Initiated in 2009, the 'Commons Initiative' is an effort by Foundation for Ecological Security (FES) towards strengthening forces for 'Sustaining the Commons' by building strategic collaborations, bringing together practitioners and their networks, decision- makers and scholars and initiating a process for a long-term campaign on the issue of commons. The Commons Initiative is aimed at.....

Common Voices

Cooperating for the Common Good: Challenging Supposed Impossibilities and Panaceas – Dr. Elinor Ostrom

In the inaugural speech for IASC 2011, Dr. Elinor Ostrom talks about the "Collective Action Theory" which is at the core of the social sciences & policy. According to this, citizens are presumed to be trapped in a social dilemma and other humans – public officials, are to impose optimal policies based on models that academics devise. On the other hand, many studies describe individual cases where pastoralists, inshore fishers,....

Common Land Bill

Extract from the Draft Approach Paper for the Twelfth Five Year Plan 2012-2017

Common pool resources (CPRs) or 'commons' play a key role in household food security in many parts of the country. These are characterized by rainfed agriculture and mixed farming systems. Several studies have shown that in rainfed regions, the subsidy derived from CPRs form a critical contribution to both livestock and agricultural production systems.

Supreme Court Ruling on, and monitoring of, Commons

In a significant decision on 28 January 2011, the Supreme Court of India directed the State Governments to draw up schemes to evict encroachments on common lands and restore them to Panchayats and Gram Sabhas (Supreme Court Ruling on Commons). While hearing the matter, the Court held the view that water shortages could be linked...

Legal reviews of Acts related to the Common Pool Resources

Legal reviews of Acts related to the Common Pool Resources were conducted in collaboration with the Enviro Legal Defence Firm (ELDF) for six States in the country to identify gaps, enabling and hindering provisions and explore possibilities for modification.


Policy on Commons in States

Shamlat Abhiyan- Campaign for Commons
FES has been working closely with the Government of Rajasthan (GoR) on the issue of common land degradation and the need to regenerate these commons lands in the state.
Programmatic Action for Commons
In its order, the Lok Adalat appreciated FES's impact in restoring few thousands of hectares of degraded common lands and asked the District Forest Department in formulating an extensive restoration plan of the Commons, both common lands and water bodies.
Andhra Pradesh
Policy on Commons- Scaling up CPR-NREGS
With the support of Government of Andhra Pradesh, FES along with few other NGOs is implementing a pilot project on Common Property Resources (CPR) - NREGA through dovetailing the NREGS funds.

Media Fellowships on CPRs

FES - Infochange Media Fellowships on Common Property Resources

FES and Infochange India hosted a special round of fellowships to research and report on the subject of Common Property Resources (CPR) that explored aspects such as importance of CPRs, issues related to control, management and governance of the commons, access to CPR, especially for the socially excluded, decentralisation and collective action around the commons, the impact of public policy, etc. The articles , are written in a journalistic style, combining perspective and analysis with reportage and human interest stories with views and information from experts. A total of twenty articles/ papers were written.


Common Voices

The mouthpiece of Commons Initiative, is a newsletter covering issues of Commons management and governance in India, capturing on-going research & interventions



Vocabulary of Commons

A Commons Story

In the Rain Shadow of Green Revolution