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  Subjects -> CONSERVATION (Total: 128 journals)
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Ecology and Society
Journal Prestige (SJR): 1.728
Citation Impact (citeScore): 4
Number of Followers: 52  

  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Online) 1708-3087
Published by Resilience Alliance Homepage  [1 journal]
  • Leadership accountability in community-based forest management:
           experimental evidence in support of governmental oversight

    • Authors: Adrian Williams
      Abstract: Evidence of the impact of community-based forest management (CBFM) on conservation outcomes is mixed. Local governance is a key moderating factor, but what constitutes good governance is still up for debate. Desirable institutional features typically arise endogenously, which complicates the analysis of causality. We use an experimental design to analyze the impact on environmental outcomes of adding an externally implemented monitoring regime to an existing CBFM initiative in Ethiopia. We distinguish between bottom-up and top-down monitoring to improve the accountability of local leaders. We find that enhanced bottom-up monitoring by community members does not affect forest outcomes, but top-down monitoring promotes forest conservation. We also identify a mechanism linking top-down monitoring to conservation: leaders work harder to protect the forest, which “crowds in” effort by community members. Our results are not about reducing the role of communities in forest management, they are a plea for oversight by the relevant authority to help communities overcome local power asymmetries.The post Leadership accountability in community-based forest management: experimental evidence in support of governmental oversight first appeared on Ecology & Society.
      PubDate: Tue, 21 Nov 2023 20:23:32 +000
  • Citizens’ attitudes toward the protection of flying squirrels in
           urban areas

    • Authors: Adrian Williams
      Abstract: The Siberian flying squirrel (Pteromys volans) is included among the strictly protected species of the Habitats Directive (92/43/EC) of the European Union, which is one of the key instruments for biodiversity preservation in Europe. Strict protection of the species has a potential to cause conflicts in areas where forest management and urban development compete for the same space with the flying squirrel. This study examined attitudes of Finnish citizens toward the protection of flying squirrels in urban areas using survey data collected in three cities: Espoo, Jyväskylä, and Kuopio. Two samples (random and self-selection samples) were collected to investigate how the specific process of giving “voice” to citizens by polls in urban planning affects the results. The analysis was conducted by integrating factor and cluster analysis and multinomial logistic regression modeling. Four attitude groups of citizens were identified and named: “neutral on protection” (share of respondents: 33%), “strongly in favor of protection” (32%), “somewhat against protection” (26%), and “strongly against protection” (9%). Several individual-specific factors were found to be associated with the probability of belonging to different attitude groups. For example, female respondents had a higher probability of belonging to the group that was strongly in favor of protection, and older respondents had a higher probability of belonging to groups against protection. Respondents of the self-selection sample had a higher probability of belonging to the “strongly in favor of protection” group. They therefore had a more positive attitude toward the protection of flying squirrels than the other respondents. This finding indicates that cities may gain an overly positive view of citizens’ attitudes toward the protection of flying squirrels through current public participation methods based on self-selection procedures, such as public hearings used in land use planning.The post Citizens’ attitudes toward the protection of flying squirrels in urban areas first appeared on Ecology & Society.
      PubDate: Mon, 20 Nov 2023 19:43:16 +000
  • Wind power distribution across subalpine, boreal, and temperate landscapes

