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  • 1. Bridging organisations Lecture for Module 10, Adaptive Governance 2014-02-21 Thomas Hahn thomas.hahn@stockholmresilience.su.se 1
  • 2. Outline 1. “Repetition” – Economics, paradigms, WEF and Green Economy 2. SES – the context of bridging organisations 3. Individuals or organisations? 4. Limitations of Adaptive Governance and collaboration within bridging organisations 5. Do we study systems or agents with intentions? 6. Resilience and political ecology
  • 3. Degradation of ecosystem services often causes significant harm to human well-being Economics is not equal to money!  “The total economic value associated with managing ecosystems more sustainably is often higher than the value associated with conversion” (Opportunity cost)  “Conversion may still occur because private economic benefits are often greater for the converted system” (external costs)  “Governments should first stop subsidies to such conversions, then subsidize production of ecosystem services” (incentives)  (How are the values in the table estimated?)
  • 4. The Economic System The Social System The Biosphere air ecosystem functioning thresholds soil minerals plants decomposition EcolEcon: Human wellbeing depend on the Biosphere regardless whether we understand it or not. NeoclassEnvEcon: The value of nature depends on human preferences. water nutrients animals micro-organisms biogeochemical biological diversity cycles
  • 5. Neoclassical economics versus Democracy • Example (Survey 1997): Swedish citizens think it should not be allowed – to build mosques in Sweden? 46% – to have homosexual teachers at primary school? 39 % • These large minority opinions are contrary to the Swedish constitution. Conclusion: many people have “wrong” preferences, i.e. their preferences should not be given moral weight in formulation of policy goals.
  • 6. Million-dollar questions: • Should we adapt the Swedish constitution to accommodate these values that violate human rights? • Sustainable development may not be supported by citizens (e.g. rising taxes on fossil fuel). Could sustainability or the integrity of ecosystems be framed as human rights-issues (constitutional issues), e.g. the right to breathe fresh air, the right to clean ground and surface water? Implications on property rights? • If value systems are hierarchical (human rights, democracy, sustainability are “overarching ideologies”), then these “overarching ideologies” could be used to direct, frame, and constrain policy options as well as choices by consumers! Just like our constitution frames legislation.
  • 7. “Nobel” Prizes in Economics 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Kenneth Arrow, 1972 (social choice, ecol-econ) Gunnar Myrdal, 1974 (inst econ, questioned “valuefree”) Herbert Simon, 1978 (bounded rationality) James Tobin, 1981 (“Tobin tax”) Douglass North, 1993 (institutional economics) Amartya Sen, 1998 (re-define efficiency, ethics, fixed preferences, narrow self-interest) Joseph Stiglitz, 2001 (Development, IMF critic) Daniel Kahneman, 2002 (testing theory in experiments) Elinor Ostrom, 2009 (Challenged “the tragedy of the commons” and its assumption of narrow self-interest)
  • 8. Paradigm critique in economics • The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2009 was awarded Elinor Ostrom "for her analysis of economic governance, especially the commons“ • Ostrom assumed rational choice but rejected the (Lakatos) “protective belt” assumption of narrow self-interest: • Investments in social capital and cooperation can be rational. Hence, people may overcome the “tragedy of open access” (Nash equilibrium)
  • 9. Paradigm critique in economics Protective belt assumptions: Economic man Political-economic man Non-cooperation Sometimes cooperation Narrow self-interest Sometimes broad self-interest Full information Information economics Only utilitarian ethics Rights-based approaches Natural capital can be substituted for Limited substitutability Core: Utility maximization Self-interest Rational choice Spontaneous order Equilibrium Full rationality Bounded rationality Linear change Tipping points Exponential growth is good Objective market prices Growth can be uneconomic Prices depend on Conclusion: The neoclassical core has been institutions re-defined when ten important assumptions have been questioned
  • 10. 8 worst Global Risks
  • 11. 5 of the 8 worst Global Risks are ecosystem-based 1. Water supply crises 2. Rising greenhouse gas emissions 3. Failure of climate change adaptation 4. Extreme volatility in energy and agriculture prices 5. Food shortage crises Non-ecosystem-based risks: 6. Chronic fiscal imbalances 7. Major systemic financial failure 8. Severe income disparity
  • 12. 2010 = end of the neoliberal era?
