New PECS Webinar on narratives in studying collaboration with Larissa Koch

Hi All!

I wanted to share the recording of our latest webinar with Larissa available at the following link.

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Title: Capturing the social dynamics of co-management through a relational narrative approach 

Abstract

Co-managing protected areas entails to deal with multiple perspectives and values about land use and to manage conservation conflicts. Key challenges for these collective approaches are (1) to navigate through tensions over meaning and competing narratives, (2) to deal with blurred roles of authority and responsibilities due to decentralization, and (3) to manage socio-historical pasts in which cooperation and conflict are entangled in actor relationships. In this talk, I will describe a relational narrative research approach that I developed in my PhD thesis, which integrates narrative and social network theory to study the mechanisms that shape social dynamics in collaborative arrangements. Furthermore, I will present some empirical work on my case study (located in Germany) where we tested relational drivers for common narratives. Finally, I’ll zoom into the conflict between the actors in my case study and describe how polarization became manifested in narratives and social identities of the actors involved. 

Bio:

Larissa Koch is an environmental social scientist who is interested in the social dynamics of collaborative governance and management arrangements and explores actor narratives, social identities and social networks in resource management. She just submitted her PhD thesis on “The social dynamics of collaboration in environmental governance and management” that she completed in resources management with Claudia Pahl-Wostl at Osnabrück University. She studied communication sciences with a focus on environmental sciences at Wageningen University in the Netherlands. Since April, she works as a post-doctoral researcher at the Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Landscape Research near Berlin in Germany and supports to develop real-world labs for sustainable agricultural transformation in Brandenburg.  

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This is the latest in a series of webinars. Past recordings can be found here.

New PECS Webinar with Julia Baird and Bridget McGlynn on Collaboration in River Basin Governance

Hi All!

I wanted to share the recording of our latest webinar with Julia and Bridget available at the following link.

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Title: Collaboration in river basin governance

Abstract: We focus on a collaborative approach (perhaps stopping just short of ‘transdisciplinary’) to study and effect change in river basin governance in the Wolastoq | St. John River Basin in New Brunswick, Canada, which is the traditional unceded territory of the Wəlastəkwiyik / Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet). The Wolastoq | St. John offers a compelling context in which to focus on water governance: from its attempts to allocate water quality assessment authority to sub-watershed groups in the 1980s-2000s to the strong influence of non-governmental groups in water governance. Our research in the basin has spanned more than a decade and has focused primarily on using network-based approaches to study the structure of governance and interactions among those with an interest in water quality and flows. This research has occurred collaboratively, and in partnership using a co-design approach with non-governmental organizations WWF-Canada and the Meduxnekeag River Association. We will share the findings of the research on collaboration over this period and comment on how it has contributed to communication around governance change on the ground.  

Presenters: 

Bridget McGlynn

Bio: Bridget McGlynn is a research assistant in the Environmental Sustainability Research Centre, Brock University. She earned her Masters of Sustainability at Brock University investigating collaborative governance in the Wolastoq | St John River Basin. Bridget’s research uses social network analysis to assess the performance and social-ecological fit of collaborative governance arrangements. 

Julia Baird

Bio: Julia Baird is a Canada Research Chair in Human Dimensions of Water Resources and Water Resilience and an Associate Professor in the Environmental Sustainability Research Centre and the Department of Geography and Tourism Studies at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada – the traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee and Anishnaabe peoples. Julia’s research focuses on water governance and resilience at the collective and individual levels and she aims for transdisciplinarity in her work. She leads the Water Resilience Lab at Brock, which supports graduate students and post-doctoral fellows. Julia earned her PhD in environmental sustainability from the University of Saskatchewan.

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This is the latest in a series of webinars. Past recordings can be found here:

New PECS webinar with Cécile Barnaud on Discourse Analysis and Role-Playing Games

Hi All!

I wanted to share the recording of our latest webinar with Cécile Barnaud available at the following link.

