December 18, 2009

Thirteenth Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Commons (IASC) 

January 10-14, 2011 Hyderabad, India

Hosted by the Foundation for Ecological Security

Chaired by: Mr. Nitin Desai, Co-Chair: Jagdeesh Puppala
Theme: Sustaining Commons: Sustaining our Future
The Conference will provide opportunities for academics, researchers and practitioners to exchange ideas, knowledge and experience. Multiple forms of participation are envisaged at this global meeting. These include:
·         Paper presentations
         Thematic panels
         Poster presentations
         Video presentations
         Pre-Conference workshops
         Practitioners’ Colloquium
         Young researcher sessions
The Conference will deal with physical common resources such as Forests, Grazing resources, Protected Areas, Water Resources, Fisheries, Coastal Commons, Lagoon Commons, Irrigation Systems, Livestock and Commons as well as New Commons such as Information Commons, Cultural Commons, Genetic Resources, Patents, Climate, etc.
The above subjects would be captured under the following sub-themes:
  1. The Commons, Poverty and Social Exclusion;
  2. Governance of the Commons: Decentralization, Property Rights, Legal Framework, Structure and Organization;
  3. The Commons: Theory, Analytics and Data;
  4. Globalisation, Commercialisation and the Commons;
  5. Managing the Global Commons: Climate Change and other Challenges;
  6. Managing Complex Commons (Lagoons, Protected Areas, Wetlands, Mountain Areas, Rangelands, Coastal Commons);
  7. New Commons (Digital Commons, Genetic Commons, Patents, Music, Literature etc);
Please note that the papers may cut across more than one of the seven sub-themes. The illustrative sub-theme questions and topics below are intended to help contributors and are in no way binding. For more information on the subthemes visit the conference website:
· March 31st 2010: Deadline for submission of paper, panel and poster proposals
September 30th 2010: Deadline for submission of papers
August 1st 2010: Early registration deadline (tentative)
 We invite anyone interested or working on the issues relating to Commons to participate in the Conference. We encourage scholars and practitioners to submit abstracts for panels, individual papers, poster and videos. The panels, papers, poster and video abstracts should be submitted to the Conference Committee through the online submission process.

November 18, 2009

Job Vacancy Announcement
Two Assistant or Associate Professors

The Arizona State University, School of Human Evolution and Social Change, home to the anthropology program at ASU, invites applications for two sociocultural anthropology positions available at the assistant or associate professor level. We are seeking individuals whose research focuses on human-environment dynamics. ASU strongly encourages excellence in scholarship and teaching that transcends traditional subdisciplinary and disciplinary boundaries.

We are particularly interested in candidates who can articulate the rigorous ethnographic study of local peoples, cultures, and the environment with other research strengths at the School of Human Evolution and Social Change and ASU, such as urbanization, health, globalization, migration, environmental and social justice, technology and society, environmental social science, institutions, and social complexity.

Minimum qualifications include a Ph.D. in anthropology or a closely related discipline; research interests in environmental anthropology, broadly construed; and an ability to contribute to undergraduate and graduate instruction in sociocultural anthropology. Preferred qualifications include an active ethnographic research program that involves students and an ability to contribute to the school’s new transdisciplinary social science-based degree programs, such as environmental social science, in addition to the anthropology degree programs. Qualifications that are required for applicants at the associate professor level and preferred for applicants at the assistant professor level include a demonstrated record of: scholarly achievement, ability to obtain external funding, leadership in professional activities, and teaching effectiveness.

Review of applications will begin on January 8, 2010 and will continue weekly until the search is closed. Applicants must apply online at and include a letter of application that includes a statement of professional interests and goals, a statement of teaching philosophy, curriculum vitae, and the names and email addresses of three references. Please make sure your name appears in each uploaded file name. You may address your letter to Professor James F. Eder, Search Committee Chair.

