Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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    Multi-loop social learning for sustainable land and water governance: Towards a research agenda on the potential of virtual learning platforms
    Medema, W.J. ; Wals, A.E.J. ; Adamowski, J. - \ 2014
    NJAS Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences 69 (2014). - ISSN 1573-5214 - p. 23 - 38.
    natural-resource management - organizational-change - adaptive management - environmental governance - ecological systems - distance education - climate-change - active-worlds - comanagement - framework
    Managing social-ecological systems and human well being in a sustainable way requires knowledge of these systems in their full complexity. Multi-loop social learning is recognized as a crucial element to sustainable decision-making for land and water resources management involving a process of managing change where the central methodological concern is with effectively engaging the necessary participation of system members in contributing to the collective knowledge of the system. Ensuring the inclusion of the community of concern may help to ensure robust knowledge, the necessary plurality of views, responsibility sharing and trust enhancement. This will also provide more dynamic lines of input to problem solving: local and changing forms of knowledge, emerging concerns and constraints all feed into an ongoing decision-making process. This conceptual paper is focused specifically on identifying the key drivers and conditions that facilitate multi-loop social learning and the untapped potential of virtual learning platforms in this context. The hyper-connectivity that characterizes digitally mediated networks opens up significant possibilities for information exchange, knowledge creation, feedback, debate, learning and innovation, social networking, and so on. This paper provides a thorough literature review of the conditions and affordances that are conducive to multi-loop social learning in the context of sustainable land and water governance. The insights from this review confirm the potential of a ‘learning ecology’ or virtual learning platform for knowledge co-production, trust building, sense making, critical self-reflection, vertical and horizontal collaboration, and conflict resolution, while serving as a facilitating platform between different levels of governance, and across resource and knowledge systems. To conclude this paper, a developmental research agenda is proposed to refine and improve understanding of multi-loop social learning processes and their effective facilitation through virtual learning platforms.
    Social Learning, Natural Resource Management, and Participatory Activities: A reflection on construct development and testing
    Rodela, R. - \ 2014
    NJAS Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences 69 (2014). - ISSN 1573-5214 - p. 15 - 22.
    deliberative democracy - public-participation - impact assessment - comanagement - innovation - lessons - trust
    This analysis reflects on the use of multidimensional constructs for the study of social learning in natural resource management. Insight from deliberative democracy and adult learning literature are used to ground the identified four dimensions (the moral dimension the cognitive dimension, the relational dimension and trust). Then, a selection of empirical cases is surveyed with the aim to develop and understanding how well the empirical outcomes reported by these sit against the insights borrowed from the deliberative democracy and pedagogy literature. The paper concludes with some recommendations for future research.
    Governing the ice. Ice fishing villages on Lake Mille Lacs and the creation of environmental governance institutions
    Assche, K. van; Biesebroeck, J. ; Holm, J. - \ 2014
    Journal of Environmental Planning and Management 57 (2014)8. - ISSN 0964-0568 - p. 1122 - 1144.
    social-ecological systems - resource-management - networks - knowledge - organizations - comanagement - communities - resilience - economics
    We identify four choice dimensions that determine the configuration and evolution of governance: formal-informal institutions, network-central steering, local-scientific knowledge and representation-participation. Choices on one dimension affect choices on the other dimensions, which naturally leads to historical dependency. We integrate these insights in a model of governance evolution that revolves around actor/institution configurations and power/knowledge configurations. In a case study of ice fishing villages on Minnesota's Lake Mille Lacs, we investigate one specific set of couplings between the choice dimensions. As we can study the local ice fishing tradition from its very beginning, the evolutionary paths of technology and institutions provide insights into how choices were made along the different dimensions and how they interacted. The case study illustrates how to apply the model, but also contributes to its further development as it draws attention to possible extensions: concepts of scale and identity.
    The social learning discourse: trends, themes and interdisciplinary influences in current research
    Rodela, R. - \ 2013
    Environmental Science & Policy 25 (2013). - ISSN 1462-9011 - p. 157 - 166.
    natural-resource management - deliberative democracy - public-participation - ethical leadership - impact assessment - river-basin - policy - organizations - comanagement - perspective
    The literature on social learning advances a critique to the command-and-control approach to resource management, and often, this critique is made by borrowing insights and ideas from disciplines other than resource management, which led to certain conceptual and methodological turns that now characterise the social learning discourse. This paper is based on an extensive survey of the social learning literature; ninety-seven studies were reviewed and classified by the type of natural resource, its geographical location, type of application and related aspects, which helped to identify some general trends. Disciplinary influences that contributed to shape the research are analysed and discussed. The findings suggest that social learning research is issue-driven and that some types of natural resources and geographical areas prevail over others. This study finds that deliberative democracy, pedagogy and research of complex adaptive systems have contributed the most to shaping the current conceptual base of the discourse. Interdisciplinary engagement, as well as choices in terms of what has been borrowed and how the borrowed concepts have been used, help to explain the heterogeneity of frameworks and definitions in the social learning literature
    Knowledge governance: an exploration of principles, impact, and barriers
    Gerritsen, A.L. ; Stuiver, M. ; Termeer, C.J.A.M. - \ 2013
    Science and Public Policy 40 (2013)5. - ISSN 0302-3427 - p. 604 - 615.
