Tragedy of the commons

Credits to: Environmental Science

Tragedy of the commons, as illustrated by the image above, refers to the loss of a common resource (also known as commons) due to over-consumption by individuals acting out of their self-interests. 

Relating this theory to the situation in Southeast Asia, it accounts for the poor practices of deforestation through the use of forest fire. The human population is reliant on certain resources, like palm oil. With the high demand for palm oil, farmers and companies have to meet this demand by producing more palm oil – through creating more palm oil plantations by conversion of forests.

However, some companies or farmers may clear natural forests through forest fires as it is more efficient. Therefore, the cost of air pollution and uncontrolled forest fires will have to be endured by living organisms in that ecosystem.