Members and Supporters

Arun Agrawal photo

Arun Agrawal

Arun Agrawal is a Professor at the School of Natural Resources & Environment at the University of Michigan. His research and teaching emphasize the politics of international development, institutional change, and environmental conservation. He has written critically on indigenous knowledge, community-based conservation, common property, population and resources, and environmental identities. His recent interests include adaptation to climate change, urban adaptation, REDD+, and the decentralization of environmental governance. He coordinates the International Forestry Resources and Institutions network, and is currently carrying out research in central and east Africa and South Asia. He is the author of Greener Pastures and Environmentality, and his recent work has appeared in Science, PNAS, Conservation Biology, World Development, and Development and Change among other journals.



Meriem Bouamrane

Meriem Bouamrane is an environmental economist, programme specialist in the Division of Ecological and Earth Sciences, Man and the Biosphere programme since 2001. She is coordinator of the EuroMAB Network, the oldest and largest network of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves (52 countries and 284 biosphere reserves including Canada and the USA). She is responsible for research and training programmes on access and use of biodiversity, participatory approaches and concertation, using biosphere reserves as research and demonstration sites. She has organized and conducted several workshops using different participatory techniques and tools in biosphere reserves and is involved in several research programmes on resilience of socio-ecological systems and participatory methodology. She is member of the PECS (Programme on Ecosystem change and Society) Scientific Committee, sponsored by UNESCO and ICSU.



Juan Camilo Cárdenas

Juan Camilo Cárdenas es Profesor Titular de la Facultad de Económia de la Universidad de los Andes. El interés central de mi trabajo es el análisis y diseño de instituciones (reglas del juego) que promuevan la cooperación entre individuos y la solución de dilemas sociales de la manera mas eficiente, equitativa, democrática y sostenible posible.


Leticia Merino photo

Leticia Merino

I studied Social Psychology, Sociology, Population and Development, Social Anthropology and Environmental and Forest Studies at: the National University of Mexico; FLACSO-Mexico; Colegio de México; the Center for Development Studies, Kerala India and the Workshop for Political Theory and Policy Analysis at Indiana University. For 30 years I have worked in the field of rural studies, with forest communities and communities´ federations. My research has focused on: communities´ governance of forests, forest sustainability, tenure and property rights, forest and conservation policies. [...]


Ruth Meinzen-Dick photo

Ruth Meinzen-Dick

Ruth Meinzen-Dick is a Senior Research Fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), based in Washington DC, and Coordinator of the CGIAR Program on Collective Action and Property Rights (CAPRi)—a program that examines the management of various types of commons. She received her MSc and PhD degrees in Development Sociology from Cornell University. She grew up in rural India, which gave her an early appreciation of the importance of water and other common pool resources. Much of her work has been interdisciplinary research on water policy, local organizations, property rights, gender analysis, and the impact of agricultural research on poverty, with field work in Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, Kenya, and India.


Esther Mwangi photo

Esther Mwangi

Esther Mwangi is a senior scientist in the Forests and Governance Programme of CIFOR. Her areas of research interest include the dynamics of property rights to land and natural resources, multilevel linkages in resource governance, gender, policy implementation and strategies for linking knowledge to action. Mwangi’s current research portfolio includes research on the impacts of biofuels expansion, especially on the factors that determine the effectiveness of community and civil society organising in response to large?scale land acquisitions. She is also researching the factors that enhance or impede women’s (and men’s) management and decision?making in forestry at multiple levels of governance.[...]


John Powell photo

John Powell

John is an ecological economist with expertise in environmental valuation, programme evaluation, and natural resources management. He began to work with the CCRI in the early 1990s. He is course leader for the postgraduate course in European Rural Development, a distance- learning programme delivered by the CCRI. For the past six years John’s work has focused on exploring options for improving management of common property resources. He was seconded to Defra for three years to work on development of new commons legislation for England and Wales, and is currently exploring the concept of resilience in upland commons and inshore fisheries around the UK.



