Journal article

Modeling and assessing scenarios of common property pastures management in Switzerland

Common property pastures (CPPs) in the Alps served as examples for successful self-governed resource use. During the past fewdecades, the situation has changed, and abandonment of marginal pastureswith subsequent forest regrowth has been widely observed. To better understand current drivers, challenges, and policy impacts on the sustainable governance of common property pastures, we present an application of Ostroms' general framework for analyzing social–ecological systems (SESs). We use system dynamics (SD) modeling to operationalize the SES framework for the case study region of Grindelwald, Switzerland. Based on formative scenario analysis, we identify four consistent simulation scenarios. The simulation results show that increasing loss of common property pastures and resulting afforestation can be expected. Scenario assessment shows that policy blueprints such as liberalization or increased government support do not halt but instead accelerate abandonment of common property pastures. We conclude by discussing options for sustainably governing CPPs.


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