IASC World Commons Week 2020 from September 30 to October 9 (Update)


From September 30 to October 9 this year’s World Commons Week will take place in everyone’s own living room. As in the last years the conference will offer Global Keynote Webinars – one from every region – as well as local events organized by IASC members.  

The Global Keynote Webinars are dealing in particular with water as resource and how it can be governed, distributed and shared among communities and people.  

  • Many reforms have been implemented in Africa in the last 30 years affecting the access to water and increasing inequality and poverty. On October 5, Claudious Chikozho from Nairobi presents key drivers and theories behind reforms, their implications for the governance of water and discusses the urge of African nations to adapt global policy paradigms at a national level ignoring inequities and complex resource access regimes. 

  • Neoliberalizm has been affecting the management of coastal commons in Japan. In addition, society is changing and Japans coastal areas are more and more prone to natural disasters. Recent changes in laws and their impact on local communities are presented by Alyne Elizabeth Delaney on October 9. 

  • Blue economy and economic activities in marine and coastal areas are expanding at a high pace increasing pressure on institutions. In order to ensure sustainable use and prevent overuse and crisis institutions need to be improved. Achim Schlueter presents attempts to govern resources in the coastal area of Peru and talks about the institutionalization of fishery cooperatives. His webinar will take place on October 7. 

  • Anne Poelina focuses on a multidisciplinary approach including culture, earth and political science as well as economic aspects in the sharing and guardianship of “Our Commons” for the greater good of humanity and the planet. On October 6 she will present her work on the sacred river, the Martuwarra, also known as Fitzroy River in Western Australia.

  • The focus in America will be on the ways of conducting research and its benefits for decision making processes. Fabio de Castro (October 3) will address the under-representation of commons research in Latin America suggesting an integrative framework combining different research traditions from the region. As part of the Ostrom Workshop on the Anniversary of ‘Governing the Commons’ Frank van Laerhoven will shed light on the influence of research and articles on real-world solutions for real-world problems particularly in the IASC’s North American region.

In light of recent developments related to the pandemic, Qian Zhou from the Xiamen University will be holding a webinar on the effects of COVID-19 on commons practice in China. The impact of rule patterns on social behavior and how communities can be managed for example with Ostrom´s design principles will be discussed. The webinar will be held in Chinese on October 7.  

This year’s special will be a presentation of various case studies deducted by members of the IASC Early Career Network. Researchers from the US, Germany, India and the Netherlands will take the audience through challenges observed, role of the commons and institutional approaches to navigating equitable social-ecological transformations. Everyone interested can join the panel on October 8. 

The organizing committee is still accepting proposals for local events. Local events can be delivered online via meeting platforms. To propose and idea for a local event contact IASC Europe or email Charlie Schweik (WCW@umass.edu) with “WCW 2020 Local Event” in the subject line.


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