Natural resource dependence
- Variable relationship:
With respect to natural resource commons (not pollutants), some level of economic dependence (Economic Dependence) on a commons has been frequently argued to be a necessary element for sustainable resource use (Collective Action and Commons Condition Trend). Cox et al. (2010) in their review of the literature on community-based natural resource management, remark:
"Pinkerton and Weinstein (1995) and Gibson (2001) note that dependence on the resource used by a community is an important factor in the robustness of the management regime. When members are not as dependent on the resource, their welfare is not as strongly tied to their cooperative behavior."
However, excessive resource dependence may in fact impede efforts to curtail extraction and conserve the resource. As Fleischman et al. (2014) state:
"In many small-scale CPR systems, users are dependent on resources for their subsistence and livelihood needs. High resource dependence can tie resource users into unsustainable patterns of resource use, i.e. where poverty forces people to over-exploit resources....Four of our cases support the notion that high dependence fosters over-exploitation."
This theory does not apply to pollutants, where dependence on a commons is interpreted to mean dependence on the economic process that produces the pollutant. In that case, there is evidence (e.g. in the Montreal Protocal case) that increased dependence has a more linear and negative relationship to commons condition (as measured in that context by pollution levels).
- Scientific Field
- Component Type(s)
- Natural Resource Unit
|Proximate independent variable
|Some level of dependence on a resource is seen as necessary for incentivizing resource users to maintain this resource.
|As long as resource dependence is moderate, this dependence should lead resource users act collectively to maintain the resource.
|Commons condition trend
|High levels of collective action is predicted to sustain the resource.
|Remained the same or Improved
|Community-based natural resource management (CBNRM)
|Collective action and the commons