About Paulo Magalhães of Earth Condominiums
He is a jurist and researcher at Cesnova/FCSH/Universidade Nova de Lisboa where he is doing a PhD in Human Ecology. In 1984 he was one of the founding members of the major enviromental portuguese NGO, QUERCUS, where he now coordinates the projects “Earth Condominium”, “Ecobalance”, “Common Forest” and “Greencork”.
This path as activist and jurist, made him transform that what for the absolute majority of people is a small case of neighbourhood relations into the construction of a model that conciliates the interests of States and Humanity as a whole. Between an expensive condominium bill that would pay for the windows of the front neighbour and the discovery that the maintenance of this windows in a state that would avoid infiltrations was a task of common interest, and that this serves as a basis for these windows not being the property of the front neighbour, but rather being common, there was something that motivated him to investigate the theoretical foundations of the existing interdependent organization within a condominium.
What is Earth Condominium?
Experience has shown that the shared use of the same resource by a large group of individuals inevitably results in a “Tragedy of the Commons”. To voluntary accept rules presupposes the prior construction of the organizational foundations to enable the emergence of confidence.
Through a precise delimitation of the systems of collective use and the areas that are the object of collective property, the juridical model of the Condominium harmonize individual and collective interests. As the different properties are delineated, responsibilities and the different management competencies are organized.
Our planet, in contrast to many others, is not just a sphere of rocks, water and air with an area of 510 million square kilometers divided between states. This planet possesses a Natural System that transcends all borders and cannot be physically appropriated or geographically delimited, and constitutes a support for life on earth. An “Earth System” adequate for the conditions of human life, requires a specific biogeochemical structure, which humanity needs to respect in order to avoid the risk of a catastrophic environmental global change. This system which we all use and depend, upon will be our main Global Common.
If we recognize the Earth System as Natural Intangible Heritage of Mankind, we can use it to capture the negative and positive externalities, and accountancy system can also be initiated in order to make a permanent management of this “safe space for humanity”.