Cooperation Dynamics in Environmental Management: A new research program

Together with colleagues from around the US and other countries, we are building a new science of sustainability. It starts with a theory of sustainability – a recipe for sustainability. We ask, when does sustainability happen, and why? Empirical answers refine the theory, and improve the recipe. Here are some things we’ve learned. Institutions that support sustainable resource management are more likely to evolve when:

  1. Resource user groups exist.
  2. Groups face the consequences of mismanagement and over exploitation.
  3. Groups learn from failure.
  4. Groups learn from each other.
  5. Groups do not compete violently.

This is but a first start. We need more and better theory. We need more and better tests in diverse contexts. We can’t test the theory fast enough! We need help.  Join us!

Learn more at the Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions!

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About Tim Waring

I am an evolutionary human ecologist. I study human culture and cooperation as they relate to environmental sustainability, at the University of Maine.
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