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Title: Is forest regeneration good for biodiversity ? Discourse analysis and role-playing games to explore the social dimensions of an apparently ecological debate 

Abstract:

Whether or not forest regeneration in European mountains is a desirable change for biodiversity is disputed. To explore the social dimensions of this apparently ecological debate, I will first present a comparative discourse analysis across four cases of protected areas in France, Spain, and Scotland. This analysis draws on a conceptual framework highlighting both the ecological and social factors underpinning the construction of environmental discourses, and emphasizing notably the role of interests, ideas and institutions, as well as power dynamics and discourse-coalitions. In this study, we show how diverging discourses emerged, gained ground, coalesced and competed differently in different contexts, explaining the adoption of seemingly opposite discourses by protected area authorities. These findings thus reaffirm the need to conceive environmental governance as an on-going deliberative process in order to achieve environmental justice. This leads me to the second part of my talk, in which I will present a research-action project that aimed at supporting such a deliberative process in the context of a conflict between livestock farmers and national park agents in the Cévennes mountains, in the South of France. Following a companion modelling approach, we designed a Role-Playing Game to foster social learning and negotiations among these actors so as to conciliate agriculture with patrimonial landscape and biodiversity conservation. I will discuss both the added-value and the limits of this tool to foster collaborative management of SES.

Biography:

Cécile is a human geographer working on collaboration and negotiation mechanisms for the governance of natural resources. She is interested in how the interface between agriculture, environment and society is being socially constructed and negotiated through social interactions among stakeholders with different interests and values, embedded in often asymmetric power relationships. I use both qualitative analytical methods (semi-directed interviews, inductive analysis) and participatory action research methods (role-playing games in particular).

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This is the latest in the PECS series of webinars. A full library of recordings can be found at the In Common Podcast website.

New PECS Webinar on Community Engagement in Marine Protected Areas with Miranda Bernard

Hi All!

I wanted to share the recording of our latest webinar with Miranda Bernard available at the following link.

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Title: Community engagement in marine protected areas in the Caribbean

Abstract:

Marine protected areas (MPAs) are widely implemented to conserve ecological and cultural sustainability. Whether the goals of MPAs are to conserve ecological, social, or cultural aspects of a region, community engagement is often posed as a prerequisite for effectiveness. Though there have been papers exploring some human dimensions and governance of MPAs, few studies have focused explicitly on the community engagement aspects in coastal communities. In this study, I interviewed key informants to understand the barriers and opportunities to community engagement in Caribbean MPAs. Informants described difficulty in optimally facilitating engagement when there are funding and staff (expertise and capacity) constraints. I found that it is important to facilitate a diversity of engagement methods to meet various objectives, which should be clear from the onset of the engagement activity. Some under-recognized methods of engagement, such as communication, may have a role in enhancing MPA operations but they should not be the only method to engage community members. Finally, informal methods of engagement offer an opportunity to build trust without the resources that are typically demanded by more structured methods of engagement. As community engagement continues to be promoted by funders and researchers, we must understand how it is currently conducted and the perceptions of its validity.

Biography:

Miranda Bernard is a Smith Conservation Research Fellow at Duke University (USA). She explores the interactions between coastal communities, marine conservation interventions, and environmental stressors. She has previously worked on issues spanning the role of community engage in Caribbean marine protected areas, the protection of ecosystem services through fisheries certifications, and waste management policies and interventions. Currently, Miranda is investigating the differential impacts of marine threats and management actions within coastal communities to better assess equity in decision-making processes.

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This is the latest in the PECS series of webinars. A full library of recordings can be found at the In Common Podcast website.

New PECS Webinar on Institutions and Hydropower with Maria Claudia Lopez

Hi All!

I wanted to share the recording of our latest webinar with Maria Claudia Lopez available at the following link.

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Title: Institutional Failures around Hydropower

Abstract:

Nowadays dams are being dismantled in the global North, while hundreds of dams are planned or under construction in the global South. Although hydropower may contribute to national economic development of nations like Brazil and China, it is also associated with numerous social and environmental impacts. 