Information about the School can be found at A background check is required for employment. Arizona State University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer committed to excellence through diversity. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply. See

November 11, 2009

Call for Papers on Climate Vulnerability and Adaptation

Arun Agrawal, Maria Lemos, Benjamin Orlove, Jesse Ribot

Workshops of ICARUS

The Initiative for Climate Adaptation Research and Understanding through the Social Sciences

We invite your participation in two linked ICARUS workshops on vulnerability and adaptation. The first will be on ‘Climate Vulnerability and Adaptation: Theory and Cases’, to be held 11-13 February 2010 at the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign. The second will be on ‘Climate Vulnerability and Adaptation: Methods and Cases’, and will be held at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, from 3-5 April 2010.

These workshops follow an initial planning meeting held at SNRE at the University of Michigan in Winter 2009. They are a part of a series of meetings sponsored by the newly established ‘Initiative for Climate Adaptation Research and Understanding through the Social Sciences’ – ICARUS. ICARUS intends to further the conversation and research on the subjects of climate vulnerability and adaptation. We are particularly interested to draw young scholars and advanced graduate students into the discussion, and welcome proposals to write and present theoretical and case-based papers at the workshops. A subset of papers presented at the first workshop will be invited for discussion at the second meeting after they have been revised by their authors in consultation with advanced scholars working on climate change.

Vulnerability and adaptation have emerged as key concepts in the social science literature on climate change. Both concepts have long inter-linked histories. Scholars of development and of crisis working on acute disasters and slowly unfolding hunger, famine and dislocation have contributed insights on the meanings and drivers of vulnerability. Development of systematic ideas about adaptation continues to occur in a variety of fields – in both the ecological and the social sciences. The ways these writings are applicable to understanding and intervening in climate-related stress, crisis and response remains a vigorous arena of discussion. In recent years there have been many calls (by IPCC, NSF, Stern Review and others) for greater social science engagement in climate research. ICARUS responds to these calls.

At the first we propose to hold several panels on “Theorizing Vulnerability and Adaptation” to help improve the understanding of these two inter-related concepts, identify theoretical frontiers, and to build frameworks and approaches that move beyond what is currently available. Panels will also feature empirical cases that help interrogate and illuminate these concepts. Some of the major themes around which we expect papers include:
  • Frameworks for understanding vulnerability and adaptation,
  • Forms, causes, and outcomes of vulnerability and adaptation,
  • Contextual conditions that affect vulnerability or the prospects for successful adaptation, with a particular focus on local particularities,
  • Politics, policies and policy processes relevant to vulnerability and adaptation,
  • Types of private and civic action to reduce vulnerability and support adaptation.
Selected papers from the workshops will be brought together to produce one or more edited volumes and/or special issues of journals. Coherent groupings of papers will also be invited to participate in a series of ICARUS panels at the Second International Conference on Climate, Sustainability and Development in Semi-arid Regions (ICID), a Rio+20 preparatory meeting focusing on climate and vulnerability issues to be held in Fortaleza, Brazil 16 to 20 August 2010.

The ICARUS workshops are sponsored by the Social Dimensions of Environmental Policy (SDEP) Initiative of the Department of Geography, School of Earth Society, and Environment and Beckman Institute at the University of Illinois and the International Forestry Resources and Institutions research initiative (IFRI) and the School of Natural Resources and Environment (SNRE) of the University of Michigan. The workshop organizers have a small pool of funds to support participation in the two ICARUS meetings at University of Illinois and University of Michigan. Support will also be available from the ICID organizing committee for participation in the ICID 2010 conference.

Those interested in participating in the workshop and contributing papers on theories, frameworks, and empirical applications of the concepts of vulnerability and adaptation should submit their title, 150 word abstract, and contact information at the ICARUS website. For clarifications, contact Additional information about the workshops will be circulated shortly, and will also become available at the ICARUS website. Web Page: E-Mail:

October 19, 2009

Visiting Professor Position

The Center for the Study of Institutional Diversity at Arizona State University has a visiting professorship program for scholars employed in non-OECD countries and Mexico to spend a sabbatical at the center. Each financial year the program will support one 12 month visit or two 6 month visits with a stipend of up to $40,000 on an annual basis. This will allow the visitor to stay at the center and interact with faculty and students and participate with the broader community of ASU. To be considered for this program, the visiting professor should:

• have a regular professor appointment or equivalent in a non-OECD country or of Mexico;
• have an independent research agenda that overlaps with the aims of the center and;
• be willing to deliver a number of seminars during their stay.

