Tragedy of the Commons

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The tragedy of the commons is a socioeconomic dynamic where it is in the best interest of each individual to overuse a resource unless everyone else also does likewise. The dilemma arises when members of a group share a common good, such as an ecosystem, where this common good is rivalrous and non­excludable, meaning that anyone can use the resource but there is a finite amount of the resource available and it is, therefore, prone to over-exploitation. The tragedy of the commons has proven to be a core dynamic within the management of many socio­-ecological systems around the world, from the management of forestry to pasture and in particular fisheries many of which have collapsed due to over-exploitation and lack of solutions to the tragedy of the commons.

2016-10-14T22:04:14+00:00