News Release

Common-pool resource management

Peer-Reviewed Publication

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Common-pool resources, such as local forests, are often at risk of overuse, but community monitoring can help mitigate overuse, according to a collection of articles in the Sustaining the Commons: Advancing Understanding of Common-Pool Resource Management Special Feature. Together, the articles demonstrate how community monitoring of common-pool resources supports sustainable management of natural resources. Among the articles is a study of a yearlong program that helped rural communities in Liberia monitor communal forestland by increasing community knowledge about forest use and management of forestland. However, the program did not decrease deforestation, suggesting that communities may need compensation to forgo forest use. Another study found that training and incentivizing community members in the Peruvian Amazon to patrol local forests in response to remotely sensed alerts about tree cover loss helped decrease deforestation. Overall, the articles in the collection suggest that community monitoring can generate information about resource conditions and the actions of community members and authorities to help counter overuse.

Article #21-06489: "Synthesizing evidence in sustainability science through harmonized experiments: Community monitoring in common-pool resources," by Paul J. Ferraro and Arun Agrawal.

MEDIA CONTACTS: Paul J. Ferraro, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD; email:; Arun Agrawal, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI; email:


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