Institutional Transitions to Sustainable Agriculture: An inter-disciplinary analysis of common-property resource governance systems

Efforts to overcome the severe degradation of land resources supporting agriculture and human communities continue to be constrained by institutions and social norms. The knowledge needed for a transition to sustainable agricultural landscapes through institutional change is inadequate. A collaboration between specialists in economics, politics, sociology, ecology and soil science at the University of New England, the Institute and various groups of graziers and irrigators on the New England Tablelands and Murray-Darling Basin catchments analysed the transitions to a common-property resource CPR institutions for collective decision making, resource allocation and adaptive learning strategies of such groups. The work took a 'New Institutionalist' approach to building new theoretical and applied knowledge of CPR arrangements. This project and the 'Tilbuster Commons' project made a distinctively Australian contribution to international efforts to understand such transitions, and served as a model for progress towards sustainability elsewhere.

Related publications

Pannell, D.J., Marshall, G.R., Barr, N., Curtis, A., Vanclay, F. and Wilkinson, R. 2006. 'Understanding and promoting adoption of conservation practices by rural landholders'. Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture. 46(11): 1407-24.
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Common Property Sustainable Agriculture - Project Brochure
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Completed in 2005

Funded by: Australian Research Council

Contact: Graham Marshall