In this presentation, I will cover some of the institutional failures that seem pervasive when dams are built. These failures start from the moment dams are conceived which often takes place without consultation or participation in the decision-making process to construct the dam, it continues with a lack of transparency in the environmental and social impact assessment which rarely if ever stops a dam from being built no matter how many concerns are raised in those assessments. This is followed by campaigns in which promises are made as to the benefits the dams will bring, which is followed by a failure to live up to those promises made. Even something as straightforward as compensation for damages suffered due to loss of property, land, and other assets is rarely compensated in full, and for people downstream from the dam which often suffer considerable damages from the declining fisheries, they are completely overlooked and uncompensated. It is hard to see why governments keep insisting that dam building is good for economic development, when it is so bad for so many people living near dams. Admitting institutional failures would be a good first step forward.

Bio:

Maria Claudia Lopez is an associate professor in the Department of Community Sustainability at Michigan State University. Her scholarly work investigates how different rules and norms, understood as institutions, might drive resource users to govern their natural resources in sustainable and cooperative ways.  For the past six years, she has been working with an interdisciplinary team investigating the impacts of hydropower in communities living nearby different dams in the Brazilian Amazon, and to think about possible solutions to ensure positive environmental and socio-economic outcomes in hydropower development.

New PECS Webinar with Cathy Robinson on Indigenous-led Conservation

Hi All!

I wanted to share the recording of our latest webinar with Cathy Robinson available at the following link.

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Title: Using a multiple-evidence based approach for Indigenous-led conservation

Abstract:

Most of the planet’s vital ecosystems are managed on lands owned by Indigenous peoples. Indigenous people face many challenges in managing these lands, including rapidly growing threats causing species extinctions and ecosystem losses. In response, many Indigenous groups are looking for ethical ways to use multiple sources of evidence to solve complex environmental management problems. Drawing on action co-research and face-to-face interviews, I reflect on a collaboration that applied Indigenous data governance and knowledge sharing protocols to bring together Indigenous knowledge (IK) and artificial intelligence (AI) to adaptively manage weeds impacting the Nardab Ramsar listed wetlands in Australia’s Kakadu National Park, a World Heritage area listed for its natural and cultural values. why we are conceptualizing private foundations as agents of environmental governance, and then I will share preliminary empirical results on how foundations and practitioners conceptualize donor legitimacy in the marine conservation field. I will discuss how our work – and additional research from the broader enviornmental governance community – can inform the practice of conservation philanthropy at a time when foundations are increasingly reckoning with their role as institutions of power in society. 

Biography:

Cathy Robinson is a geographer based at CSIRO in Australia and is interested in the design of scientifically rigorous and socially robust decision-support frameworks that are capable of translating scientific and local knowledge into environmental policy decision­ making in addition to the barriers and opportunities facing Indigenous people in their efforts to contribute to environmental  planning objectives and receive co-benefits from the delivery of carbon and water management projects.

New PECS Webinar on Conservation Philanthropy

Hi All!

I wanted to share the recording of our latest webinar with Rebecca Gruby available at the following link.

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Title: Philanthropic foundations as agents of environmental governance: Insights from ocean philanthropy

Abstract:

Ocean philanthropy has more than doubled in recent years, now reaching virtually every salient marine conservation issue in all corners of the planet. This private funding is impacting ocean governance systems in profound ways, including by shaping agendas, discourse, research, networks, and policy. Despite its significant growth and influence, ocean philanthropy (and environmental philanthropy more broadly) has received little scholarly attention. This presentation will introduce the Ocean Philanthropy Research Initiative, a five-year knowledge co-production project focused on the roles, impacts, and legitimacy of private foundations in marine conservation. I will first explain how and why we are conceptualizing private foundations as agents of environmental governance, and then I will share preliminary empirical results on how foundations and practitioners conceptualize donor legitimacy in the marine conservation field. I will discuss how our work – and additional research from the broader enviornmental governance community – can inform the practice of conservation philanthropy at a time when foundations are increasingly reckoning with their role as institutions of power in society. 