  • 13. The Sustainable Development discourse is focusing more on Economics: TEEB 2009 and GE 2011
  • 14. Green Economy is (or should be)  About using environmental/ecological economics as a tool for (social and ecological) sustainable development  Get the institutions right (prices will follow…)  Reduce subsidies to fossil fuels (US$ 650 billion annually) and replace by Feed-in tarriffs on solar and wind (30devd + 17devg countries have used this!)  Green fiscal (tax) reform  Regulating the market (protected areas, standards etc.)  Technology transfer, etc  Presented as more efficient (economically + ecologically) than the ”Brown” Economy but what about equity?
  • 15. http://www.etcgroup.org/en/node/5296
  • 16.  The discussion on fuel subsidies is an important national issue.  Here’s an example from Ghana  Logical but assumes…?
  • 17. Fiscal reforms are necessary but…  BBC Africa 2012-01-02: “Ordinary Nigerians and trade unionists have condemned the government for withdrawing a fuel price subsidy which has led petrol prices to more than double in many areas.”
  • 18. A Social-Ecological System (Hahn et al. 2006 HumEcol) Social norms and rules External drivers, change and surprise Capacity for dealing with governmental policies, social unrest, global market demands, climate change etc. Flexible institutions, adaptive governance Multilevel governance, legal and financial support Management: actors, organizations Adaptive management Adaptive management Knowledge systems Knowledge generation Ecosystem processes + services The capacity to generate valuable ecosystem services depends on ecosystem processes as well as the organizational and institutional capacity to govern people, manage ecosystems and handling surprises.
  • 19. Social-ecological systems (SES) Three core features: 1. society and nature represent truly interdependent socialecological systems (SES); 2. social-ecological systems are complex adaptive systems; 3. cross scale and dynamic interactions represent new challenges for governance and management in relation to interdependent SES and ecosystem services. These three core features provide a broad research direction, and will continue to serve as a significant attractor that allows for emergence of diverse approaches from different disciplines within a common framing. The content and direction of the framing is a central identity of the SRC that distinguishes SRC research from multidisciplinary collaborations in sustainability science. (Stockholm Resilience Centre, Action Plan 2010-2013)
  • 20. Search on Scopus for ”adaptive governance” AND ecosystems (2011) 1 Adaptive governance of social-ecological systems Folke, C., Hahn, T., Olsson, P., Norberg, J. 2005 Annual Review of Environment and Resources 30, pp. 441-473 300 2 Resilience: The emergence of a perspective for social-ecological systems analyses Folke, C. 2006 Global Environmental Change 16 (3), pp. 253-267 228 3 Social-ecological transformation for ecosystem management: The development of adaptive co-management of a wetland landscape in southern Sweden Olsson, P., Folke, C., Hahn, T. 2004 Ecology and Society 9 (4) 91 4 Shooting the rapids: Navigating transitions to adaptive governance of social-ecological systems Olsson, P., Gunderson, L.H., Carpenter, S.R., Ryan, P., Lebel, L., Folke, C., Holling, C.S. 2006 Ecology and Society 11 (1), art. no. 18 76 5 Scenarios for ecosystem services: An overview Carpenter, S.R., Bennett, E.M., Peterson, G.D. 2006 Ecology and Society 11 (1), art. no. 29 31 6 Enhancing the fit through adaptive co-management: Creating and maintaining bridging functions for matching scales in the Kristianstads Vattenrike Biosphere Reserve, Sweden Olsson, P., Folke, C., Galaz, V., Hahn, T., Schultz, L. 2007 Ecology and Society 12 (1), art. no. 28 28
  • 21. The context of bridging organisations • Adaptive governance of coupled social and ecological systems is about connecting actors and organisations at multiple organizational levels to enable an ecosystem-based management. These actors are connected in social networks and provide leadership, trust, vision, meaning, and they help transform management organizations toward a learning environment (Folke et al. 2005). • Organizations that link diverse actors or groups through some form of strategic bridging process are called “bridging organizations (Crona & Parker 2012). • As an integral part of adaptive ecosystem governance, bridging organizations provide social incentives to individuals within stakeholder groups by rewarding and creating space for collaboration, value formation, and innovation (Hahn et al. 2006). • Accomplishments by informal networking can be institutionalized in land-use plans and other regulations
  • 22. The context of bridging organisations • Bridging organizations, or individuals performing these functions, are crucial for successful governance, i.e. collaboration between agencies and NGOs (Berkes 2009). • Adaptive governance coordinates different types of networks. The governance network typically includes national NGOs and civil servants who can provide and mobilise institutional, financial and political support as well as external knowledge. Local steward networks typically include landowners and local NGOs and civil servants concerned with the actual management (Schultz et al. 2007; Hahn 2011). • The challenges of “legitimacy” and “accountability” are often treated as similar in international governance while in local governance they are obviously different. Informal self-organized governance networks may increase legitimacy if a variety of stakeholders are involved, but at the same time accountability becomes blurred when decisions are taken. • Question: is there a risk that self-organized governance networks “take over” responsibility from the representative democracy?
