Property right is a term commonly used in economics to refer to the authority accorded to an individual or the government, giving the power to determine the use of certain resources. The person(s) accorded this right have the power to use the resource, transfer the resources to other people, and earn income from it.
The issue of property rights comes in handy in organizations where there are many resources and each individual wants the rights to theses resources. As such, the resources are allocated to the individuals after following the rules of allocating resources under the property rights Act. This paper will be an exploration of the issue of property rights with much concentration on the possible use of common property to address the commons problem.
To discuss effectively the issue of property rights with regard to the possible use of common property to solve the problem of the commons, some case studies on the same will be analyzed. In an article by Joshua Cinner, research was done on the socioeconomic factors that influenced customary marine tenure in the Indo-Pacific. In the article, it is noted that the communities living close to the Western Pacific tried to come up with ways in which they could limit the use of the marine resources.
It is true to say that most people have for a long time held the assumption that resources that are found close to the naturally existing sceneries such as mountains, rivers and oceans among others, belong to every individual in the community around. However, this has changed in the recent past after the development of the property rights Act. In the article by Cinner, it is clearly noted that the communities have put in place, resource management techniques, which limit the use of marine resources next to the pacific.
As such, they developed what was referred to as the Customary Marine Tenure (CMT). The CMT regulates any access to the resources of the marine through social units. This tenure is noted to go further to limit the access to the outsiders. The writer of the article emphasizes that despite having spread globally, the CMT has found much use and application in the Western Pacific.
In fact, the issue of the rights to marine resources has attracted a lot of controversy from the legal institutions in most nations. The writer of this article indicates that in some regions such as the PNG, ownership of marine resources through customary basis is legalized by the constitution. Nevertheless, the writer notes that in other regions such as Indonesia, access to marine resources is governed by the marine tenure systems.
Given the controversy of ownership of the marine resources and the fact that these resources are degrading, the governments of the Pacific nations have intervened to try to modernize the CMT regimes. Actually, the CMT is to be integrated to the modern techniques of resources allocation in order to improve its efficacy. Just as it happens in other systems upgrade, it is expected that the integration and modernization of the CMT will come with its hardships.
There are several lessons to be learnt from this article with regard to the use of common use of property to address the commons problem. Among them is the fact that despite a resource being of the community, there are problems of efficiently allocating the resource to all members of the community and have all contended.
In the tragedy of the commons, Garrett Hardin notes that the problem being faced by the population has no technical solution but rather it needs an extension in morality. This article is mainly on how the problems of the world brought about by the increasing population could be possible solved or eliminated. Nevertheless, the writer refers to the technical solutions as being those that require modifications in the technology of nature. He goes on to mention that the technical solutions have little to do with human values or ideas.
The tragedy of the commons is truly an article that gives a clear picture of the situation being faced globally regarding property rights. This is because in the recent years the world’s population has almost doubled yet the resources are not increasing but instead being depleted. As such, there has to be a problem in sharing the limited resources to the overwhelming population, hence the tragedy of the commons.
The increasing population according to the writer has led to more socio-economic problems among them pollution and crimes. It is because of this that the writer concludes by saying the increasing population is the main cause of the abandonment of the commons.
Paul Seabright in his article on managing the local commons discusses how the issue of sharing and managing the local resources has attracted a great interest. Paul begins by defining what common property resources are, which he notes that they are those resources with property rights.
However, the property rights not exercised in whole, but are instead exercised partly by the members of a certain group. This issue has attracted a lot of controversy because of the fact that the resources are owned by a group of people. These groups are normally the typical small communities, which are smaller than the global communities are.
A clear distinction between the two is that matters of the locals are smaller than of global commons. Some of the global commons problems include global warming while issues of local commotions would include grazing lands and fishing regions just to mention a few. It is clear that there are more problems in the local commons than they are in the global commons. As such, the intervention by the necessary bodies is essential in order to curb these problems.
This is because as some members of the group may be willing to take certain risks regarding the resources, others may not be willing, hence creating conflicts. Seabright indicates that it is normally difficult to solve such conflicts of interest, thus requiring the intervention of the matter before the common property resource is mishandled. This article is of great significance in showing how it may be difficult to address the problem of the commons especially at the local or intermediary level.
It is true to say that, the issue of property rights has attracted several debates from people of different cadres all over the globe. This is because of the sensitivity that that this issue has especially regarding commonly owned property. In this paper, several articles on this issue were analyzed and they all depicted how difficult it is in addressing the commons problem. However, the writers of the articles seem to conclude that intervention is required in order to curb this issue.