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Ecology and Society
Journal Prestige (SJR): 1.728
Citation Impact (citeScore): 4
Number of Followers: 50  

  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Online) 1708-3087
Published by Resilience Alliance Homepage  [1 journal]
  • Boundary spanners: a critical role for enduring collaborations between
           Indigenous communities and mainstream scientists

    • Authors: Adele
      Abstract: The need to diversify science includes increasing both the diversity of science practitioners and the voices included in decision-making processes. Indigenous communities have been sought out to provide Indigenous knowledge to mainstream science research programs. As working across the mainstream science and community boundary is increasingly codified into the future of natural sciences, models for equitable collaboration and roles within project structures are needed. The goal of this project is to present a framework for collaboration between mainstream science and Indigenous communities. Specifically, we are addressing an under-recognized role central to partnership, a boundary spanner, who acts as the fulcrum facilitating collaboration. To better understand the role of boundary spanners in collaborative projects, we engaged six boundary spanners who participated in semi-structured interviews and workshops. Emergent common experiences and perspectives of how boundary spanners can be supported and their role in collaborative projects were defined and articulated. The boundary spanners identified 10 characteristics that contribute to equitable partnership between mainstream science and Indigenous communities. From the perspective of the boundary spanners, they detailed how collaborative projects can be structured to increase long-term partnerships and community support of research projects. Equitable collaboration between Indigenous communities and mainstream science is frequently only achieved when individuals at the interface of the mainstream science and Indigenous community have a high level of cultural competency. Equally important is the support provided to the boundary spanners and early engagement of partner Indigenous communities. Through the use of story and metaphor, we highlight the voices of boundary spanners and how their contributions can best be used.
      PubDate: Thu, 16 Mar 2023 14:43:16 +000
  • Contextualizing patterns in short-term disaster recoveries from the 2015
           Nepal earthquakes: household vulnerabilities, adaptive capacities, and

    • Authors: Adele
      Abstract: Disaster recovery is multidimensional and requires theoretical and methodological approaches from the interdisciplinary social sciences to illustrate short- and long-term recovery dynamics that can guide more informed and equitable policy and interventions. The 2015 Nepal earthquakes have had catastrophic impacts on historically marginalized ethnic groups and Indigenous households in rural locations, arising in the immediate aftermath and unfolding for years afterward. Analyzing factors that shape household recovery patterns can help identify vulnerabilities and adaptive capacities in addition to signaling potential future changes. We pursue this goal using survey data from 400 randomly selected households in 4 communities over 2 10-week intervals at 9 months and 1.5 years after the earthquakes. Building on previous research that used non-metric multidimensional scaling ordination to identify patterns among multiple indicators of recovery (Spoon et al. 2020a), we investigate associations among these patterns of recovery, hazard exposure, and four domains of household adaptive capacity: institutional participation, livelihood diversity, connectivity, and social memory. Our results suggest: (1) social inequality, high hazard exposure, and disrupted place-based livelihoods (especially for herders, farmers, and forest harvesters on the geographic margins) had strong associations with negative recovery outcomes and displacement; (2) inaccessibility and marginality appeared to stimulate ingenuity despite challenging circumstances through mutual aid and local knowledge; (3) recoveries were non-linear, differing for households displaced from their primary home and agropastoral practice and those displaced to camps; and (4) some households experienced rapid changes while others stagnated. We contribute a temporal dataset with a random sample collected following a disaster that uses a theoretically informed quantitative methodology to explore linear and non-linear relationships among multidimensional recovery, adaptive capacity and change and provide an example of how vulnerabilities interact with adaptive capacity.
      PubDate: Wed, 15 Mar 2023 14:17:54 +000
  • Stakeholder perceptions of wildfire management strategies as nature-based
           solutions in two Iberian biosphere reserves

