Sustaining local commons in the face of uncertain ecological thresholds: Evidence from a framed field experiment with Colombian small-scale fishers

Due to climate change abrupt and persistent changes in ecosystems, impacting millions of livelihoods, are likely but hard to predict. How people respond to such uncertain ‘regime shifts’ is poorly understood. Here, we assess the potential for local collective action to avert uncertain, yet catastrophic, regime shifts using behavioural economic experiments with 256 small-scale fishers from the Colombian Caribbean coast. With a framed, dynamic common-pool…

Model Uncertainty, Ambiguity and the Precautionary Principle: Implications for Biodiversity Management

We analyze ecosystem management under ‘unmeasurable’Knightian uncertainty or ambiguity which, given the uncertainties characterizing ecosystems, might be a more appropriate framework relative to the classic risk case (measurable uncertainty). This approach is used as a formal way of modelling the precautionary principle in the context of least favorable priors and maxmin criteria.We provide biodiversity management rules which incorporate the precautionary principle. These rules take the…

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