Biography:

Rebecca is an Associate Professor of human dimensions of natural resources at Colorado State University. She is an environmental governance scholar whose research focuses on contemporary transformations in ocean conservation. Over the last 15 years, she has worked on issues spanning marine protected areas, small-scale fisheries, marine ecosystem-based management, the blue economy, ocean philanthropy, and justice and equity in the marine conservation field. As lead PI for the Ocean Philanthropy Research Initiative and the Human Dimensions of Large-Scale Marine Protected Areas project, Rebecca has led international research teams in the first social science studies of ocean conservation philanthropy and the world’s largest marine parks. Geographically, most of her work is situated in the Pacific Islands region and at the global level. Rebecca holds a Bachelor of Science in natural resource conservation from the University of Florida (2006), and a Ph.D from Duke University (2013). She worked as a research associate at the Environmental Law Institute between 2006-2008.

Latest PECS Webinar on Participation in Protected Areas

Hi All!

I wanted to share the recording of our latest webinar with Jule Huber and Jacqueline Loos available at the following link.

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Title: Social and ecological success of participation in protected areas

Abstract:

Protected areas are key to conserving ecosystems and safeguarding biodiversity worldwide. Involving local stakeholders in decision-making in protected areas has the potential to contribute not only to the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystems, but also to human well-being and environmental equity. However, sound and in-depth evidence on the relationship between participatory approaches and protected area effectiveness is piecemeal. Moreover, the specific features of participation linked to social and ecological protected area success are still poorly understood. This study aims at investigating how participation in protected area decision-making is related to desired social and ecological outcomes. To this end, this work applied a systematic literature review approach to synthesize existing scientific knowledge on this topic. The review comprised 52 empirical case studies examining social and ecological outcomes of protected areas in which local stakeholders were involved in the decision-making process. The study found that participation is related to success in many ways, and determined pathways through which participation contributes to desired social and ecological outcomes. Based on these findings and prevailing literature, eleven features of participation related to positive social and ecological protected area outcomes emerged: 1. Genuine devolution of power to the local level; 2. Involvement of diverse actors and multiple perspectives through fair and inclusive processes; 3. Strong networks and high levels of cooperation; 4. Knowledge integration and co-production; 5. Recognition and integration of local institutions, management systems, rules, values, and customs; 6. Strong and robust local institutions and effective management systems; 7. Alternative income opportunities; 8. Provision and fair distribution of local benefits; 9. Local initiative and support; 10. Rights-based approach to conservation; 11. Long-term external support. Even though the degree and form of participation requires adjustment to specific local contexts, this overview of features provides a sound evidence base on the relation between participatory decision-making and social and ecological effectiveness in protected areas. This information can be used to design more effective participatory conservation interventions in protected areas that meet both biodiversity conservation and human well-being. 

Bio:
Jule Huber completed her Master in Sustainability Science (M.Sc.) at Leuphana University, Lüneburg, Germany. Her research focuses on conservation, environmental justice, social-ecological systems, and participatory governance. In her Master thesis, she examined the link between local participation in protected area decision-making and social and ecological protected area outcomes. She determined pathways through which participatory decision-making is associated with beneficial outcomes. During her Master she has worked as a student assistant in several research projects in the fields of conservation, environmental justice, and governance. In 2022, she will start her PhD on biodiversity conservation in agricultural landscapes at Georg-August-University, Göttingen, Germany.

Jens Newig is full professor and head of the Institute of Sustainability Governance at Leuphana University, Lüneburg. With a broad research interest in governance processes from local decision-making to global telecoupling, much of his research focused on the link between participatory or collaborative governance, and environmental outcomes. He has led several research projects on this theme, and was awarded a grant by the European Research Council (ERC) that produced a meta-analysis of case studies on the outcomes of participatory environmental decision-making processes.
Jacqueline Loos is an assistant professor for the sustainable use of natural resources at the Faculty of Sustainability at Leuphana University and currently leads the interdisciplinary research project “Wildlife, Values, Justice: reconciling sustainability in African protected areas” (funded by the Robert-Bosch Foundation). As a landscape sustainability researcher, she is interested in the social and ecological effectiveness of conservation arrangements, with a particular focus on participatory and collaborative governance. 

New PECS Webinar on Equitable and Efficient Conservation with Georgina Gurney

Hi All!