    • Authors: Adele
      Abstract: Increased large and high-intensity wildfires cause large socioeconomic and ecological impacts, which demand improved landscape management approaches in which both ecological and societal dimensions are integrated. Engaging society in fire management requires a better understanding of stakeholder perceptions of wildfires and landscape management. We analyze stakeholder perceptions about wildfire-landscape interactions in abandoned rural landscapes of southern Europe, and how fire and the land should be managed to reduce wildfire hazard and ensure the long-term supply of ecosystem services in these fire-prone regions. To do so, a structured online questionnaire was sent to the stakeholders of two transboundary biosphere reserves in Spain-Portugal. Our analysis also questioned to what extent fuel management strategies can be considered nature-based solutions (NbS) using the IUCN standard. Overall, stakeholders state that fire should be managed and support fire prevention in lieu of fire suppression policies. Rural abandonment is perceived as the main cause of large wildfires, with high-intensity fires impacting the study regions more than in the recent past, a trend which they expect to continue in the future in the absence of management. All the suggested fuel management strategies, except chemical treatments, were accepted by the stakeholders who perceive more positive than negative effects of fuel management on forest ecosystem services. Transboundary coordination was rated as inadequate or even nonexistent. We did not find differences among stakeholder sectors and biosphere reserves, indicating that in the study area, there is a general agreement on perceptions about wildfire and associated impacts at the landscape level. Finally, we showed that promoting agricultural and livestock uses, modifying forest species composition to increase fire resistance, and introducing large herbivores have the potential to become effective NbS in the regions. This study represents a first-step analysis representing a base for future co-design and implementation of NbS to improve fuel management, contributing to the understanding of the stakeholder support for their application in addressing the socioeconomic challenges in high fire-risk areas.
      PubDate: Tue, 14 Mar 2023 15:07:14 +000
  • A tale of two cities: evidence from the Global South on established versus
           emerging cities’ approaches to adaptive and sustainable water governance

    • Authors: Adrian Williams
      Abstract: The call for adaptive governance approaches to guide the sustainable transformation of urban water management systems is growing amongst scholars and policy professionals. Responding to this call, the Global North (GN) has focused significant evidence-based research on issues of scale, capacity, and institutional arrangements to support such transformations, whereas evidence from the Global South remains nascent. This paper contributes to the growing body of knowledge from the Global South, discussing how adaptive governance operates under different local contexts and conditions. Following empirical investigations in two cities in Bangladesh, which involved 58 semi-structured interviews, 17 oral histories, and secondary data analysis, and drawing on the adaptive capacity and attributes framework, we examined how scale, capacity, and institutional hybridization might deliver the conditions necessary for guiding a sustainable transformation in water governance. The research revealed that a large-scale urban system such as Dhaka is currently experiencing “lock-in” due to ongoing investments in large-scale infrastructure, inappropriate transfer of technology from GN contexts, bureaucratic complexity, and general resistance to change. In contrast, the relatively smaller urban system represented by the secondary city Mymensingh was found to be more open, flexible, showcasing key enabling factors that might support sustainable growth. Overall, this study sheds light on the role of adaptive governance in the context of system scales and capacity (i.e., institutional / organizational / individual) and reveals how capacity development is linked to key enabling attributes including multi-level and polycentric institutions, participatory approaches, networking, bridging organizations, and leadership. Collectively these findings offer insights into how adaptive attributes can inform sustainable transformation processes
      PubDate: Fri, 10 Mar 2023 14:02:42 +000
  • The Zoʻé perspective on what scientists call “forest management” and
           its implications for floristic diversity and biocultural conservation

    • Authors: Adrian Williams
      Abstract: Indigenous perspectives on forest management are grounded in traditional ecological knowledge (TEK), so that socioculture influences the ways Indigenous Peoples transform their landscapes. However, how socioculture structures Indigenous perspectives on forest management is unclear. Moreover, little is known about the influence of Indigenous landscape transformations on forest succession and floristic diversity. Here, we test hypotheses from biocultural and ecological theories suggesting that: (i) key social-ecological relationships with specific taxa structure Indigenous perspectives on forest management; (ii) such relationships guide sustainable management that generates resilient forest regrowth; and (iii) this management promotes floristic diversity by acting as an intermediate disturbance. We collected information about cosmology, occupation history and management among the Zoʻé, in Brazilian Amazonia. We also carried out floristic inventories in old-growth forests and in old Zoʻé swidden-fallow areas to analyze forest structure and alpha- and beta-diversity along a gradient of forest successional stages. We show that the Zoʻé perspective on forest management is structured by an ethical principle involving a social-ecological relationship with different beings, especially the spider monkey (Ateles sp.). This relationship generates mobility among the Zoʻé that allows forest regrowth in their fallow areas, so that in 28 years, forest basal area may equal that of old-growth forests. Also, Zoʻé forest management has increased alpha- and beta-diversity by increasing species richness and diversity in intermediate secondary forests and promoting floristic turnover at the landscape-level. These results show that some aspects of Zoʻé cosmology influence forest disturbance regimes that generate a sustainable social-ecological system, therefore being key for Zoʻé well-being and local biodiversity conservation. We believe that Indigenous perspectives about forest management should be included in forest conservation efforts aimed at protecting Amazonian biocultural diversity, thus valuing TEK and engendering sustainable social-ecological systems.
      PubDate: Thu, 09 Mar 2023 14:50:21 +000
  • Everyday mobility and changing livelihood trajectories: implications for
           vulnerability and adaptation in dryland regions