Jagdeesh Rao

Jagdeesh Rao joined the Foundation for Ecological Security as its first employee in 2001. At the beginning of his career, he was among those advancing new ideas about “the commons” or common-pool resources—that the tragedy of overexploitation is not inevitable, that regulation and privatization are not necessarily the solution, and that those who live closest to and use common resources, and know most about the situation, can engage in negotiating and enforcing cooperative strategies for use and stewardship. Today those ideas have taken hold and Jagdeesh Rao is recognized as a world leader in the discipline.


Charles Schweik photo

Charles Schweik

My research focus is on public sector information technology, environmental management and policy, and the intersection of these domains. More specifically, I am a social scientist working to understand Internet-based collective action and online commons-based peer production. Over the last decade, my research has focused largely on the study of open-source software communities, and the socio-technical systems and governance structures that support these systems of co-production. My book, Internet Success: A Study of Open Source Software Commons (MIT Press, 2012) analyzed more than 170,000 such projects, in an effort to explain what leads some to ongoing collaborative success and many others to early abandonment. With this grounding in open source collaboration complete, my current list of projects (below) are expanding into other online peer-production settings that, in some way mimic or borrow collaborative principles from open source software.
- See more at:


Catherine Tucker photo

Catherine Tucker

Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, Associate Faculty, Center for the Study of Institutions, Population and Environmental Change (CIPEC). Understanding interrelationships between humans and the environment, and exploring possible paths toward greater social and environmental sustainability, constitute my central research interests. I am particularly interested in the relationships between people and forests, and the circumstances through which local populations may achieve sustainable natural resource management and improved livelihoods. A key component in my work is the study of the institutions (defined as the rules, norms and values) associated with community organization, development processes, and forest management. To assist with analyses of the relationships between forest change and people's experiences, I link ethnographic fieldwork with the techniques of remote sensing and Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and work across disciplinary boundaries.


Frank Van Laerhoven photo

Frank van Laerhoven

I study environmental governance, particularly the governance of ecosystems. My research agenda includes an interest in common pool resources (CPRs), socio-ecological systems, decentralization reforms, local democracy and participation, and the solving of collective action dilemmas. I currently work on the following topics: the role of NGOs in stimulating collective action among CPR users in India (with Clare Barnes); the role of gender in developing and applying adaptation strategies in response to climate change in Ethiopia (with Azeb Assefa Mehra); the development of technological innovation systems (TIS) that regard water and sanitation issues in Bangladesh (within the UDW Delta-MAR project with a.o. Paul Schot and Jasper Griffioen), and; the governance of invasive species on the Dutch Antilles (with a.o. Jetske Vaas, Mendel Giezen, and Maarten Eppinga); the effectiveness of environmental impact assessment (EIA) (with a.o. Hens Runhaar).


Andy White photo

Andy White

Andy White is the Coordinator of the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI). Prior to helping create and establish RRI, Andy served as Senior Director of Programs at Forest Trends and Natural Resource Management Specialist at the World Bank, as well as worked as a consultant to the International Food Policy Institute, Save the Children Federation and the Inter-American Foundation. He has worked extensively in Haiti, Mexico and China and supervises policy research, advocacy and policy engagement Asia, Latin America and Africa. His research and publications have focused on forest tenure and policy, forest industry and trade, as well as the role of forests, communities and institutions in climate change. Andy has a PhD in Forest Economics, an MA in Anthropology from the University of Minnesota, and a BS in Forestry from Humboldt State University. Andy is also the President of the Rights and Resources Group, the nonprofit coordinating mechanism of RRI based in Washington, DC.




CGIAR Systemwide Program on Collective Visit the site and Property Rights

Visit the site



Center for International Forestry Research

Visit the site



Comisión Nacional para el Conocimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad.

Visit the site



Instituto de Investigaciones Sociales de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

Visit the site



University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment

Visit the site



Natural Resources Institute - University of Manitoba

Visit the site



Centro de Estudios sobre Desarrollo Económico - Universidad de los Andes

Visit the site



The International Forestry Resources and Institutions

Visit the site



The International Association for the Study of the Commons. The leading professional association dedicated to the Commons

Visit the site



The The International Journal of the COmmons.

Visit the site



The Man and the Biosphere Programme. United Nations Ecological Sciences for Sustainable Development

Visit the site



Foundation for Ecological Security

Visit the site



Rights and Resources Inititative

Visit the site