WHY THE COMMONS AND LAND STEWARDSHIP
Traditionally, issues concerning the management of common-pool resources (CPRs), such as environmental resources, land, housing and public space management have been critically debated and advocated either as a “state solution” or a “market solution”. Capitalist dynamics of growth through dispossession and depredation of these resources is basic for its own reproduction. Many social and environmental conflicts that arise in cities and rural areas show structural contradictions of capitalism. For example: many toxic facilities are located in poor and minority neighborhoods in southern US states, many huge mining and water infrastructure projects disposess and evict indigenous people in Africa, Asia and South America, many rural areas in old Europe are becoming a demographic desert because their traditional economic bases are no longer profitable for industrial capitalism and environmental biodiversity is destroyed or commodified everywhere in the world.
Against material accumulation, unlimited economic growth that deepens social and spatial inequalities, and environmental degradation by market-oriented logics, we defend a return to the commons, to land and environmental management leaded by local communities with a degrowth and sustainable approach, organized in different scale networks. We are not just nostalgic about the "old good times" in which persons where more organized around commons and less individualistic. Following Menzies writings, we reclaim the commons for the common good, looking back to the past to learn traditional forms of environment conservation, land management and social relationships, but with a future oriented vision following degrowth theories. From this perspective we research on theoretical and applied alternatives that covers all the basic needs as human beings, especially land and environment: