Inaugural Ceremony

The Conference was announced open on the eve of 10th January 2011, with Dr.ElinorOstrom, Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences (2009) 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 Common Property Resources through his public address.

The traditional lighting-of-the-lamp marked the beginning of the ceremony, which was followed by a brief welcome address by Shri.Nitin Desai, the Conference Chair. This was followed by the IASC Presidential Address by the previous incumbent, Dr.RuthMienzen-Dick. Then came the much-awaited Keynote by Dr.Ostrom, and the address by Mr.Jairam Ramesh.

Keynote Address by Dr. Elinor Ostrom

'Cooperating for the Common Good: Challenging Supposed Impossibilities and Panaceas'

The key points raised by Dr.Ostrom include
  • There are "No panaceas" for the problems facing common property resources across the world.
  • Policymakers across the world ought to adopt polycentric approach to the problems on development.
  • The study of the governance of CPRs needs to develop into a diagnostic science. The study of problems related to governance of CPRs needs to adopt principles of modern medicinal sciences, wherein complex systems involving the interplay of many systems are studied.
  • Finally, she underscored the relevance of the ideas of Mahatma Gandhi, especially with respect to consumerism

Address by Guest of Honor, Mr. Jairam Ramesh

Some of the salient points made by Mr. Ramesh were

  • One of the striking points made by Mr. Ramesh was that the Indian political system must make tough choices and trade-offs between the objective of achieving high economic growth and maintaining ecological balance. He further pointed out that these choices are not scientific or technocratic but political.
  • Another important point made was that the idea that only government can manage CPRs is just as "fallacious" as the idea floated by some NGOs that only communities can manage these resources. However, he was candid enough to admit that "the intellectual edifice of legislation governing forests still treats those who live on forest resources for their livelihoods as criminals".
  • Seeking to change the dominant mindset of the nation in light of growing conflicts over CPRs, Mr.Ramesh said that the focus has to shift from the quantity of the resource to the quality of the resource.
  • Identified one of the greatest challenges in looking at global commons, the debate on climate change, the regional commons, issues of rivers, management of rivers and aquifers, and the local commons, the management of forests

Cultural Program

Following the speeches, a delightful array of classical and folk dance forms from across the country was showcased by the group ‘Kalatheera’. The event was an amalgam of various classical and folk art forms from across the length and breadth of the country; including classical art forms like Kuchipudi, Odissi and Mohiniattam and various folk art forms including Sambhalpur and Gotipua Folk Dance from Orissa, Kalbelia Dances from Rajasthan and Yakshagana and Dolukonita from Karnataka. While one segment of the cultural event immediately followed the formal part of the program, another segment coincided with the dinner which was organised a short distance away from Sampradaya Vedika at Mountain Heights, within the premises of Shilparamam.