Sample Geography Paper on The Tragedy of the Commons

Worksheet: The Tragedy of the Commons

1:What is the common resource?The common resource is a public pond occupied by fish. In the video posted by TED Ed and Khana Academy the villagers are sharing fish. Specifically, the fish pond highlighted by Ted explains how four people are involved in fishing in a communal fish pond. Likewise, Khana Academy video depicts two people with private fish ponds but extensively participate in fishing in a public pond to near depletion.
2:Who is responsible for overusing the resource?The villagers are responsible for overfishing. Each person aspires to benefit his or her own needs. Therefore, each person is motivated to take as many fish as possible. In the Khana video, the two individuals with private ponds are cautious not to overfish in their own ponds but are driven to extensively catch fish in the community pond to near depletion. The resource is overused because each person does not see the need to reduce the rate of fishing because others may not think on the same line of argument. 
3:What has been done or could be done?To prevent the creation of environmental problems, community members have established social contracts that control the use of common resources. For instance, in the communal fish pond described on the videos, the villagers can decide how much fish each person retrieves from the pond. Consequently, the problem can be addressed through communal agreements where the villagers decide on specific duration for fishing to give room for reproduction to promote sustainability.
4:Is there something better that could be done?Notably, communities can decide on different laws that define use of community resources to promote sharing and sustainability. Above all, public awareness should be done so that community members are educated on environmental problems caused by the tragedy of the commons. They will be made to understand the delicate nature of the ecosystem how to cautiously use it resources.