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Assessing the adaptive capacity of multi-level water governance : ecosystem services under climate change in Mälardalen region, Sweden

Nykvist, Björn; Borgström, Sara and Boyd, Emily LU (2017) In Regional Environmental Change 17(8). p.2359-2371
Abstract

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... (More)

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.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Adaptive capacity, Ecological knowledge, Ecosystem services, Management, Multi-level governance, Watershed
in
Regional Environmental Change
volume
17
issue
8
pages
2359 - 2371
publisher
Springer
external identifiers
  • scopus:85019192116
  • wos:000415136200015
ISSN
1436-3798
DOI
10.1007/s10113-017-1149-x
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
47c7f317-5f40-4a26-9b24-e83c9500318c
date added to LUP
2017-05-30 07:47:03
date last changed
2018-02-18 22:50:57
@article{47c7f317-5f40-4a26-9b24-e83c9500318c,
  abstract     = {<p>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.</p>},
  author       = {Nykvist, Björn and Borgström, Sara and Boyd, Emily},
  issn         = {1436-3798},
  keyword      = {Adaptive capacity,Ecological knowledge,Ecosystem services,Management,Multi-level governance,Watershed},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {8},
  pages        = {2359--2371},
  publisher    = {Springer},
  series       = {Regional Environmental Change},
  title        = {Assessing the adaptive capacity of multi-level water governance : ecosystem services under climate change in Mälardalen region, Sweden},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10113-017-1149-x},
  volume       = {17},
  year         = {2017},
}