy movement is evolving quickly and in many directions. The growth of platform and worker co-ops, an increased awareness of the commons, the evolution of coworking, an explosion of tech-enabled sharing services, and more are opening up promising if not challenging frontiers. What will 2016 bring? We asked 10 leading experts to offer their predictions.
Way back in 2009, long before the term “sharing economy” was part of everyday conversation, Shareable.net started covering this movement that aimed to connect people, reduce environmental impact, put idle goods to use, and challenge the idea that there’s no alternative to capitalism as we know it today. Here are their top 10 most read articles.
Gustavo Tanaka writes: A few months ago, I broke the chains of fear that kept me locked up into the system. I now see the world from a different perspective: the one that everything is going through change and that most of us are unaware of that. Here are 8 reasons why I believe this.
From the Post Carbon Institute (Editor’s Note: The Post Carbon Institute has been at the forefront of spreading awareness about Peak Oil and exploring solutions and alternatives. Their new report is an instructive look at emerging grassroots initiatives that are building alternatives to a centralised, energy-intensive, global economy.) A movement is emerging in many places,