This position is aimed at those on sabbatical leave who are interested in spending it at ASU within the period July 1 2010 – June 30 2011. To apply for this program applications must include the following:

• a most recent CV;
• one or more relevant publications and;
• names and addresses of referees.

Proposals should be submitted under one cover via email to by March 1, 2010. Incomplete applications will not be evaluated.

October 15, 2009

Congratulations to Elinor Ostrom from IASC President Ruth Meinzen-Dick

Monday’s news of Elinor Ostrom winning the 2009 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences is still reverberating, causing much excitement. In awarding the prize, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences noted it is "for her analysis of economic governance, especially the commons". It is so encouraging to see the explicit recognition, by the economics profession, of her landmark studies in the factors that encourage cooperation.

Those who have been privileged to work with her know how richly deserved this recognition is. Those who are not familiar with her work, who still believe in the inevitability of Garrett Hardin’s “tragedy of the commons” have a treat in store, discovering her research. She is a brilliant scholar who can still communicate her ideas to a wide audience, an inspiring teacher and generous colleague.

I am fortunate to be in the former group. I have been following her work on cooperation for managing water, forests, and other shared resources (even the internet!) for more than 20 years. She was the founding President of the International Association for Study of the Commons (IASC), instrumental in building an organization that brings together researchers and practitioners to build understanding and improve institutions for the management of resources that are (or could be) held or used collectively by communities in developing or developed countries. I’m privileged to be the current President of IASC, able to build on the foundations of her work and that of hundreds of others who are helping to learn how to craft institutions to govern the commons effectively.

From this vantage point, let me point out two aspects of Prof. Ostrom’s work that are noteworthy, especially for a Nobel Laureate in Economics Sciences. The first is that her work is grounded in empirical observations. She draws on theory, but also questions the underlying assumptions and tests them against the actual behavior of people and institutions. She looks for the commonalities—and differences—in the way people relate to different types of resources, in developing countries as well as the US and other industrialized countries, using case studies, structured comparable data collection across sites, and experimental games, both in the lab and in the field.

The second significant aspect of her work is that she is transcends disciplines. A political scientist who wins the highest prize in economics, she works with the whole range of social scientists, but also with foresters, ecologists, mathematicians, … the list goes on. She learns from each discipline, and offers conceptual frameworks (notably the Institutional Analysis and Design, or IAD framework) that help integrate knowledge and insights. And more importantly, the combination of perspectives helps to address important practical problems of resource management and crafting institutions that are sustainable and equitable.

For those who want to learn more, a list of her key publications that are available free online is at . Over 100 of her online articles are also available in the Digital Library of the Commons at

See what others thought of her award:

* Elinor Ostrom and the Future of Economics (Umair Haque, Harvard Business)
* Elinor Ostrom breaks the Nobel mould (Kevin Gallagher, Guardian)
* Governing the Commons (Vernon Smith, Forbes)

(This blog posting is copublished with the International Food Policy Research Institute

October 12, 2009

Press Conference of Elinor Ostrom named Nobel laureate
Elinor Ostrom wins Nobel Prize in Economics

Elinor (Lin) Ostrom, a past president, founding member, and active inspiration to the International Association for the Study of the Commons (IASC) has been selected as a recipient of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences. In awarding the prize, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences noted it is "for her analysis of economic governance, especially the commons".

“Many natural resources, such as fish stocks, pastures, woods, lakes, and groundwater basins are managed as common property. That is, many users have access to the resource in question. If we want to halt the degradation of our natural environment and prevent a repetition of the many collapses of natural‐resource stocks experienced in the past, we should learn from the successes and failures of common‐property regimes. Ostrom’s work teaches us novel lessons about the deep mechanisms that sustain cooperation in human societies.”

The theme of the award is Economic governance: the organization of cooperation.

