Collaborative governance and management

Collaborative governance and management in support of resilience-based ecosystem stewardship: Revisiting theory through reflections on practice in the developed and developing world.

Countries worldwide are faced with the need to simultaneously redress past injustice, support social transformation and promote more equitable access to ecosystem services. Many countries have opted for co-management arrangements between conservation agencies and local communities as a means to achieve these goals simultaneously. Despite criticisms of the approach, collaborative governance and management has been doggedly pursued in, particularly, countries such as South Africa, the United States, Australia, Sweden, New Zealand and Canada. Experiences of collaborative governance and management appear to have differed significantly between developed and developing countries. However, in the thirty or so years since co-management began to be practiced worldwide, there has not been a systematic multi-country assessment of the practical experiences of co-management as a viable option for ensuring more equitable access to ecosystem services as part of broader development and conservation imperatives.

This PECS working group has a two-pronged mission. The first goal is to see how collaborative practices are implemented and work (or not) toward ecosystem stewardship and improved human well-being at multiple locations around the globe. A multi scale assessment of collaborative governance and management wil be carried out across as many contexts as possible, but at a minimum South Africa, Australia, United States, Sweden and Canada, lead by research teams located in each of these countries. The second goal is to work toward improving outcomes through advancing knowledge along this theory-praxis interface, seeking grounded theory that is capable of influencing and strengthening practice in specific places, and building the state of science with regard to collaboration in ecosystem stewardship more generally.

Working Group Coordinators:

  • Dr. Michael Schoon, Assistant Professor, School of Sustainability, Arizona State University
  • Dr. Jessica Cockburn, Postdoctoral Fellow, Rhodes University 
  • Dr. Anahí Ocampo-Melgar, Professor, University of Chile

Working Group Participants:

  • Dr. Georgina Cundill, Senior Lecturer, Dept of Environmental Science, Rhodes University
  • Dr. Chanda Meek, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Alaska-Fairbanks, United States
  • Dr. Ro Hill, Site Leader – CSIRO Cairns, Research Team Leader – Geography, Human Ecology and Sustainability Science Group, Australia
  • Dr. Jacqueline Loos, Junior Professor for research into the Sustainable Use of Natural Resources, Faculty of Sustainability Sciences, Leuphana University, Germany.
  • Dr. Derek Armitage, Associate Professor, Environment and Resource Studies, University of Waterloo, Canada
  • Dr. Christo Fabricius, Professor, Sustainability Research Unit, Nelson mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa
  • Dr Cathy Robinson, Senior Research Scientist and Research team Leader – Geography, Human Ecology and Sustainability Science Group, Australia
  • Dr. Gustavo García-López, Special Assistant to the Secretary, Department of Natural and Environmental Resources, Government of Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico
  • Dr. Lisen Schultz, Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University
Photo: Andre Maslennikov/Azote



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