Together with cattle & pigs, horses & ponys have played a vital part in the shaping of the New Forest (UK)



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Delivering public policy on commons – EFNCP/CCRI panel in the 2011 European Conference of the International Association for the Study of Commons, Plovdiv

Common land is socially and legally complex; policy rarely considers it ex ante, yet the systems that use it are highly impacted by Government regulations and incentives. The need for academic research to inform policy making is clear, yet many researchers steer clear of work which is clearly applied to such questions.

EFNCP and CCRI organized a panel at the 2011 IASC conference in Plovdiv to raise what we consider are urgent issues requiring research and to report some relevant projects. The session looked in detail at the range of approaches across Western Europe where public policies are delivered on common grazings. This includes the Common Agricultural Policy, rural development, biodiversity and natural resource management (fire prevention). The papers within the session explore a range of diverse commons and the policy environments that interact with them. Among the core questions that will be considered are the extent to which:

  • integrated policy delivery is possible on commons and the unconventional notions of property that they represent;
  • common land institutions, and the traditional governance they represent, are able to cope with and deliver new policy demands;
  • common land institutions facilitate or obstruct the making of a clear link between action and reward or action and penalty;
  • the peculiarities of common land in all its forms is considered in the policy-making process.

These are important policy and academic questions. From the policy perspective common lands are increasingly recognised as being crucial in terms of biodiversity, carbon capture and other ecosystem services but they also represent new opportunities for farmers in terms of access to land. Given this importance society needs reassurances that the institutions and governance are ‘fit for purpose’ but from what perspective does it make this judgement?

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European Forum on Nature Conservation and Pastoralism
Date: 2024/07/19
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