Prof. Ostrom shares the award with Oliver E. Williamson "for his analysis of economic governance, especially the boundaries of the firm"

The International Association for the Study of the Commons DEEPLY congratulates Dr. Ostrom for this well‐deserved recognition of her research on “Governing the Commons”. And want to let her know how privileged and happy we feel to have her as a mentor and colleague at IASC.

We encourage anyone interested in more information to read the prize committee’s excellent overviews of the contributions of these new laureates, with versions for the general public at

and for the scientific community at

September 9, 2009

International Association for the Study of the Commons USA Regional Meeting
Hosted by the Center for the Study of Institutional Diversity

September 30 - October 2, 2010
Arizona State University
Tempe, Arizona, USA

Theme: Capturing the Complexity of the Commons

The regional meeting of the US branch of the IASC will have as its theme “capturing the complexity of the commons” reflecting the increasing efforts to understand commons over time at multiple levels of scale. The goal is to foster more discussion and collaboration especially among US researchers working on commons from an interdisciplinary point of view. We invite scholars from the natural and social sciences as well as humanities and arts.

The conference is interdisciplinary and open to any individual interested in common-pool resources and common property issues. It is aimed at encouraging the discussion on the conference topics among researchers and practitioners living in US or elsewhere. This should result in a stronger research network and an enhanced exchange of experiences primarily among US researchers and students working on the Commons and also with scholars elsewhere.

The conference is organized in 3 subthemes:

This theme address the increasing focus of commons research on cases with historical depth, multiple resources and resource uses, and multiple levels of social and ecological processes. Topics included in this subtheme are the resilience of common pool resources, institutional learning and adaptation, and transboundary commons and conflicts.

New Commons
This theme includes commons that can be grouped in four broad classes: the urban commons, the virtual commons, the environmental services and public health. Research on those topics using conceptual tools designed for the study of commons has strongly increased in the last few years. Moreover, many of those commons are, at present, crucial for the welfare of human beings as a whole.

Multiple Methods to Study the Commons
This theme addresses the methodological contributions to study the commons including ethnographic case studies, collaborative field studies, experiments, formal modeling and participatory processes. Besides contributions of the individual methodologies we recognize the benefits of using multiple methods to address the same research questions.

We welcome proposals for panels, workshops, and individual papers relating to the three subthemes of the conference:

Panels and Workshops. Submit a proposal to organize a 1.5 hour concurrent panel session (3 to 4 speakers and session chair) or workshop (a practically-oriented session with 2 or 3 speakers, session facilitator, and sufficient time for audience questions). Proposals include an abstract of the goal and topic of the session (maximum of 350 words), include names and affiliations of the organizer and individual presenters, and provide abstracts for the individual papers (maximum 250 words).
Proposals for panels and workshops are due April 1, 2010.

Individual Papers. Submit an abstract to give a 20-minute oral presentation. Abstracts should be a maximum of 250 words. Include the name, title and affiliation of each author. Abstracts will be peer reviewed and are due April 1, 2010. Confirmation of acceptance of the abstract will be sent by May 1, 2010. Final papers are due September 1, 2010 (details will be sent to authors upon abstract acceptance).

Conference Proceedings. All abstracts and submitted papers will be made available online and provided to the. All conference paper submissions will be peer reviewed and a selected of the papers will be considered for a special issue of the International Journal of the Commons.

Submission of Abstracts. All abstracts must be submitted electronically in Word, text, or pdf format. Abstracts should be submitted via the conference website.

