This is the introductory article to the JEOD Special Issue on “Community-Based, Collaborative Solutions to Sustainable Economic Development in and around Biosphere Reserves”. In introducing the topic, we make the case for joining the experience of practitioners and scholars in the writing of the issue articles. We outline an institutionalist approach to the study of sustainable development in UNESCO designated Biosphere Reserves (BRs) and highlight how this can help explaining the emergence of a variety of experiences from which practitioners can extract major lessons to solve common problems of collective action within BRs. The editorial concludes by presenting issues for further research.
Keywords: BIOSPHERE RESERVES; SOCIAL CAPITAL; SOCIAL ENTERPRISE; COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT; SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT; OSTROM