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Enhancing ecosystem management through social-ecological inventories: lessons from Kristianstads Vattenrike, Sweden
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
2007 (English)In: Environmental Conservation, ISSN 0376-8929, Vol. 34, no 2, 140-152 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Environmental policy increasingly emphasizes involvement of local users and land owners in ecosystem management, but conservation planning is still largely a bureaucratic-scientific endeavour of identifying biological values for protection. Neither biological inventories nor stakeholder analyses, that tend to focus on conflicting interests, capture human resources in the landscape or the social structures and processes underlying biological conservation values. Social-ecological inventories are therefore proposed during the preparation phase of conservation projects as a means to identify people with ecosystem knowledge that practise ecosystem management. The method presented here focuses on local steward groups acting outside official management plans. In a social-ecological inventory of a river basin of southern Sweden, local steward groups, their ecosystem management activities, motives and links to other actors involved in ecosystem management were identified through interviews, participatory observations and a review of documents and other written material. Several hundred active local stewards were organized in 10 local steward groups that managed and monitored a range of ecosystem services at different spatial scales. Contributions of local stewards included on-site ecosystem management, long-term and detailed monitoring of species and ecosystem dynamics, local ecological knowledge, public support for ecosystem management and specialized networks. Two conservation projects are used to illustrate how local steward groups came together in multi-level networks and collaborated around specific conservation issues. The projects have been linked to ecosystem management at the landscape level through a flexible municipality organization, the Ecomuseum Kristianstads Vattenrike (EKV). EKV has acted as a ‘bridging organization’, coordinating and connecting many of the local steward groups to organizations and institutions at other levels. The process has been guided by social capital and shared visions for the whole landscape. The study shows that ecosystem management likely relies on multi-level collaboration and social-ecological inventories may help identify actors that are fundamental in such management systems. Social-ecological inventories should be employed in any attempt to develop and implement ecosystem management.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 34, no 2, 140-152 p.
Keyword [en]
ecosystem management, Kristianstads Vattenrike, local stewards, multi-level networks, participation, social-ecological inventory
National Category
Natural Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-21208DOI: 10.1017/S0376892907003876ISI: 000249057100009OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-21208DiVA: diva2:187734
Available from: 2007-12-06 Created: 2007-12-06 Last updated: 2009-05-11Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Nurturing resilience in social-ecological systems: Lessons learned from bridging organizations
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Nurturing resilience in social-ecological systems: Lessons learned from bridging organizations
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In an increasingly complex, rapidly changing world, the capacity to cope with, adapt to, and shape change is vital. This thesis investigates how natural resource management can be organized and practiced to nurture this capacity, referred to as resilience, in social-ecological systems. Based on case studies and large-N data sets from UNESCO Biosphere Reserves (BRs) and the UN Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA), it analyzes actors and social processes involved in adaptive co-management on the ground. Papers I & II use Kristianstads Vattenrike BR to analyze the roles of local stewards and bridging organizations. Here, local stewards, e.g. farmers and bird watchers, provide on-site management, detailed, long-term monitoring, and local ecological knowledge, build public support for ecosystem management, and hold unique links to specialized networks. A bridging organization strengthens their initiatives. Building and drawing on multi-level networks, it gathers different types of ecological knowledge, builds moral, political, legal and financial support from institutions and organizations, and identifies windows of opportunity for projects. Paper III synthesizes the MA community-based assessments and points to the importance of bridging organizations, leadership and vision, knowledge networks, institutions nested across scales, enabling policies, and high motivation among actors for adaptive co-management. Paper IV explores learning processes catalyzed by bridging organizations in BRs. 79 of the 148 BRs analyzed bridge local and scientific knowledge in efforts to conserve biodiversity and foster sustainable development, provide learning platforms, support knowledge generation (research, monitoring and experimentation), and frame information and education to target groups. Paper V tests the effects of participation and adaptive co-management in BRs. Local participation is positively linked to local support, successful integration of conservation and development, and effectiveness in achieving developmental goals. Participation of scientists is linked to effectiveness in achieving ‘conventional’ conservation goals and policy-makers enhance the integration of conservation and development. Adaptive co-management, found in 46 BRs, is positively linked to self-evaluated effectiveness in achieving developmental goals, but not at the expense of conservation. The thesis concludes that adaptive collaboration and learning processes can nurture resilience in social-ecological systems. Such processes often need to be catalyzed, supported and protected to survive. Therefore, bridging organizations are crucial in adaptive co-management.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Systems Ecology, Stockholm University, 2009. 50 p.
Keyword
adaptive co-management, social-ecological resilience, local stewards, bridging organizations, learning, participation, Kristianstads Vattenrike, Biosphere Reserves, sustainable development, biodiversity conservation, ecosystem management
National Category
Natural Sciences
Research subject
Natural Resources Management
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-27503 (URN)978-91-7155-892-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2009-06-04, Nordenskiöldsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 8 A, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2009-05-14 Created: 2009-05-05 Last updated: 2009-06-09Bibliographically approved

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