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Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research

Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research

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Project • 2004-12-NMY, 2005-02-CMY

Role of institutions in global environmental change

The role of institutions in natural resource management is being increasingly recognised in the context of global environmental change. Institutions are defined as humanly devised constraints that structure human interactions (Berkes and Folke, 2000). They are the set of rules actually used by a set of individuals to organise repetitive activities that produce outcomes affecting those individuals and potentially affecting others (Ostrom, 1992). Policy research and analysis of institutions related to global environmental change, that is ongoing worldwide, normally focuses on international or national mechanisms and programmes in place. While it is accepted that these programmes contribute significantly to causing and confronting global environmental changes, the role of local institutions cannot be ignored. Therefore, it is necessary to study the role of institutions, operating at the local level, in global environmental change and build the capacity of local communities to adapt to these changes.

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