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Ecology and Society 

A journal of integrative science for resilience and sustainability
Ecology and Society Current Table of Contents
The twenty most current aticles published.
What makes collaborative water governance partnerships resilient to policy change? A comparative study of two cases in Ecuador
Cisneros, P. Research
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) related to water and sanitation mandate the implementation of collaborative approaches to water governance to secure water for all by 2030. The implementation of collaborative governance requires the adoption of supportive regulations, resources, and the development of capable public sector institutions. In recent years, several countries in Latin America have introduced reforms to their water codes to promote collaborative water governance. However, our knowledge of the outcomes of these reforms is still in its infancy, in particular on how they...
The unique role of municipalities in integrated watershed governance arrangements: a new research frontier
Mancilla Garc?a, M., Hileman, J., Bodin, ?., Nilsson, A., Jacobi, P. Insight
Local governments, or municipalities, play a key role in water governance around the world owing to the many administrative competencies they hold, ranging from water service delivery to urban planning. However, the ability of municipalities to carry out their competencies effectively depends in large part on the characteristics of the institutional arrangements in which they are embedded. In particular, the relationship between municipalities and watershed governance institutions has received little attention in the literature on polycentric and multilevel governance. Drawing on insights...
Adapting wildland fire governance to climate change in Alaska
Rutherford, T. K., Schultz, C. A. Research
We use concepts drawn from the adaptive governance literature to examine challenges and opportunities for fire management in Alaska, where rising average summer temperatures over the past several decades are associated with statewide increases in wildland fire activity. Alaska’s unique interagency fire management structure, rapidly changing climate, and natural resource dependent communities provide a valuable context for study. Our research sought to understand (1) current and future fire management challenges and responses to those challenges; (2) governance structures and...
Exploring the motivations for garden bird feeding in south-east England
Clark, D. N., Jones, D. N., Reynolds, S. James Research
The feeding of wild birds in domestic gardens is one of the most widespread and popular forms of human-wildlife interaction throughout the Western World. The increasing recognition of the benefits to human health and well-being of contact with nature, especially in an increasingly urbanized world, reveals the need for a greater understanding of why we engage in bird feeding. This will undoubtedly result in enhanced benefits of feeding to both people and to the biodiversity it supports. Our study aimed to explore the motivations behind wild bird feeding in south-east England through both...
Armed conflict and fisheries in the Lake Victoria basin
Glaser, S. M., Hendrix, C. S., Franck, B., Wedig, K., Kaufman, L. Research
Civil conflict is the most prevalent form of armed conflict in the world today, but this significant driver of food and income security has been largely missing from studies of fisheries. Fisheries conflict is an example of complex dynamics operating in social-ecological systems. We theorize and document the existence of such a feedback loop between conflict in Uganda and fisheries in Lake Victoria. Civil war in northern Uganda resulted in mass human population displacement, which corresponded in time with increases in fishing effort in Lake Victoria. Subsequent changes in catch of Nile...
Beyond PES and REDD+: Costa Rica on the way to climate-smart landscape management?
Wallbott, L., Siciliano, G., Lederer, M. Research
Costa Rica has a strong international reputation for conservation and sustainable management of forests, including through its national payments for environmental services (PES) system and reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+). However, to be able to take those achievements to the next level, new approaches need to be developed that integrate agriculture and environmental politics, e.g., to foster climate-smart landscape management. This would be in line with the idea of a green transformation as a necessary contribution to bring human social-ecological...
Dancing on the volcano: social exploration in times of discontent
Carpenter, S. R., Folke, C., Scheffer, M., Westley, F. R. Perspective
Radical recent developments such as Brexit, the rise of extreme nationalism, the gilets jaunes, polarizing leaders, the Arab Spring, and fundamentalist movements are indications of societal discontent with the status quo. Other societal phenomena such as gender fluidity, veganism, and bartering are also associated with a perceived need to change. The context is the Anthropocene, a human-dominated biosphere challenging the resilience of a livable planet. Such a broad set of developments may be interpreted in the light of new insights from theory of complex systems about what happens as...
