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Sharing/The Commons

The best way to protect the world’s forests? Keep people in them

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.

Creating “urban-rural bioregions” in India: a self-sustaining regional planning alternative

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.

Bookshelf: Business Interests and the Environmental Crisis

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.

India can lead the world in solving ‘problems without borders’

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.

The commons: A credible strategy for building a radically different world

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.

Ashish Kothari: Livelihoods vs. Deadlihoods

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.

The Church of Economism and its discontents

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.

How WeFarm connects small farmers without the Internet

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.

The Top 10 Sharing Economy predictions for 2016

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.

Report: Weaving the Community Resilience and New Economy Movement

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,