Adaptive Co-management in Social-Ecological Governance

  • Gary P. Kofinas


Directional changes in factors that control social-ecological systems require a flexible approach to social-ecological governance that promotes collaboration among stakeholders at various scales and facilitates social learning. Previous chapters showed that environmental and social changes are rapidly degrading many ecosystem services on which human livelihoods depend. However, simply knowing that degradation is occurring seldom leads to solutions. People have tremendous capacity to modify their environment by changing the rules that shape human behavior, yet much of the conventional thinking on resource management offers limited insights into how to steward sustainability in conditions of rapid change. Consequently, there is a critical need to understand the role of people and their social institutions as mechanisms for negotiating social-ecological change. Designing and implementing appropriate resource management in conditions of change requires an understanding of both the processes by which groups make decisions and the mechanisms by which these decision-making processes adjust to change. It also requires moving beyond notions of resource management as control of resources and people, toward an approach of adaptive social-ecological governance.


Social Capital Ecosystem Service Resource User Institutional Arrangement Adaptive Management 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Additional Readings

  1. Armitage, D., F. Berkes, and N. Doubleday, editors. 2007. Adaptive Co-Management: Collaboration, Learning, and Multi-Level Governance. University of British Columbia Press, Vancouver.Google Scholar
  2. Berkes, F. 2008. Sacred Ecology: Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Resource Management. 2nd Edition. Taylor and Francis, Philadelphia.Google Scholar
  3. Dietz T., E. Ostrom, and P.C. Stern. 2003. The struggle to govern the commons. Science 302:1907–1912.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. NRC (National Research Council); E. Ostrom, T Dietz, N. Dolšak, P.C. Stern, S. Stovich, et al., editors. 2002. The Drama of the Commons. National Academy Press, Washington.Google Scholar
  5. Olsson, P., C. Folke, and F. Berkes. 2004. Adaptive co-management for building resilience in social-ecological systems. Environmental Management 34:75–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Wilson, D.C., J.R. Nielsen, and P. Degnbol, editors. 2003. The Fisheries Co-Management Experience. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht.Google Scholar
  7. Young, O.R. 2002. The Institutional Dimensions of Environmental Change: Fit, Interplay, and Scale. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gary P. Kofinas
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences and Institute of Arctic BiologyUniversity of Alaska FairbanksFairbanksUSA

Personalised recommendations