R

that the 'tragedy of the commons' was inevitable everywhere not owned 0 privately or by a government. Systematic multidisciplinary research has, q however, shown that a wide diversity of adaptive governance systems have d been effective stewards of many resources. Sustained research coupled to ¡f an explicit view of national and international policies as experiments can n m C 0 a

"5

t5 c yield the scientific knowledge necessary to design appropriate adaptive institutions.

Sound science is necessary for commons governance, but not sufficient. Too many strategies for governance of local commons are designed in capital cities or by donor agencies in ignorance of the state of the science and local conditions. The results are often tragic, but at least these tragedies are local. As the human footprint on the Earth enlarges,144 humanity is challenged to develop and deploy understanding of large-scale commons governance quickly enough to avoid the large-scale tragedies that will otherwise ensue.

Notes

2 See (6, 145). It was the paper most frequently cited as having the greatest career impact in a recent survey of biologists (146). [...]

3 B. J. McCay, J. M. Acheson, The Question of the Commons: The Culture and Ecology of Communal Resources (Univ. of Arizona Press, Tucson,

5 D. Feeny, F. Berkes, B. McCay, J. Acheson, Hum. Ecol. 18, 1 (1990).

6 Committee on the Human Dimensions of Global Change, National Research Council, The Drama of the Commons, E. Ostrom et al., Eds (National Academy Press, Washington, DC, 2002).

8 J. G. Cross, M. J. Guyer, Social Traps (Univ. of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, 1980).

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10 R. McC. Netting, Balancing on an Alp: Ecological Change and Continuity in a Swiss Mountain Community (Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge, 1981).

11 National Research Council,

Proceedings of the Conference on Common Property Resource Management (National Academy Press, Washington, DC, l986).

12 J.-M. Baland, J.-P. Platteau, Halting Degradation of Natural Resources: Is There a Role for Rural Communities? (Clarendon Press, Oxford, l996).

13 E. Ostrom, Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action (Cambridge Univ. Press, New York, l990).

15 A. C. Finlayson, Fishing for Truth: A Sociological Analysis of Northern Cod Stock Assessments from 1987 to 1990 (Institute of Social and Economic Research, Memorial Univ. of Newfoundland, St Johns, Newfoundland, l994).

16 S. Hanna, in Northern Waters: Management Issues and Practice,

D. Symes, Ed. (Blackwell, London, 1998), pp. 25-35.

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159 We thank R. Andrews,

G. Daily, J. Hoehn, K. Lee, S. Levin, G. Libecap, V. Ruttan, T. Tietenberg, J. Wilson, and O. Young for their comments on earlier drafts; and G. Laasby, P. Lezotte, C. Liang, and L. Wisen for providing assistance. Supported in part by NSF grants BCS-9906253 and SBR-9521918, NASA grant NASW-01008, the Ford Foundation, and the MacArthur Foundation.

Supporting Online Material: www. sciencemag.org/cgi/content/ full/302/5652/1907/ DC1 SOM Text, Figs. S1 to S5, Table S.

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