In recent years a literature has developed on forms of institutions with potential for cross-scale linkages. One of these forms is co-management (Jentoft, 1989; Pinkerton, 1989). Others include multistakeholder bodies; institutions oriented for development, empowerment, and co-management; the emerging class of institutions for “citizen science”; policy communities; and social movement networks. Much of this literature has not yet been connected to the commons research community, and the same can be said about the literature on public participation (e.g., Renn et al., 1995; Dietz and Stern, 1998). Table 9-3 lists some characteristics of each type. A seventh and somewhat different set concerns research and management approaches that enable cross-scale linkages. We discuss each in turn.
The simplest kind of cross-scale institutional linkage is the one that connects local-level management with government-level management in partnerships. Literature contains examples of co-management arrangements in a diversity of regions with a number of resource sectors. Many co-management initiatives are in progress in the areas of fisheries, wildlife, protected areas, forests, and other resources in various parts of the world, from Joint Forest Management in India (Poffenberger and McGean, 1996) to the implementation of aboriginal resource rights in the United States, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia.
Often there are legal reasons for instituting co-management arrangements, as in aboriginal land and resource claims (Singleton, 1998). But another reason for the growing interest is that effective resource management often requires partnerships to combine the strengths of government-level and local-level resource management and to mitigate the weaknesses of each (Pomeroy and Berkes, 1997). In some cases, as in the Philippines coastal fisheries, the development of co-management is related to the government’s problems with enforcement (Pomeroy, 1995). Conflict resolution is another primary reason for co-management arrangements, as documented in a Costa Rican coastal national park (Weitzner and Fonseca Borras, 1999). This is consistent with McCay’s observation (this volume:Chapter 11) that commons institutions often serve the purpose of conflict resolution.
Figure 9-1 shows the linkages in two co-management arrangements. The first (Figure 9-1a) is the Beverly-Qamanirjuaq Caribou Co-Management Board in northern Canada. Although this is not a co-management arrangement under land claims and not legally binding, it is a longstanding body (since 1982), and it is considered successful in resolving disputes and in enabling effective local input into what used to be a centrally managed resource (Kendrick, 2000). The second example (Figure 9-1b) is a formally legislated aboriginal land claims