Exclusion, Essential Resources, and Sustainability
Schlager urges a broader conceptualization of essential resources that focuses not only on demand – access to and the allocation of scarce essential resources -- but also on supply. Potable water depends on lakes and watersheds, that is, on environmental infrastructures rather than human-made institutions. Ensuring the maintenance of this infrastructure is critical for the sustainability of essential resources. The tragedy of exclusion is actually a twin crisis of the failure to prevent over-usage of a common pool resource and to protect the supply of environmental services. Quantitative restrictions on resource extraction alone are insufficient for avoiding this twin crisis. Instead, a shift towards considering how many different usages and/or users shall be recognized and protected is required.
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