    • Authors: Adrian Williams
      Abstract: Dryland regions are highly dynamic environments in which multiple pressures intersect, threatening livelihood security. Mobility is an integral feature in these environments and represents a key risk management strategy for people to respond to frequent livelihood shocks and stresses. Global environmental change scholarship has tended to articulate spatial and temporal change inadequately, portraying populations in a way that belies their socially differentiated and inherently mobile livelihoods. We explored the role of mobility as an ongoing, “everyday” adaptive response to changing environmental, economic, and social conditions. We draw on 21 Life History (LH) interviews to explore the drivers and outcomes of people’s mobility behavior in drylands of Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, and India. We present the adaptation option space (AOS) as a novel theoretical development to explore livelihood trajectories. Within our cases, we found that mobility was ubiquitous and facilitated changes to and exchanges within people’s risk profiles in three main ways: novelty (risks gained or lost), modification (risks attenuated or accentuated), and no change. Temporal analysis showed three broad trajectories in people’s lives set within broader structural constraints: upward, downward, and stable, depending on people’s abilities to manage their AOS. The analysis confirmed that the AOS was a useful heuristic to understand how people exert agency to respond to an array of converging risks while negotiating broader drivers of change. Moreover, the data demonstrated how compounding shocks had negative impacts on people, highlighting the value of temporally-sensitive approaches.
      PubDate: Wed, 08 Mar 2023 00:02:30 +000
  • Pathways to healing: Indigenous revitalization through family-based land
           management in the Klamath Basin

    • Authors: Adrian Williams
      Abstract: Indigenous revitalization includes community-led healing from intergenerational land-based trauma. Yet given colonial legacies that perpetuate the devaluation of Indigenous knowledge and dispossession of Indigenous lands, healing in Indigenous communities presents particular challenges. Such challenges can include responding to western models of bureaucratic governance that replicate historical trauma in governance relations. Building on existing frameworks of Indigenous political ecology, we consider the importance of resisting colonial legacies that can influence Indigenous environmental governance. We do so by discussing community-led revitalization and resurgence in the Karuk tribal community, and an exemplar case of family-based management systems for caretaking ceremonial trails in the mid-Klamath (Northern California, USA). Through this case, we consider the interdependent functions of family-based governance and tribal government institutions for collective decolonization and healing. Our analysis of family-based management provides insights into the sociopolitical and ecological dynamics of healing in diverse Indigenous communities, and explores more inclusive models for Indigenous environmental governance.
      PubDate: Tue, 07 Mar 2023 14:41:11 +000
  • How social and ecological characteristics shape transaction costs in
           polycentric wildfire governance: insights from the Sequoia-Kings Canyon
           Ecosystem, California, USA

    • Authors: Adrian Williams
      Abstract: Many contemporary social and ecological challenges in forested ecosystems (climate change, invasive species, wildland-urban interface development, and wildfires) span multiple jurisdictions and are characterized by complex patterns of social and ecological interdependencies. Increasing evidence suggests that interdependent risk can best be addressed by working across boundaries (jurisdictional, scalar, and expertise) by sharing information and cooperating in management activities. Polycentric governance has emerged as a framework to understand how multiple and overlapping centers of decision-making authority establish and maintain governance connectivity to solve collective action problems and interdependent risks. Previous studies have examined the collaborative and interorganizational process of polycentric landscape governance, yet most studies rely on qualitative case study data or descriptively employ social network analysis. Understanding the values, beliefs, and motivations of actors (land managers, landowners, researchers, policymakers, and non-governmental organizations) for cooperating is important for improving polycentric governance design, implementation, and operation. How the context and characteristics of social-ecological systems shape polycentric governance remains largely unexplored. On the basis of research in the Sequoia-Kings Canyon Protected Area-Centered Ecosystem, we address this gap by utilizing exponential random graph modeling to analyze the social and ecological drivers of polycentric wildfire governance. This research highlights that even in situations of high stakes (increasing occurrences of high-severity wildfires that escape suppression) actors will collaborate only if the gains from collaboration outweigh the costs. If jurisdictions or other organizations are thought to have low operational capacity or lack useful information, even with a high probability of large wildfire, the actor-to-actor connections are less likely for effective polycentric governance. Our results highlight previously undiscussed mechanisms of network formation in wildfire hazard governance, and we discuss the broader applicability for forest landscape challenges and for polycentric governance design and assessment in other social-ecological contexts.
      PubDate: Mon, 06 Mar 2023 13:59:00 +000
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