  • 23. Individuals or organisations? Fig. 1. The governance network of Kristianstads Vattenrike Biosphere Reserve. The nodes are agencies/organizations, except in five cases (noted by names) in which the nodes could be described as individuals who created their own mandates within their respective organizations. (Hahn 2011, E&S)
  • 24. Kristianstad Wetlands – UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserve Sept 2005
  • 25. Bridging organizations Bridging organization • Performing essential functions in crafting effective responses to change in social-ecological systems • Linking groups, networks and organizations across levels, creating the right links, at the right time, around the right issues • Accessing and combining multiple sources of knowledge and interests • Enhancing vertical and horizontal integration and social learning Folke et al. 2005, Hahn et al. 2006, Olsson et al. 2007
  • 26. Focus on understanding changes (transformations/transitions) • Role of social learning to overcome the tyranny of fixed preferences and vested interests (“learning leadership”) Besides this focus on leadership and learning, the researcher also needs to analyse power: • Any stakeholder benefitting from the status quo (of suboptimal ecosystem management) and powerful enough to impede social learning processes? • Is collaboration viable, is it possible to attract any key person within this stakeholder group to a new vision? If not, then Adaptive co-management (ACM) or Adaptive Governance of SES (AGSES) are not suitable frameworks for analysis.
  • 27. Adaptive Governance of SocialEcological Systems (AGSES) “adaptive governance emphasises flexibility, experimentation, and learning as strategies for anticipating and dealing with unintended consequences. Such governance approaches are thus deemed appropriate to situations of rapid change and high uncertainty. Nevertheless, they tend to assume that there are shared goals around what system properties should remain resilient, or that consensus can be built through the governance process.” (Leach, M, 2008, p 1791.) • This critique misses the point: AGSES case studies don’t assume but document HOW shared goals and (sufficient) consensus have been accomplished. • Still, Leach has a point: AGSES is not a good (normative or analytical) framework for all case studies. Instead: Trade-off analysis and Multicriteria analysis focusing more on power as obstacles to change (e.g. Kate Brown 2001 Ecol. Econ. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921800900002937 )
  • 28. “Can you address power issues using systems ecology?” • No! Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS) and other systems approaches enable analysis of anticipated vulnerability related to thresholds, tipping points, and regime shifts. Purpose = understand ecological feedbacks. • However, adaptations are crafted by people with intentions who organise and exert their power in conflict with other interests. Understanding actual adaptations and adaptive capacity means acknowledging that power issues are part of the dynamics in a SES. (Nykvist & Hahn forthcoming)
  • 29. Stakeholders have intentions • In the resilience theory literature, 30% of the papers on ”adaptability” see people as agents with intentions, strategies, and hence allow for power analysis. 50% see people as part of ”social systems” interacting with ecosystems, focus on understanding ecological + system feedbacks. • The “problem” with systems ecology is not the use of self-organization in relation to scales or levels, e.g. that responses can emerge through leadership and stakeholder interaction at a local level without being forced by external factors. The problem is when such interaction is regarded as autonomous.
  • 30. Resilience and political ecology • Some of the research on resilience of SES is compatible to Political ecology in the sense that power issues are (or can be) addressed. • The use of political ecology in resilience research is increasing as the number of social scientists in this field is growing. • However, the starting point in resilience research is understanding how to govern and manage ecosystem services sustainably. Then power issues are only instrumental, not the analytical focus.
  • 31. Thanks! Subscribe to our newsletter www.stockholmresilience.org/subscribe