Patterns of riparian policy standards in riverscapes of the Oregon Coast Range
Boisjolie, B. A., Flitcroft, R. L., Santelmann, M. V. Research
A riverscape perspective considers the ecological and social landscape of the river and its valley. In this context, we examined the spatial arrangement of protective policies for river networks. Riparian land-management standards are policy efforts that explicitly restrict certain management actions, e.g., timber harvest or land clearing, in stream-adjacent lands in order to protect water quality and aquatic habitat. In western Oregon, USA, management standards for riparian lands vary across federal, state, and private landownerships and land uses, projecting a patchwork of protective...
Policy tools to address scale mismatches: insights from U.S. forest governance
Schultz, C. A., Timberlake, T. J., Wurtzebach, Z., McIntyre, K. B., Moseley, C., Huber-Stearns, H. R. Insight
Recent literature has highlighted the growing array of scale mismatches in environmental governance and offered policy design principles for improved governance approaches. A next step is to develop our understanding of specific policy tools that can address scale mismatches. This paper reviews the range and importance of scale-related challenges and solutions in environmental governance, situating this discussion in the context of forest governance. We then tackle the matter of policy tools to address scale mismatches, by synthesizing findings from recent policy research on two...
Traditional and local knowledge in land use planning: insights into the use of the Akw?: Kon Guidelines in Eanodat, Finnish S?pmi
25. Februar 2019 Markkula, I., Turunen, M. T., Kantola, S. Research
The 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity, Article 8(j) in particular, requires its parties to “respect, preserve and maintain knowledge, innovations and practices of Indigenous and local communities embodying traditional lifestyles.” In Finland, these requirements are, to some extent, fulfilled through application of the Akw?: Kon Voluntary Guidelines, a protocol developed by the CBD for cultural, environmental, and social impact assessment to be applied in regions inhabited or used by Indigenous peoples. However, although the Akw?: Kon Guidelines have been in use for...
Shaping conditions for entrepreneurship in climate change adaptation: a case study of an emerging governance arrangement in the Netherlands
25. Februar 2019 Block, D. de, Feindt, P. H., Van Slobbe, E. Research
Planning and implementation of regional climate change adaptation requires new, integrated governance arrangements that often involve public and private actors. Although entrepreneurship is widely considered an important part of such arrangements, little is known about the conditions that enable it, and its actual role is under-researched. Through an in-depth case study of an ecosystem-based adaptation project in the Netherlands, we have analyzed how the variegated actors in a governance network shape six conditions for entrepreneurial success, established in the entrepreneurship...
Sustainability through institutional failure and decline? Archetypes of productive pathways
25. Februar 2019 Newig, J., Derwort, P., Jager, N. W. Research
Although current literature on sustainability governance and institutions is preoccupied with innovation, novelty, success, and “best practice,” there is an emergent tendency to consider decline and failure as opportunities and leverage points to work toward and to achieve sustainability. However, although failure, crisis, and decay have been treated extensively, the link toward their productive potential has remained underdeveloped in the literature. Using a systems perspective, we described five archetypical pathways through which crisis, failure, deliberate destabilization...
Toward understanding the dynamics of land change in Latin America: potential utility of a resilience approach for building archetypes of land-systems change
21. Februar 2019 Rocha, J. C., Baraibar, M. M., Deutsch, L., De Bremond, A., Oestreicher, J., Rositano, F., Gelabert, C. C. Research
Climate change, financial shocks, and fluctuations in international trade are some of the reasons why resilience is increasingly invoked in discussions about land-use policy. However, resilience assessments come with the challenge of operationalization, upscaling their conclusions while considering the context-specific nature of land-use dynamics and the common lack of long-term data. We revisit the approach of system archetypes for identifying resilience surrogates and apply it to land-use systems using seven case studies spread across Latin America. The approach relies on expert...
