13th Biennial Conference of IASC

IASC2011 took a critical look at the interface between human and natural systems, Commons in particular, to build on our understanding on the elements and interconnectedness that sustain life, collective action and our future. The Conference dealt with physical common resources such as Forests, Grazing Resources, Protected Areas, Water Resources, Fisheries, Coastal Commons, Lagoon Commons, Irrigation Systems, Livestock and Commons and New Commons such as Information Commons, Cultural Commons, Genetic Resources, Patents, Climate, etc. These were captured under the following sub-themes:

  • The Commons, Poverty and Social Exclusion;
  • Governance of the Commons: Decentralization, Property Rights, Legal Framework, Structure and Organization;
  • The Commons: Theory, Analytics and Data;
  • Globalisation, Commercialisation and the Commons;
  • Managing the Global Commons: Climate Change and other Challenges;
  • Managing Complex Commons (Lagoons, Protected Areas, Wetlands, Mountain Areas, Rangelands, Coastal Commons);
  • New Commons (Digital Commons, Genetic Commons, Patents, Music, Literature etc.)
The Conference truly emerged as a knowledge exchange platform, drawing the interest and participation of practitioners, academicians and policy makers alike, who came together to share and learn from their experiences in collective action and local self governance. This edition of the Conference witnessed an overwhelming participation of over 800 delegates from 69 different countries across the globe. More than a 1000 abstracts were received from participants belonging to over 80 countries, with video presentations too making their way to the academic programme for the first time in IASC history. All the abstracts were blind reviewed by at least two reviewers with more than 70 International and Indian Reviewers assisting the process. The range of papers and posters promised disciplinary diversity, touching upon on ecology, economics, social sciences, legal aspects, and a lot of practitioner presentations.

The Opening Ceremony was held on the eve of 10th January 2011, with Dr. Elinor Ostrom delivering the Keynote and the Guest of Honour, Sri Jairam Ramesh (Minister of Environment and Forests, Govt of India) appealing for a change in the dominant mindset of the nation in light of growing conflicts over CPRs through his public address. In addition, there were keynotes delivered by eminent scholars/practitioners that marked the beginning of each day of the Conference. Policy forum sessions and special thematic discussions too formed an integral part of the Conference Programme and provided the opportunity to discuss regional and global experiences in advocacy for a wide range of common property resources.

The Conference offered 11 Pre-conference workshops for participants to choose from, and as many as 11 different one-day field visits that were organised in close coordination with partners - Non Governmental Organisations and departments of the Government of Andhra Pradesh that gave the delegates an insight into some of the practical aspects surrounding the management and governance of CPRs.

With an exhibition, talks, presentations, discussions and book launches, interspersed with several workshops, field visits and social events, IASC 2011 offered a packed, and a truly engaging programme over the five days between the 10th to 14th January, 2011.