Customary Law and Community-Based Natural Resource Management in Post-Conflict Timor-Leste

  • Citation: Miyazawa, Naori, “Customary law and community-based natural resource management in post-conflict Timor-Leste,” in Land and post-conflict peacebuilding, ed. J. Unruh and R.C. Williams (2013).
    • Topics:
    • Global Development
    • Keywords:
    • Timor-Leste
    • post-conflict
    • natural resource management
    • community based

The concept of the commons has evolved since the publication of Garrett Hardin’s article “The Tragedy of the Commons” in Science (Hardin 1968). Hardin argued that degradation of the environment is likely when sizable numbers of individuals use resources in common. He used the example of pastures in Britain. A pasture is open to all, and many herders directly benefit from grazing their animals there. A rational herder may be motivated to add more animals, continually seeking more benefit. But as more and more animals are released to pasture, the pasture becomes barren. Pursuing this logic, Hardin argued that exhaustion of common resources is inevitable unless the property is owned by a public or private entity that can regulate access to pasture.

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