    • Authors: Adrian Williams
      Abstract: Onshore wind power is increasingly expanding to meet global and national goals to increase renewable, clean, and fossil-free energy production. In many countries and regions, however, historical and current land use is extensive, and the expansion of wind power has to be well-tuned to avoid risking irreversible legacy losses of existing and traditional land uses, landscape values, and cultures. Hence, assessments of the siting premises of current and forecasted expansion of wind power are strongly needed as a basis for sustainable planning. We present a study from alpine to temperate biomes in Sweden, where an ambitious onshore wind power expansion strategy has been put in place and will result in Swedish landscapes that are typified by wind power. We explored the existing legal framework—i.e., the national interest for wind power according to the Swedish Environmental Code—concerning the spatial interaction with other national interests for nature conservation, landscape values, and other land uses, and the land cover, landowner, and formally protected areas distribution within wind power sites and in their proximity. We found that the national interest framework does not provide sufficient guidance for locating wind power to avoid spatial overlap with conflicting interests and values. Furthermore, our analysis revealed that wind power is located mainly in forest-dominated landscapes, and on lands where private forest companies are the dominant owners but where the proportion of public and non-industrial private ownership increases in the near surroundings. Finally, we found that large areas of formally protected areas are within the proximate areas influenced by wind power. As an extensive onshore wind power expansion is already going on, and an even more extensive expansion is projected, the ways forward toward a sustainable wind power expansion calls for integrated landscape planning approaches that are based on comprehensive assessments of existing interests and values.The post Wind power distribution across subalpine, boreal, and temperate landscapes first appeared on Ecology & Society.
      PubDate: Fri, 17 Nov 2023 15:29:36 +000
  • Transitioning toward “deep” knowledge co-production in coastal and
           marine systems: examining the interplay among governance, power, and

    • Authors: Adrian Williams
      Abstract: Knowledge co-production (KCP) is presented as an effective strategy to inform responses to complex coastal and marine social-ecological challenges. Co-production processes are further posited to improve research and decision outcomes in a wide range of problem contexts (e.g., biodiversity conservation, climate change adaptation), for example, by facilitating social learning among diverse actors. As such, KCP processes are increasingly centered in global environment initiatives such as the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. However, KCP is not a panacea, and much uncertainty remains about its emergence and implementation, in particular, the manner in which broader governance contexts determine the interplay of knowledge, power, and decision-making. Three objectives guide our analysis: (1) to interrogate more fully the interplay among social relations of power, knowledge production practices, and the (colonial) governance contexts in which they are embedded; (2) to consider the challenges and limitations of KCP in particular places by drawing attention to key governance themes and their implications for achieving better outcomes; and (3) to work toward a fuller understanding of “deep KCP” that cautions against a tendency to view knowledge processes in coastal and marine governance settings as an instrumental or techno-managerial problem. A qualitative and reflective approach was used to examine multiple dimensions of the interplay of KCP, governance, and power in several marine and coastal contexts, including Canada, New Zealand, and Papua New Guinea. In particular, our analysis highlights the importance of: (1) recognizing diverse motivations that frame co-production processes; (2) the manner in which identities, positionality, and values influence and are influenced by governance contexts; (3) highlighting governance capacity with respect to spatial and temporal constraints; (4) institutional reforms necessary for KCP and the links to governance; and (5) the relationship between knowledge sharing, data sovereignty, and governance. We seek to encourage those involved in or considering co-production initiatives to engage carefully and critically in these processes and make co-production more than a box to tick.The post Transitioning toward “deep” knowledge co-production in coastal and marine systems: examining the interplay among governance, power, and knowledge first appeared on Ecology & Society.
      PubDate: Thu, 16 Nov 2023 20:13:56 +000
  • The crises inherent in the success of the global food system

    • Authors: Adrian Williams
      Abstract: Food systems around the world are increasingly interwoven into a global network. The dominant productionist paradigm emphasizes aggregate production volumes, a focus on few key products, and the dominant role of large exporting countries and transnational corporations. This article proposes a new conceptualization of food systems that illuminates the unequal structure and the lock-ins of this network. The global network of national food systems manifests as a center–periphery constellation where the resilience of many food systems is fatefully undermined. This article also explores the reasons why the successes of the productionist paradigm are accompanied with severe problems, including the potential of global food crises. Increasing vulnerability to crises is an inherent feature of the tightly networked global food system. As a way forward, we propose a transformation pathway based on the notion of “next best transition steps.” A key idea is to afford agency and transformative resilience to those currently in the periphery of the global food system.The post The crises inherent in the success of the global food system first appeared on Ecology & Society.
      PubDate: Thu, 16 Nov 2023 16:44:48 +000
  • Motivations and sensitivities surrounding the illegal trade of sea turtles
           in Costa Rica

