The article “Revisiting the Commons: Local Lessons, Global Challenges”, delves into the issue of resource sustainability in the face of common usage. From the perspective of the article, it is necessary to place limitations on Common Pool Resources (CPR) to ensure that they continue to exist in the future (Ostrom, Burger, Field, Norgaard and Policansky 278).
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The main problem that the authors expound upon is the fact that the usage of particular resources at the same time by multiple parties will lead to rapid deterioration resulting in dire consequences. From an environmental preservation context, the article does have a valid point since history has shown that the global demand for particular resources has resulted in their decline.
Examples of this can be seen in the rainforests of South America, the Blue Fin Tuna population in various oceans as well as the destruction of numerous habitats in order to create viable areas for human settlement. Some solutions that were advocated by the authors came in the form of imposing restrictions on resource extraction by governing bodies.
While such a strategy has proven to be somewhat effective when it comes to environmental preservation practices in many of the world’s forests, the fact remains that the authors neglect to take into consideration that such an imposition will only last based on current levels of demand (O’Keeffe 184-188).
Due to the current escalating population level of humankind, it can be stated that the demand for resources will continue to grow resulting in more pressure being placed on governing bodies to release the restrictions so that demand can be met.
Examples of this can be seen in the case of China, the Philippines and various other countries within Asia wherein due to the growing level of industrialization and development within such countries, the previous restrictions that were put in place involving the extraction of mineral (ex: mining) and plant resources (ex: logging) were eased in favour of developing economically (O’Keeffe 184-188).
While this response paper agrees with many points within the article, I still find it highly flawed due to the lack of focus on the economic realities of the current global economic market place and the need for countries to be competitive.
It is this desire to be competitive and provide for the “modern day needs” of its citizens that creates issues involving CPR limitation since there will always be a considerable level of hypocrisy between developed countries that utilized resource extraction to become wealthy yet are demanding developing countries not to do the same despite the fact that it is one of the few ways to become a developed country.
Taking this into consideration, it can clearly be seen that unless such a level of hypocrisy can be addressed, the development of a global general consensus involving proper preservation of CPR cannot be accomplished.
It should also be noted that there have been various attempts at CPR practices instituted by the U.N. such as its clean air initiative which sought to reduce carbon emissions on a global scale so as to ensure breathable air continues to be a freedom everyone can enjoy (Miller 10-12).
Unfortunately, countries such as the U.S. and China which are among the largest producers of pollutants are not signatories to the agreement which makes any attempt by the rest of the global community rather futile given that the waste production of these two countries alone dwarfs that of most countries (Miller 10-12).
The problem in such a scenario is that countries simply do not want their actions to be dictated by an outside party which they consider a violation of their sovereignty.
Taking all these factors that have been mentioned into consideration, it can be seen that while the article does present some viable means of addressing the issue of CPR conservation, it is lacking in its analysis of current economic realities and how countries interact with one another.
Miller, Bill. “United Nations Spearheads Climate Change Debate.” PA Times 31.7 (2008): 10-12. Print
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O’Keeffe, Jay. “Rivers, Time And Conservation, Especially In Developing Countries.” Aquatic Conservation 23.2 (2013): 184-188. Print
Ostrom, Elinor, Joanna Burger, Christopher Field, Richard Norgaard, and David Policansky. “Revisiting the Commons: Local Lessons, Global Challenges.” Science 284: 278-282. Print.