By Tobias Haller, Peter Larsen and Ashish Kothari
17 SDGs are the major initiative of the UN to promote sustainable development implemented by states. But despite including gender and justice issues, a closer look at the goals shows problematic omissions regarding root causes of environmental and development crisis. Especially the question of the commons, once perceived as THE issue regarding sustainability by Elinor Ostrom’s Nobel Prize, is completely left out. Her work was based on solid scientific evidence that local people have always been able to establish institutions for the sustainable management of common-pool resources (pasture, wildlife, fisheries, forestry, water etc). Directly linked to SDG 14 and 15, the commons address all other SDGs (see hunger, energy, consumption, climate change and biodiversity loss). Commoning also relates much to SDG 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions) and 17 (participation). Furthermore, two problematic uses regarding SDGs emerge: First, because common
property is not recognized in the SDGs, state elites can continue to legitimate commons grabbing. Second, leaving out the commons reduces local power claiming for participation. Thus, two policy demands crystalize: A) Control that SDGs is not the abbreviation of «Sanctioning Disciplined Grabs» B) Ensuring that local commoners (farmers, fishers and nomads) can develop alternatives during the implementation phases.
During the workshop we discuss the inclusion management of commons in the implementation of the SDGs and how local commoners can develop alternatives during the implementation phase. If you would like to present research related to this issue in the workshop, please contact Prof. Dr. Tobias Haller, firstname.lastname@example.org.