Glaciers are Global Commons

By: Alfred Diebold

Linking science and art for sustainable futures - part 2

Who owns the glaciers in Central Asia and elsewhere? Which responsibilities come with the ownership? Glaciers are in economic terms common pool resources. The term “global, international or national commons” is typically used to indicate the earth’s shared natural resources. The key challenge of the international and national commons is the design of governance structures and management systems capable of addressing the complexity of multiple public and private interests, subject to often-unpredictable changes, ranging from the local to the global level. Glacier melting in Central Asia and its impact on national and trans-boundary water systems represents a challenge, which need to be seen in the context of international and national commons.

Photo: Fedshenko glacier in the Pamir mountains of Tajikistan (Alfred Diebold ©)

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