July 13, 2009

Fulbright Commission- Politecnico of Turin, Italy
A.Y. 2010 – 2011


According to the agreement, signed in 2008 by the Politecnico of Turin and the Fulbright Commission, a Fulbright Distinguished Senior Lecturer will be selected for a six months period of teaching and research at the Politecnico in academic year 2010-11 (see other information at:
Teaching activities will involve a Module in “Policies and Tools for Environmental Sustainability” within the Master in Pianificazione territoriale, urbanistica e paesaggistico-ambientale (Territorial, Urban, Landscape and Environmental Planning), in the second Facoltà di Architettura (School of Architecture), while research activities will be developed in the Dipartimento Interateneo Territorio (DITER).
Both activities are related to the issue of sustainable development, with a particular focus on public policies and on planning and evaluation tools through which to attain the environmental sustainability in territorial innovation and transformation processes. This approach includes also subjects such as the international cooperation for nature and landscape conservation, and protected areas management.
These issues resume, with a broader trans-scale attention, some of those which are the focus of the teaching activity of a Fulbright Distinguished Chair on “International Environmental Policies and Legislation” which has been developed in the BA in Pianificazione territoriale, urbanistica e ambientale (Territorial, Urban, Landscape and Environmental Planning), each year since 2002. This teaching experience (held in English) has involved seven diverse American teachers and has been greatly appreciated by the students.
Now, this past experience scope should be broadened taking into account the growing political and cultural interest for the global changes affecting not only the climate conditions and their physical effects, but also the economic, social and cultural processes and the planning and governance perspectives. This implies scientific comparisons, exchanges and interactions between the most meaningful American and European (and particularly Italian) experiences.
Teaching activities can also include lectures and seminars in the PhD address in “Territorial Planning and Local Development”, organised by DITER within the Politecnico PhD Course “Environment and Territory”.

In the light of the past experience, it seems important to associate to the teaching activity the research one. Such research activity can be linked to the research activities theme developed within DITER, which will host the Fulbright Lecturer.
DITER was born at the beginning of the ‘80s from a joint initiative of geographers, economists, sociologists, planners and architects partly belonging to the University of Turin, partly to the Politecnico, and it is the only inter-universities Department still existing in Italy.
Research activities are carried out by means of research Centres and groups.
DITER hosts three Research Centres:
o ECD-NPP, European Centre of Documentation on Nature Parks Planning
o EU-POLIS Centre for Research and Documentation on European and Mediterranean Urban Systems
o CCTM – Third World City Centre

The activity of these Centres and of other research groups operating in DITER is focused on a wide range of themes, such as human and economic geography, urban and regional governance and planning, environment and landscape policies and planning, spatial development and European policies, cooperation and planning in developing countries, sustainability and assessment of plans and programmes.
Each of the above Centres and the other research groups has important relationships with International Associations and Networks, such as, for instance, the IUCN (the World Conservation Union) and UNISCAPE (European Network of Universities for the Implementation of the European Landscape Convention). Such relationships could make easier for the incoming lecturer to interact with the national and international networks.

DITER, where the Lecturer will have his office, is located in the Castle of Valentino, on the river Po, just in the historic centre of Turin, the old seat of Politecnico since the middle of the 19th century and one of the main seats of the Savoy Court since the 17th century (for more information about Turin and Politecnico see

June 15, 2009

Seeking Virtual Presenters for Participation Camp: Changing the Rules, June 27-28

If you, or someone that you know, might be interested in being a virtual presenter at the following event, please let us know.

Participation Camp: CHANGE THE RULES! – seeking virtual presenters and/or collaborators

Democracy is the game where we can change the rules together! How do we make this game more serious, more fair and more fun? Please let us know if you are interested in convening a virtual session at this event on a topic of your choice, or collaborating with us in some way!

Participation Camp, Change the Rules, in New York on June 27-28, will provide the spark for an explosion of sharing, experimentation and collaboration around this question. Participants may attend a wide range of physical and virtual presentations (or deliver one themselves), compete in a conference wide web participation game called Nomic (, or roll up their sleeves in a hands on workshop. For preliminary details see:

If you might be interested in collaborating with us, please check out our wiki at:

What Makes Change The Rules Different?

Virtual/Physical Hybrid Structure: One particular feature of this event is that we will be bridging the physical and virtual worlds. We will be opening up virtual spaces in advance of the actual session so as to engage virtual participants in the project. We will also have a room where virtual presenters can connect with those at the conference.

Open Space/Defined Hybrid Structure: We will be using Open Space principles for the creation of some of the sessions, but will also be seeking out the involvement of those that would like to actively
engage participants on a specific topic. If there is an issue or a question that you would like to discuss at this event, please let us know!

