Abstract: Human institutions—ways of organizing activities—affect the resilienceof the environment. Locally evolved institutional arrangements governed bystable communities and buffered from outside forces have sustained resourcessuccessfully for centuries, although they often fail when rapid change occurs.Ideal conditions for governance are increasingly rare. Critical problems, suchas transboundary pollution, tropical deforestation, and climate change, are atlarger scales and involve nonlocal influences. Promising
strategies for addressing these problemsinclude dialogue among interested parties, officials, and scientists; complex,redundant, and layered institutions; a mix of institutional types; and designsthat facilitate experimentation, learning, and change.