Every day, I watch a microcosm of the battle to protect the global commons taking place outside my garden gate here in England. I live on a common – a traditional British land tenure system where land is privately owned but communally managed. Commoners share the rights and responsibilities of free access to a shared resource.
But the system is starting to crack – people who live here (me included) work away, no longer depend on local resources and have different expectations. Dog walking, summer picnics and horse-riding have overtaken food production as a priority, and the common is suffering as a result.
Scale this up to the global level and you capture the challenge of protecting the world’s atmosphere, oceans and forests. The responsibility lies with everyone and no-one, so conditions inevitably deteriorate.
Read the full article in The Guardian.