Play Game: We will be playing the game, Nomic ( This is a game that is designed to teach participants, by virtue of their experience, some of the interesting features of governance, democracy, rule making, rule following, collaboration etc.

Pre-Session Dialogue: We will open SkypeChat spaces that enable those that are interested in the PCamp theme(s) to connect with each other, exchange ideas, plan potential sessions etc.

Sustain Dialogue: Due to the fact that virtual environments are accessible from anywhere, it becomes possible for participants to continue their conversations with others after the conclusion of the
session. This makes it possible for them to continue to explore the ideas and projects that they are interested in, as well as to cultivate the relationships with those that they have connected with.
We hate the fact that what happens when events end is that there is little or no follow up!


Here are a few questions that we have been thinking about. Are there any such questions that are of interest to you, and around which you might be interested in organizing a virtual session?
• What, generally speaking, is the role that technology can play in fostering citizen engagement?
• What are the best tools for creating the right frameworks for fostering citizen engagement?
• What are the particular challenges of using open, collaborative, platforms?
• What sorts of business models are consistent with ‘open collaboration’? How can organizations that subscribe to these principles also generate revenue?
• How do we utilize technology to mobilize the youth vote?


On June 20th, we will create a chat space/conversation in Skype to which we will invite all those that are interested in participating in an open dialogue on issues relating to open governance. This chat space will allow you the opportunity to:
• Introduce yourself and your project to others that are like minded
• Connect with others that might be interested in your project or might have interesting project ideas.
• Learn, via participation, about how open, collaborative, patterns of interaction work
• Learn, via participation, how groups self organize Virtual Tools

We will be using free online tools that are easily accessible by any participant, such as: We will utilize ( in order to organize and share files.
Google Documents: will be used for the joint authoring of documents.
SkypeChat: Will provide a open space where people can start the dialogue, network and keep the discussion going.
Etherpad: for notetaking during sessions.
Twitter: as a channel to the outside to integrate other interested parties.

Stephan Dohrn

May 5, 2009

IASC Membership Survey

Dear IASC Member,

Inorder to encourage the exchange of knowledge and experience between our members, we have been working for the past year on our membership strategy. To make you membership in the IASC community as useful and enjoyable as possible we need you to provide us with feedback on your personal experience and expectations. Therefore we kindly request that you fill out a survery. Your answers are very valuable for the design of our new membership strategy and the future of the IASC.

You can fill out the survery online by clicking the following link:

We will analyze results by May 19th, so please send use your reply before that.

We appreciate your time and suggestion. If you have additional ideas feel free to share them with us by sending an e-mail to Luz Aliette Hernandez at

Also, please remember to renew your membership registration for the period of July 2009-June 2010 through the member's link: There you can also check your membership fee record at the link "View my details" that appears after you enter your personal information.

Thank you for your participation,

The IASC Secretariat

April 27, 2009

Invitation to a Virtual Real-time Collaboration Workshop

What tools and principles do we need to help change to unfold? Social and technological development is a means for better organizations, and a better world.

Please join us for a global of trial using Open Space principles to convene and connect participants from around the world.

When: Saturday, 9 May, 2009
Time: 14.00-17.00 GMT (please check your local time here)

Cost: Free

For more information and to register:

March 19, 2009

International Conference: Towards Knowledge Democracy
25-27 August 2009

I would like to draw you attention to the forthcoming International Conference "Towards Knowledge Democracy", which will be held in Leiden, The Netherlands, on 25-27 August 2009. http://knowledgedemocracy/nl

Background information: "This conference offers you a unique opportunity to share your visions and experiences on how to deal with the challenges and possibilities that occur on the interface between science, politics, society and the media. The ability to handle these boundary issues is essential in our world where knowledge becomes increasingly democratised. An international audience consisting of scientists, politicians, government officials, media professionals, societal organisations and other interested parties will convene in Leiden to exchange ideas. We expect hundreds of visitors and over a hundred keynote and panel speakers to discuss their views during this three-day event."

Call for papers here:

Deadline for submission of abstacts 1 May 2009.

