Developing a diagnostic approach for adaptive co-management and considering its implementation in biosphere reserves

Innovative approaches are required to address the sustainability of ecosystems and human wellbeing. Adaptive co-management (ACM) is emerging as such an approach because it nurtures resilience and provides an arena to address the complexity and uncertainty that characterize social-ecological systems. The literature on adaptive co-management reveals considerable variation in how it is defined and operationalized, a limited basis for rigorously comparing empirical findings, and few…

Participation, Adaptive Co-management, and Management Performance in the World Network of Biosphere Reserves

Analyzing survey-responses from 146 Biosphere Reserves in 55 countries we investigate how stakeholder participation and adaptive co-management practices are linked to management performance. Effectiveness in conventional conservation was positively affected by participation of scientists, but negatively affected by participation of volunteers. Effectiveness in sustainable development goals was associated to participation by local inhabitants. Adaptive co-management practices were associated with a higher level of effectiveness in…

Powerless Spectators, Coping Actors, and Adaptive Co-Managers? A Synthesis of the Role of Communities in Ecosystem Management

We provide a synthesis of the papers in the Special Issue, the Communities Ecosystems and Livelihoods component of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA), and other recent publications on the adaptive capacity of communities and their role in ecosystem management. Communities adapt because they face enormous challenges due to policies, conflicts, demographic factors, ecological change, and changes in their livelihood options, but the appropriateness of their…

Enhancing the Fit through Adaptive Comanagement: Creating and Maintaining Bridging Functions for Matching Scales in the Kristianstads Vattenrike Biosphere Reserve Sweden

In this article, we focus on adaptive governance of social–ecological systems (SES) and, more specifically, on social factors that can enhance the fit between governance systems and ecosystems. The challenge lies in matching multilevel governance system, often characterized by fragmented organizational and institutional structures and compartmentalized and sectorized decision-making processes, with ecosystems characterized by complex interactions in time and space. The ability to create the…

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