Commons and Livelihoods: Understanding and reflecting on interrelation

Understanding the nuances of commons, its governance, and its intricate relationship with the livelihood.

A development practitioner would work on different spatial context of resources and communities whose characteristics are difficult to comprehend in a private- public binary. Commons, bridges and exposes students to the intermediate space, which is vast, manifold and complex. The complexity multiplies when the interface of the space or resource is understood with its access and appropriation by the users. Commons, as we know can be visualised not only in the land and water of earth’s surface but also above and beneath the surface of earth. It can also be seen in the virtual space with the advent of internet and communication known as new commons (knowledge commons being a part of it). A substantial part of resources including, land, water, forest, desert, coastal, marine ecosystem would fall into commons, that need conceptual and problematic comprehensions to manage these resources. There are also resources beneath the surface (being extracted using various mining methods) more often would fall into the Commons domain. The air we breathe, and the atmosphere is also in the Commons domain. Within the virtual internet space, we find new commons knowledge resources. It would not be wrong to say an individual’s interaction in commons is inevitable.