Reflections

Nagendra, Harini (2014) Reflections. The Commons Digest, Spring (15). pp. 16-18.

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Abstract

It is a great privilege and honor for me to write this essay for The Commons Digest as a recipient of the 2013 Elinor Ostrom Senior Scholar Award for Collective Governance of the Commons. As I write, I am sitting in my office on the 9th floor of a tall building in an academic campus in the incipient megapolis of Bangalore, with a magnificent view of the city. To the west, I can see a 6-lane high-speed highway choked by traffic, full of people frenetically commuting from their homes in city to their jobs in the globally famous Information Technology campuses located just outside. To the east, I am fortunate to witness a completely different picture. A tranquil marshy wetland and freshwater lake, with dozens of cows grazing and cooling down in the water while the mid-day sun blazes overhead, companiably accompanied by hundreds of cattle egrets feeding on the insects that annoy the cattle. This idyllic picture of cooperation, mutualism, and rural bliss has evolved and been sustained over centuries in Bangalore (Bangalore's lakes are not natural, but were historically created and maintained by local communities, with a history that can be traced as far back as 450 AD). Yet even this picture is marred if you slightly turn your head to the left, by the obvious presence of construction (presumably of a high rise building) next to the wetland, which has already resulted in the dumping of large mounds of debris into one side of the lake.

Item Type: Article
Authors: Nagendra, Harini
Uncontrolled Keywords: Ecology, Benagaluru, Wetland,Dumped
Subjects: Natural Sciences > Life sciences; biology > Ecology
Divisions: Azim Premji University > School of Development
Full Text Status: Public
Note: For Lin: In Memory of our Tuesday Conversations
URI: http://publications.azimpremjifoundation.org/id/eprint/36
Publisher URL:

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