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Reischauer wu. Call for Applications Please note! Application Please submit — via the EGOS website — by April 21, a single pdf file document that contains the following information: 1 Full details of name, contact i. His research focuses on collaborative innovation and collaborative organization in digital and interstitial contexts. Her research activities focus on strategic practices and processes, notably the intersection between government policy and organizational strategy.
She uses discursive and narrative approaches to explain organization. His research focus is on organizational openness and the question of more transparent and participative forms of organizing. These fields—common property, traditional ecological knowledge, environmental ethics, political ecology, and environmental history—provide insights for CBC.
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The question is of concern to a broad range of conservationists, social scientists, and resource management professionals. Two positions have been emerging. One holds that the failure of community conservation is not due to the weakness or impracticality of the concept, but rather to its improper implementation, especially with regard to the devolution of authority and responsibility Songorwa ; Murphree This dilemma is part of the larger debate of preservation versus sustainable use and the participation of rural populations in decisions that affect their lives.
These changes are not specific to conservation ecology but have implications for it; they provide context and benchmarks for all areas of applied ecology. I expand on each. These characteristics of complex systems have a number of important implications for conservation and environmental management, as can be seen from a consideration of nonlinearity and scale. The issue of nonlinearity comes up with respect to management institutions.
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It aims to reduce natural variation in an effort to make the ecosystem more productive, predictable, and controllable. Nonlinearity is also an issue with respect to specific relationships and processes. Nonlinear effects have been documented in conservation biology—for example, in the interactions of elephants and people. The issue of scale has implications for the match between institutions and ecosystems and for perspectives that may be held by different agents. Take the question of match. Can a given conservation problem be managed by a centralized agency or are there more appropriate structures of governance in which the scale of management institution is matched to the scale of the ecosystem?
Such mismatches of scale may be one of the key reasons for the failure of environmental management regimes Folke et al. Phenomena at each level of the scale tend to have their own emergent properties. The system must be analyzed simultaneously at different scales. In biodiversity conservation, for example, different groups of conservationists focus on different levels of biological organization: they may use different research approaches and principles at the genetic, species, and landscape levels.
Similarly, a number of agents or actors may hold different but equally valid perspectives on a conservation problem. A number of different terms are in use to denote the idea of humans as part of ecosystems. The links between social and environmental systems are different at the level of the community than they are at the level of the nation state. For example, Gibson's book, Politicians and Poachers , deals with the political economy of conservation in four African countries. It shows that the forces operating at the level of the nation state many of them related to the peculiarities of postcolonial governments are quite different from those at the levels of region and community.
Rethinking Community Practice
Putting humans back into the ecosystem requires using all possible sources of ecological knowledge and understanding as may be available. Using knowledge and perspectives from the community level can help build a more complete information base than may be available from scientific studies alone Berkes et al. The partnership of local communities with scientists is not an unusual phenomenon.
Details of such research collaboration, and its positive outcomes for ecosystem management, have been documented, for example, by Olsson and Folke , from Sweden and by Blann et al. A word of caution is appropriate here. As many conservationists know, it is often difficult to find a cohesive social group to work with in the field.
Communities are elusive and constantly changing. A community is not a static, isolated group of people. Many of our environmental problems, including those related to conservation, do not lend themselves to analysis by the conventional, rational approach of defining the problem, collecting data, analyzing data, and making decisions based on the results. There is too much uncertainty; targets keep shifting, and the issues must often be redefined Kates et al. Ludwig argues that where there are no clearly defined objectives and where there are diverse, mutually contradictory approaches, the notion of an objective, disinterested expert no longer makes sense.
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Hence, a new kind of approach to science and management must be created through a process by which researchers and stakeholders interact to define important questions, objectives of study, relevant evidence, and convincing forms of argument. This kind of research, referred to by Kates et al. To deal with the implications of complex systems, working partnerships can be built between managers and resource users.
This is done, for example, in adaptive management, which recognizes, as a starting point, that information will never be perfect Holling Such a process requires collaboration, transparency, and accountability so that a learning environment can be created and practice can build on experience. These three conceptual shifts in ecology—toward a systems view, inclusion of humans in the ecosystem, and management by participatory approaches—are related.
They all pertain to an emerging understanding of ecosystems as complex adaptive systems in which human societies are necessarily an integral part. We can abandon Enlightenment assumptions of predictability and control; we should at least be very skeptical of them. We need to recognize the limits of expertise and the advantages of participatory conservation and management.
Along with the conventional biological science of conservation, there is an emerging social science of conservation that may provide a more nuanced understanding of social systems. To move toward an interdisciplinary science of conservation, we need to learn from the lessons emerging from several new interdisciplinary fields. Sometimes it does, sometimes it does not. Rather, it is more important to learn about the conditions under which it does or does not work. A number of interdisciplinary subfields have in fact been pursuing elements of this question and have contributions to make to the conservation dilemma.
These include common property, traditional ecological knowledge, environmental ethics, political ecology, environmental history, and ecological economics Table 1.
These subfields have a number of characteristics in common. All are recent, dating largely from the s and s. Each of them developed in response to needs or gaps in understanding the linkages between social systems and ecological systems. All provide insights relevant to the conservation dilemma. The worker explained that he was processing sea cucumbers for Japanese buyers and probably for Chinese markets.
We were witnessing, on an outlying island in Zanzibar, in the middle of nowhere by our standards , an example of global market integration, with local divers responding to East Asian market demands. For all we knew, these sea cucumber species were not locally used resources and did not come under local controls or common property institutions. If local common property institutions are consistent with conservation objectives, as in the case of traditional sacred areas Ramakrishnan et al. More commonly, however, local rules are about use, allocation, and conflict management and not about preservation per se.
Conservation planning becomes considerably more difficult when local institutions are not in line with conservation goals Becker The choice of action follows the lines of our conservation dilemma. In many cases, local common property systems do not exist or are not adequate for the conservation task. In other cases, local institutions may exist, but the scope of the resource or conservation problem may be beyond the ability of local institutions to deal with effectively Ostrom et al. This brings us back to the question of complexity and scale. Barrett et al. Combining re-examination of theory with practical tools and approaches, Chanan and Miller provide a new framework for local involvement strategy, for policy-makers and practitioners alike.
They show how this innovative but still amorphous movement can become more coherent, both on the ground and in public policy: reforming community development, building new kinds of neighbourhood partnership, measuring outcomes objectively, and combining the best innovations of the past three decades into a new synthesis. This is an important new perspective for all local public service agencies, all practitioners working in communities, and academics and students concerned with these fields. Rethinking Community Practice provides inspiring case studies together with sound principles and a concrete strategy that give readers a sense that true agency-community partnerships are not only desirable but eminently doable.
Activists, agencies and academicians can all put this book to good use. Their resulting model makes a major contribution to contemporary debates. Highly recommended! It offers an intelligent and insightful analysis of the past and current scene and offers radical and challenging approaches for the future.