    • Authors: Adrian Williams
      Abstract: Illegal wildlife trade can threaten biodiversity and economic development. Criminal enterprises may add wildlife products to their list of illicit goods by using established trade routes, networks, and individuals. On the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica, killing of sea turtles and removal of their eggs is commonplace. However, beyond conservation NGOs reporting evidence of illegal take, little is known about this activity. Through semi-structured interviews with law enforcement, community members, NGOs, and illegal harvesters, alongside anecdotal information and observations, we aimed to understand the motivations for illegal take. To cross-reference these findings, we assessed sensitivities surrounding illegal harvesting by asking the general public sensitive questions using the randomized response technique; a method used to elicit sensitive information whilst insuring the anonymity of respondents. We included a questionnaire to establish if differences in demographics affected the probability respondents would admit to a turtle-related crime. Our findings identified a rare example of illegal extraction of a wildlife product driven by motivations that were not exclusively livelihood based. We found the majority of illegal take was undertaken by relatively few individuals, dependent on narcotics. The most cited reason for illegal take was that turtle eggs could be used to procure drugs. Law enforcement was under resourced, and informants reported that prosecutions were rare. Local people preferred to purchase rather than harvest eggs suggesting the trade is supply-driven. Those interviewed did not generally regard the subject of illegal harvest as sensitive. Low education levels, high unemployment rates, and marginalization of certain groups may increase susceptibility to narcotics. Although substance misuse and addiction appear to drive illegal trade, associated poverty and marginalization may explain why drug dependency is so prevalent in Caribbean Costa Rica. Increased work opportunities and drug rehabilitation programs may assist in reducing illegal take of turtle eggs on nesting beaches.The post Motivations and sensitivities surrounding the illegal trade of sea turtles in Costa Rica first appeared on Ecology & Society.
      PubDate: Mon, 13 Nov 2023 17:25:46 +000
  • Shaping garden landscape with medicinal plants by migrant communities in
           the Atlantic Forest, Argentina

    • Authors: Adrian Williams
      Abstract: Migrants’ home gardens may be created from elements of both old and new landscapes. We assume that medicinal plant assemblages in migrants’ gardens are shaped by plant diversity and availability, therapeutic needs, and heritagization processes. Which of the factors prevail: those related to biodiversity and ecology, epidemiology, or heritage and memory' In this paper we offer new knowledge on the garden landscapes of the Global South. The research was conducted in the Atlantic Forest in Argentina. We surveyed 120 home gardens: 60 of transborder Paraguayan migrants, and 60 of transcontinental Europeans who arrived in Misiones, Argentina before WW2 and their descendants. We compared the richness, composition, medicinal uses, and the relationships of garden plants (via plant networks) between these groups, taking into account everyday scales and the transnational scale. Paraguayans cultivated and protected 137 species, predominantly native, and people of European origin 119 spp., native and exotic in similar proportions. The similarity in plant composition (68%) and the consensus in the medicinal use of plants (62%) were high between the migrant groups. Plant network analysis revealed many overlaps in assemblages of plants, but certain particularities of each group remained because of cultural expressions and therapeutic needs. This high level of similarity suggests that plant diversity, both native and allochthonous, shared concepts of illness, and the flux of knowledge between these groups was more significant than heritagization practices in shaping home gardens’ medicinal plant assemblages. People of Paraguayan and European origins do not make an active effort to convert their home gardens into heritage. Medicinal plants are connected to the lived emplacement—intimate daily practices—rather than to ethnic identity strategies. Nevertheless, the plant assemblages in gardens have been shaped by ecology, colonial legacy, nostalgia, and transfer of knowledge; therefore migrants’ home gardens can be considered heritage in a broad sense.The post Shaping garden landscape with medicinal plants by migrant communities in the Atlantic Forest, Argentina first appeared on Ecology & Society.
      PubDate: Fri, 10 Nov 2023 14:14:24 +000
  • Artistic practice, public awareness, and the ngahere:
           art–science–Indigenous Māori collaborations for raising awareness of
           threats to native forests

