Collaborative Environmental Management
After decades of rapid technological advancement and economic growth, alarming levels of pollution and environmental degradation are emerging globally. Due to the geographical diffusion of pollutants, the unilateral response of one nation or region is often ineffective. Reports portray the situation as an industrial civilization on the verge of suicide, destroying its environmental conditions of existence, with people being held as prisoners on a runaway catastrophe-bound train. Though global cooperation in environmental control holds out the best promise of effective action, limited success has been observed. This is the result of many hurdles, ranging from commitment, monitoring, and sharing of costs to disparities in future development under the cooperative plans. One finds it hard to be convinced that multinational joint initiatives, like the Kyoto Protocol, can offer a long-term solution because there is no guarantee that participants will always be better off within the entire extent of the agreement. More than anything else, it is due to the lack of these kinds of incentives that current cooperative schemes fail to provide an effective means to avert disaster. This is a “classic” game-theoretic problem.