Writers: Max Gibson, Stacy Young, Thomas Carlile, Matija Franklin
Editors: Jun Pang
The urgency of planning and implementing sustainable environmental practices cannot be understated. Most recently, world leaders spoke of the pressing need to deal with climate change at COP21, with many heralding the talks as a sign that the international community was finally moving from the realm of words to that of action. However, problems continue to abound as governments grapple with the imperative of ensuring their countries’ growth and development versus that of implementing environmental policies – there remains difficulty in bridging the gap between policy and reality.
This paper aims to discern the different benefits of local versus top-down methods of common-pool resource (CPR) management, in the context of resource scarcity in the world today. Contrasting these two ideal types, it identifies existing local and top-down solutions to the management of the common-pool resources of land, energy, and fisheries, and evaluates a variety of relevant historical and current case studies for their successes and failures.