I wanted to share the recording of our latest webinar with Georgina Gurney available at the following link.

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Title: Other Effective Conservation Measure: A New Global Policy Tool to Advance Effective and Equitable Conservation?

Abstract:

With the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) being the world’s foremost international conservation agreement, the CBD Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework offers a crucial policy window to chart a course towards a more sustainable future. This new framework will significantly influence the use and governance of forests, fishing grounds and other commons, particularly through its area-based conservation target, which calls for 30% of the planet to be conserved by 2030. In this presentation, I argue that achieving effective and equitable conservation through this target will require the conservation community to go beyond protected areas, the typical approach used to date. Other Effective Conservation Measures (OECMs) – managed areas that achieve biodiversity outcomes irrespective of their objectives – are poised to meet this need. Given OECMs need not have biodiversity conservation as a primary objective (unlike protected areas), this new policy tool provides an unprecedented opportunity to recognise and support diverse forms of stewardship associated with a range of managed areas (e.g. Indigenous territories, community-managed fisheries areas, sacred areas). However, realising the opportunity that OECMs present to advance equitable and effective conservation requires addressing important concerns about their implementation, especially those related to demonstrating conservation effectiveness and ensuring OECM recognition strengthens rather than displaces local governance. Based on recent transdisciplinary research involving environmental practitioners and policymakers, I outline a research and policy agenda that tackles five key challenges to implementing OECMs. This presentation aims to generate discussion around this new global policy tool, including with regards to the role of scholarship on environmental governance, justice and social-ecological systems in helping ensure OECMs contribute to a just and sustainable future.

Bio:

Georgina Gurney is a Senior Research Fellow at the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University. She is an environmental social scientist, and her research focuses broadly on the governance of conservation and natural resource management initiatives. Her current research program aims to identify the sociocultural and institutional drivers of these initiatives, and understand their outcomes, especially with respect to human wellbeing. Georgina takes an interdisciplinary approach to her research, drawing from a range of disciplines including social psychology, human geography and political science, and often collaborating with natural scientists. Much of her research is transdisciplinary, involving knowledge co-production with conservation and resource management practitioners and policymakers. She has tended to undertake her research in the context of coral reef social-ecological systems in the Asia-Pacific region, including Indonesia, Australia and Fiji. Georgina held a five-year Social Science Fellowship (2016-2020) at the Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, and in 2021, was awarded an Early Career Fellowship by the Australian Research Council.

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This is the latest webinar on methodological approaches to studying collaborative governance and management of social-ecological systems as part of the Programme on Ecosystem Change and Society (PECS) working group on collaborative governance. All past webinars can be found at: https://www.incommonpodcast.org/series/pecs-webinars/

New PECS Webinar on Institutional Grammar

Hi All!

I wanted to share the recording of our latest webinar with Saba Siddiki available at the following link.

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Title: Evolving Institutional Analysis Methods for Studying Environmental Governance

Abstract:

Central to understanding environmental governance is the ability to rigorously and reliably study the design of institutions used by communities to address environmental dilemmas. Scholars have engaged a variety of methods toward deciphering the designs and performance of environmental institutions. Advancements in institutional analysis methods are opening the door to new possibilities for investigating the design of institutions engaged in environmental governance. In this presentation, I will discuss how one particular institutional analysis method of growing prominence called the Institutional Grammar, and recent developments relating thereto, can advance understanding of environmental institutions.

Bio:
Saba Siddiki is an Associate Professor in the Department of Public Administration and International Affairs at Syracuse University. Her research focuses on policy design, collaborative policymaking, and policy drivers of technology adoption. She is also engaged in the development of institutional analysis theory and methods, and currently directs an international, interdisciplinary research organization called the Institutional Grammar Research Initiative that is specifically focused on these aims. Most of Saba’s research is conducted  in the domains of environmental and food system governance.

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This is the latest webinar on methodological approaches to studying collaborative governance and management of social-ecological systems as part of the Programme on Ecosystem Change and Society (PECS) working group on collaborative governance. All past webinars can be found at: https://www.incommonpodcast.org/series/pecs-webinars/