Synthesis: Developing the Institutions to Coordinate Science, Politics, and Communities for Action to Restore and Sustain Lands

  • Herman A. KarlEmail author
  • Lynn Scarlett
  • Juan Carlos Vargas-Moreno
  • Michael Flaxman


Making a leap forward in restoring and sustaining lands requires more than refining conventional approaches for formulating environmental policy and making natural resource decisions. We are in a period of transition and evolution with regard to managing the dynamics of coupled natural and human systems. New forms of governance are emerging. We need institutions that will distill and harness the wisdom residing in diverse societies, facilitate dialogue, and enhance mutual learning about shared problems. We need governance regimes and processes that bridge the gaps among disciplines, methods, and current institutions that include public, private, and academic participants. New institutions and governance regimes will enable an ongoing process of collaborative action and shared decision making that supports durable environmental policy and land use decisions that sustain communities, economies, and the environment.


Institutional change Governance Place-based Adaptation Sustainability Collaboration Environmental policy Natural resource management Leadership Trust building Wicked problems Interdisciplinary research 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Herman A. Karl
    • 1
    Email author
  • Lynn Scarlett
    • 2
  • Juan Carlos Vargas-Moreno
    • 3
  • Michael Flaxman
    • 3
  1. 1.University of New HampshireDurhamUSA
  2. 2.Resources for the FutureWashingtonUSA
  3. 3.Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA

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