If only the rest of the world could emulate the Government of Rajasthan in India in adopting public policies to promote the commons! As the Times of India reports, “Rajasthan has become the first state in the country to have drafted a policy underlining the importance and the need to preserve and secure common land (commons) in rural areas.” There may be other such government policies around the world, but they are few and far between. The Rajasthan policies are a real breakthrough.
The Rajasthan government is in the process of identifying which grazing lands, common ponds and their catchment areas, playgrounds and other resources shall be treated as commons. Its new policies aim to decentralize governance, encourage conservation and proper ecological stewardship, assure fair access to and use of the lands, and facilitate public participation in all aspects of managing commons.