Social license through citizen science: a tool for marine conservation
21. Februar 2019 Kelly, R., Fleming, A., Pecl, G. T., Richter, A., Bonn, A. Research
Active and meaningful public engagement is necessary to foster informed and publicly accepted natural resource management. Citizen science presents an important avenue by which to achieve such engagement. Citizen science is the active involvement of the public in science to address scientific questions, often of common interest or concern, by collecting and analyzing data, and publishing and communicating science via diverse outlets. Here, we explore whether and how citizen science can also play a role in generating social license for marine conservation, using European marine citizen...
Transforming the social-ecological systems framework into a knowledge exchange and deliberation tool for comanagement
19. Februar 2019 Partelow, S., Fujitani, M., Soundararajan, V., Schl?ter, A. Insight
The social-ecological system framework (SESF) can be useful for applied research and management practice beyond its traditional academic applications. In this article we transform the SESF into an image-based practical tool to facilitate knowledge exchange and deliberation processes within community-based natural resource comanagement settings. We develop a transdisciplinary methodology to transform the SESF into simple and context relevant images that are understandable by nonspecialists, yet the image-based framework still conveys its core tenets of systems thinking, a checklist for...
Community forestry and REDD+ in Cameroon: what future?
12. Februar 2019 Bernard, F., Minang, P. A. Research
The Cameroonian Readiness Preparation Proposal recognizes community forests (CFs) as one strategy for implementing REDD+ (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries). However, there has been little analysis of the extent to which CFs can help achieve REDD+ objectives in Cameroon. We explore options for REDD+ within CFs, as well as challenges and possible ways forward. Cocoa agroforestry in deforested or highly degraded CFs is currently the most...
Resilience and adaptability of traditional healthcare systems: a case study of communities in two regions of Brazil
08. Februar 2019 Zank, S., Araujo, L. Gomes de, Hanazaki, N. Research
The traditional healthcare systems (THS) of communities in two different regions of Brazil were investigated through the lens of social-ecological resilience, assuming that the resilience of THS and of the communities influence each other. We analyzed what has sustained and changed in the trajectory of THS of different rural and coastal communities in Brazil during the last seven decades, focusing on the domains of social biodiversity (especially on plant diversity for medicinal use), health practices learning, and social organization. The THS analyzed refer to three rural communities in...
Early assessments of marine governance transformations: insights and recommendations for implementing new fisheries management regimes
06. Februar 2019 Gelcich, S., Reyes-Mendy, F., Rios, M. A. Research
Implementing a governance transformation entails the creation of a new institutional system when ecological, economic, or social structures make the existing system untenable. It involves building capacities, establishing viable formal and informal institutions, and triggering major societal changes. Early assessments (EAs) provide a mechanism to fine-tune and support institutional learning processes, which are needed to provide legitimacy and political acceptability of transformational change. We performed an EA of a governance transformation aimed at implementing ecosystem-based...
Creating space, aligning motivations, and building trust: a practical framework for stakeholder engagement based on experience in 12 ecosystem services case studies
31. Januar 2019 Schoonover, H. A., Gr?t-Regamey, A., Metzger, M. J., Ruiz-Frau, A., Santos-Reis, M., Scholte, S. S. K., Walz, A., Nicholas, K. A. Insight
Ecosystem services inherently involve people, whose values help define the benefits of nature's services. It is thus important for researchers to involve stakeholders in ecosystem services research. However, a simple and practicable framework to guide such engagement, and in particular to help researchers anticipate and consider key issues and challenges, has not been well explored. Here, we use experience from the 12 case studies in the European Operational Potential of Ecosystem Research Applications (OPERAs) project to propose a stakeholder engagement framework comprising three key...
Seeing the forest for the trees: identifying discursive convergence and dominance in complex REDD+ governance
31. Januar 2019 Zelli, F., Nielsen, T. D., Dubber, W. Research
Scholars of international law and international relations largely agree that global governance today, and global environmental governance in particular, is marked by institutional complexity. Environmental policy fields are, to varying degrees, governed by a plurality of institutions with different levels of legalization, membership, and jurisdictional scope, and with different degrees of coherence among them. The international governance architecture on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) is a case in point. Located at the intersection of the governance...