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The ebb and flow of adaptive co-management: A longitudinal evaluation of a conservation conflict

Cox, Thea R.; Butler, James R.A.; Webber, Amanda D.; Young, Juliette C.

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Authors

Thea R. Cox

James R.A. Butler

Amanda D. Webber

Juliette C. Young



Abstract

Adaptive co-management (ACM) is an emerging approach to the governance of social-ecological systems, but there are few long-term assessments of its efficacy. This is especially true in conservation conflicts, where ACM can mitigate disputes between polarised stakeholders. We evaluated ACM that emerged in 2005 to address conflict between seal conservation and fisheries interests in the Moray Firth, Scotland. We interviewed 20 stakeholders in 2015, repeating a survey carried out in 2011 which applied an indicator framework to measure outcomes and pre-conditions for ACM to continue. In 2015, all but one of the 12 outcome indicators were positive, the exception being the conservation status of salmon. However, pre-conditions for ACM's continuation had weakened, with declines between 2005, 2011 and 2015. These were most marked for three indicators: leaders prepared to champion the process, presence of a bridging organisation or individual, and participation of all impacted stakeholders. The results show that ACM in this conservation conflict is dynamic. Perceived declines in salmon abundance and increases in seal numbers have renewed tensions amongst stakeholders, triggering a ‘revival’ phase of ACM initiated by fishery interests. Our study provides empirical evidence of ACM's fluid nature, and how resource crises can reignite ACM. We suggest that participatory evaluation is a potentially important early-warning mechanism that can identify remedial action and galvanise stakeholders to respond to the re-emergence of conflict.

Citation

Cox, T. R., Butler, J. R., Webber, A. D., & Young, J. C. (2020). The ebb and flow of adaptive co-management: A longitudinal evaluation of a conservation conflict. Environmental Science and Policy, 114, 453-460. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envsci.2020.09.017

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 14, 2020
Publication Date Dec 1, 2020
Deposit Date Sep 6, 2022
Publicly Available Date Sep 7, 2022
Journal Environmental Science & Policy
Print ISSN 1462-9011
Electronic ISSN 1873-6416
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 114
Pages 453-460
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envsci.2020.09.017
Keywords Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law, Geography, Planning and Development, Evaluation Governance, Monitoring Participation, Salmon, Seals
Public URL https://uwe-repository.worktribe.com/output/9951411
Publisher URL https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1462901120313368?via%3Dihub
Additional Information This article is maintained by: Elsevier; Article Title: The ebb and flow of adaptive co-management: A longitudinal evaluation of a conservation conflict; Journal Title: Environmental Science & Policy; CrossRef DOI link to publisher maintained version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envsci.2020.09.017; Content Type: article; Copyright: Crown Copyright © 2020 Published by Elsevier Ltd.

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