    • Authors: Adrian Williams
      Abstract: We build a rationale for a nuanced approach to raising public awareness of ecological threats through interweaving art, science, and Mātauranga Māori (Indigenous Māori knowledge). The thinking we present emerges from the first phase of a transdisciplinary project, Toi Taiao Whakatairanga, which explores the ways the arts can raise public awareness of two pathogens that are ravaging native trees in Aotearoa New Zealand: Phytopthora agathidicida (kauri dieback) and Austropuccinia psidii (myrtle rust). One of our first steps in the project was to explore understandings of "public” and “awareness” and their relevance to Aotearoa’s ecological, cultural, and political context. This collective task was about developing theory to guide the second phase of the project, in which we would commission nine Māori artists to create new works about kauri dieback and/or myrtle rust. One of the key outcomes of our collective inquiry was a realization of the limits of certain conceptions of public awareness in the settler–colonial contexts. For example, conceptions based on an unproblematized definition of “public” fail to respond adequately to the rights of Indigenous Māori tribes and subtribes to sovereignty over their lands and taonga species. We identify the need for alternatives to transactional conception of public awareness-raising. This includes alternatives that align with te ao Māori (Māori worldviews) and allow for a lack of consensus about the nature of an ecological threat or the required response. We propose that mātauranga Māori and arts practices can be combined with colonial science knowledge to promote different awarenesses in ways that are responsive to difference audiences, acknowledge different knowledge systems, hold space for contested/provisional knowledge, and support the mana motuhake of iwi/hāpū and the ngahere.The post Artistic practice, public awareness, and the ngahere: art–science–Indigenous Māori collaborations for raising awareness of threats to native forests first appeared on Ecology & Society.
      PubDate: Fri, 03 Nov 2023 12:47:16 +000
  • Assessing long-term conservation impacts on adaptive capacity in a
           flagship community-based natural resources management area in Botswana

    • Authors: Adrian Williams
      Abstract: Over the past three decades community-based natural resources management (CBNRM) has sought to address the concurrent needs of economic development and ecological protection at the local level, but there is often strong divergence between development and conservation interests and successes. In particular, CBNRM has not always led to expected socioeconomic outcomes, while information of its impact on human well-being at household level is sparse. In Botswana, most communities do not disburse benefits from CBNRM ventures to households. This leads to an inherent scale mismatch that arises because the costs of living with wildlife are felt at the household level, while the benefits are paid out at the community or village level. We use longitudinal data from two household surveys conducted 22 years apart to assess if benefits from the Botswana model of CBNRM have increased household-level adaptive capacity for those living with wildlife. We take a livelihoods capital approach to develop indicators of adaptive capacity and measure how livelihood diversity, inequality, and adaptive capacity have changed in five communities in northern Botswana between 1995 and 2017. Our analyses confirm the findings of qualitative reviews and suggest that CBNRM is under-performing in its contribution to improved household-level adaptive capacity. CBNRM cannot be said to benefit communities if the majority of community members do not experience increased well-being. We therefore recommend restructuring the governance models of CBNRM and other community conservation approaches to ensure that benefits are more directly targeted to actively participating households.The post Assessing long-term conservation impacts on adaptive capacity in a flagship community-based natural resources management area in Botswana first appeared on Ecology & Society.
      PubDate: Thu, 02 Nov 2023 15:39:42 +000
  • Heterogeneity in climate change beliefs across New Zealand’s rural

    • Authors: Adrian Williams
      Abstract: In this paper we present novel evidence about heterogeneity in climate beliefs using a large-scale survey of farmers, foresters, growers, and lifestyle block owners in New Zealand. Using a flexible, conditional-moments approach, we estimate the interpersonal dispersion in climate change beliefs conditional on individual characteristics, which provides a direct measure of the heterogeneity in beliefs about climate change. Our results show that women, younger respondents, farmers with less family farming history, higher educated respondents, and those respondents who are less trusting in social media are more likely to believe in climate change. Further, beliefs are more heterogeneous among males (young and old), the less educated, and those who trust social media. Our results offer new insights allowing governments and NGOs to design and communicate policies to reduce the heterogeneity in climate change beliefs, which should support the uptake of climate change actions.The post Heterogeneity in climate change beliefs across New Zealand’s rural sector first appeared on Ecology & Society.
      PubDate: Mon, 30 Oct 2023 18:31:38 +000
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