Best wishes - and apologies for cross posting.
Sarah Cummings

Context, international cooperation
Cornelis Houtmanstraat 15
3572 LT Utrecht
The Netherlands

February 13, 2009

Call for Papers


Decentralization, Power & Tenure Rights of Forest-Dependent People

Dahod, Gujarat, India; 27-28 October 2009

Wageningen University (the Netherlands) and the Sadguru Foundation (India) will jointly host a symposium ‘Decentralization, Power and Tenure Rights of Forest-Dependent People’ at Dahod, Gujarat, India on 27-28 October 2009. An optional one-day field visit will be arranged on 29 October 2009.

Objective - The main aim of the symposium is to share local, national and international experiences of decentralization reforms and forest tenure rights in relation to the political position of forestdependent indigenous peoples and pastoralists.

Symposium - Key identified thematic issues for discussions are:

Decentralization Reforms
Decentralized forest management reforms recognize new types of institutions. In practice, what kinds of institutions are chosen and why? Are the local institutions supportive towards marginalized groups? Do marginalized groups have a say in choosing the ‘right’ local institution?

Politics of Power
Different forms of power are devolved to different types of institutions through decentralized forestry. Which kinds of powers are transferred to local authorities? Who are the new authorities? Does devolving power to local authority means empowerment of indigenous peoples and women?

Forest Tenure Rights
Statutory laws are increasingly recognizing forest tenure rights of the indigenous peoples. To what extent do international instruments and institutions influence national and local forest governance? Is the state ‘recognition’ of forest tenure rights conducive to the reduction of rural

Abstract - The paper should address one or more of the above identified three thematic issues based on empirical and/or theoretical research.

Abstracts should include title, author(s), institutional affiliation, full contact address, telephone number and a summary (max 250 words) of the paper with four keywords. Please email the abstract as an attachment to Purabi Bose ( before 10 April 2009. Please state “symposium abstract/your last name” in the email subject line. We will notify acceptance of the abstract via email by 30 April 2009.

Participants - We encourage participants from multidisciplinary background including international and national researchers, academics, postgraduate students, policymakers, legal experts, NGO members, government officers.

Language - English is the symposium language.

Programme - Two-day interactive symposium will have keynote lectures, selected paper presentations, panel discussion, and an openforum focussed debate. The confirmed programme will be available by September 2009.

Venue - Sadguru Foundation, Chosala, Dahod district, Gujarat, India.

Being hosted in a semiarid, tribal district bordering Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh states, the symposium presents an opportunity to explore what future holds for some of India's poorest forest-dependent tribal communities.

Dahod is directly connected to Mumbai (540km/9hrs) and Delhi (840km/12hrs) by Indian railways. The nearest airports are in Ahmedabad and Vadodara city of Gujarat. By road: bus service is available from Ahmedabad (200km) and Vadodara (150km).
Check venue details at and general information about Dahod at

Important Dates - Abstract submission -- 10 April 2009
Acceptance of abstract -- 30 April 2009
Registration fees and paper submission -- 15 September 2009
Final programme & Keynote speakers -- 30 September 2009
Symposium -- 27-28 October 2009
Fieldtrip (optional) -- 29 October 2009

Registration - A nominal participation fee of Rs.2000 is to be paid by 15 September 2009. To encourage participation of PhD students and women from developing countries, the fee is further relaxed to Rs.1000. The fee includes presymposium proceedings, twinsharing accommodation for one night at the venue, and meals. The fees exclude all other expenses like travel, extra days of lodging/boarding, and field trip. All registrations will be confirmed on the receipt of fees.

Mode of Payment - Indian Participants: Kindly send demand draft in favour of “N. M. Sadguru Water and Development Foundation” together with a covering letter (including full name, institutional affiliation, position, address, telephone, email) to Harnath Jagawat, Director, Sadguru Foundation, Post Box 71, Dahod 389171, Gujarat, India.

International Participants: Through bank transfers, kind contact symposium secretariat.

For any further information, to register your participation, or to cosponsor the symposium, please contact the Symposium Secretariat preferably by email at:

Wageningen University, the Netherlands
Purabi Bose

Sadguru Foundation, India
Harnath Jagawat