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Assessing the adaptive capacity of multi-level water governance: ecosystem services under climate change in Mälardalen region, Sweden
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre. Stockholm University, Stockholm Environment Institute.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre. Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Sweden.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre. Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies (LUCSUS), Sweden.
Number of Authors: 32017 (English)In: Regional Environmental Change, ISSN 1436-3798, E-ISSN 1436-378X, Vol. 17, no 8, p. 2359-2371Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Adaptive and multi-level governance is often called for in order to improve the management of complex issues such as the provision of natural resources and ecosystem services. In this case study, we analyse the contemporary multi-level governance system that manages water resources and its ecosystem services in a fresh water lake in Sweden. We assess the relative importance and barriers of three commonly highlighted components of adaptive governance: feeding ecological knowledge into the governance system, use of ecological knowledge to continuously adapt the governance system, and self-organisation by flexible institutions acting across multiple levels. Findings reveal that the trickiest aspect of adaptive governance capacity to institutionalise is the iterative nature of feedbacks and learning over time, and that barriers to the spread of knowledge on social-ecological complexity through the governance systems are partly political, partly complexity itself, and partly a more easily resolved lack of coordination. We call for caution in trusting crisis management to build more long-lasting adaptive capacity, and we conclude that a process of institutionalising adaptive capacity is inherently contingent on political process putting issues on the agenda.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 17, no 8, p. 2359-2371
Keywords [en]
Multi-level governance, Ecosystem services, Adaptive capacity, Watershed, Management, Ecological knowledge
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences Social and Economic Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-149946DOI: 10.1007/s10113-017-1149-xISI: 000415136200015OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-149946DiVA, id: diva2:1170078
Available from: 2018-01-02 Created: 2018-01-02 Last updated: 2018-01-02Bibliographically approved

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