Preventing the “tragedy of the commons”

A recent article in the Financial Times reflects on two different perspectives espoused by Garrett Hardin and Elinor Ostrom on the management of shared resources (common-pool resources). For Hardin, the only way to manage common-pool resources sustainably would be either by government or private sector control. Conversely, Ostrom demonstrated that resource users  were in fact capable of devising enduring rules to successfully manage common-pool resources upon which they depended. The FT article may be accessed at

Article on multilevel adaptation published in GEC

Another paper of ours, now on multilevel adaptation to climate change, was published in August in Global Environmental Change. Here we examine how climate change adaptation takes place in a complex multilevel system of governance, in the context of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef region. We analyse over one hundred adaptation strategies at federal, state, regional and local levels in terms of type, manifestation, purposefulness, drivers and triggers, and geographic and temporal scope. We also investigate interactions between strategies both at the same level of governance and across governance levels.

FIDELMAN, P.I.J.; LEITCH, A.M.; NELSON, D.R. 2013. Unpacking Multilevel Adaptation to Climate Change in the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Global Environmental Change, 23(4): 800-812; doi: 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2013.02.016

Human Ecology article on scenarios as research tool

Human EcologyOur article on alternative scenarios as a way to explore potential futures in the context of climate change is now available on-line in Human Ecology. In the article, we develop four alternative future scenarios for the Great Barrier Reef and its fishing and tourism industries positing moderate and more extreme warming for 2050 and contrasting ‘limited’ and ‘ideal’ ecological and social adaptation. We also asses  key stakeholder groups’ perception of the viability of different social adaptation options to deliver desirable outcomes under varied contexts.

EVANS, L.; HICKS, C.; FIDELMAN, P.; TOBIN, R.; PERRY, A. 2013. Future scenarios as a research tool: investigating climate change impacts, adaptation options and outcomes for the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Human Ecology; doi: 10.1007/s10745-013-9601-0
Download PDF copy