    environmental cooperatives - organizations - comanagement - complexity - science - policy - evolution - mode
    Knowledge governance opens new pathways for collective action and is especially suited for solving complex societal problems. This paper analyses knowledge governance in two ways. First, it presents an overview of the literature on this topic with a particular focus on the principles of knowledge governance: self-organization, transdisciplinary knowledge production and dissemination, social learning, reflexivity and boundary management. Secondly, it presents the results of a case study to investigate the impact of, and the barriers to, knowledge governance. The case study is of the Dutch Northern Frisian Woodlands region, where a group of farmers, policy-makers, and scholars engaged in knowledge governance. We found that a limited ability and willingness of participants to commit themselves to the different principles was a major barrier to the functioning of knowledge governance. Furthermore, boundary management and the openness of organizations to learn about and change policies are crucial to gaining impact with knowledge governance.
    A structured multi-stakeholder learning process for Sustainable Land Management
    Schwilch, G. ; Bachmann, F. ; Valente, S. ; Coelho, C. ; Moreira, J. ; Laouina, A. ; Chaker, M. ; Aderghal, M. ; Santos, P. ; Reed, M.S. - \ 2012
    Journal of Environmental Management 107 (2012). - ISSN 0301-4797 - p. 52 - 63.
    public-participation - decision-support - governance - comanagement - environment - bolivia - india - slm
    There are many, often competing, options for Sustainable Land Management (SLM). Each must be assessed and sometimes negotiated prior to implementation. Participatory, multi-stakeholder approaches to identification and selection of SLM options are increasingly popular, often motivated by social learning and empowerment goals. Yet there are few practical tools for facilitating processes in which land managers may share, select, and decide on the most appropriate SLM options. The research presented here aims to close the gap between the theory and the practice of stakeholder participation/learning in SLM decision-making processes. The paper describes a three-part participatory methodology for selecting SLM options that was tested in 14 desertification-prone study sites within the EU-DESIRE project. Cross-site analysis and in-depth evaluation of the Moroccan and Portuguese sites were used to evaluate how well the proposed process facilitated stakeholder learning and selection of appropriate SLM options for local implementation. The structured nature of the process starting with SLM goal setting was found to facilitate mutual understanding and collaboration between stakeholders. The deliberation process led to a high degree of consensus over the outcome and, though not an initial aim, it fostered social learning in many cases. This solution-oriented methodology is applicable in a wide range of contexts and may be implemented with limited time and resources. .
    The Multi-level Environmental Governance of Vietnamese Aquaculture: Global Certification, National Standards, Local Cooperatives
    Pham, T.A. ; Bush, S.R. ; Mol, A.P.J. ; Kroeze, C. - \ 2011
    Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning 13 (2011)4. - ISSN 1523-908X - p. 373 - 397.
    mekong delta - comanagement - dimensions - management - networks - politics - scales
    Poor water quality is one of the key environmental problems associated with shrimp and pangasius aquaculture in Vietnam. Several studies exist on the causes and effects of poor water quality, and on possible solutions for effluent control in these two economically important production systems. However, only a small number of Vietnamese farms apply these reduction options, raising questions over the state-enforced compliance with legislated water-quality measures. Voluntary standards and certification networks have recently emerged as alternative forms of water-quality governance in Vietnamese aquaculture. This paper examines a number of ongoing and interlinked international, national and community level initiatives on (voluntary) standards and certification that aim to promote sustainable shrimp and pangasius aquaculture in Vietnam. The results indicate the potential, but also challenges, in the development and implementation of national and international standards and demonstrate the need for more attention to the role of local institutions like producer co-operatives in multi-level governance arrangements
    Navigating transformations in governance of Chilean marine coastal resources
    Gelcich, S. ; Hughes, T.P. ; Olsson, P. ; Folke, C. ; Defeo, O. ; Fernandez, M. ; Foale, S. ; Gunderson, L.H. ; Rodriguez-Sickert, C. ; Scheffer, M. ; Steneck, R.S. ; Castilla, J.C. - \ 2010
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 107 (2010)39. - ISSN 0027-8424 - p. 16794 - 16799.
    ecosystem services - human-exclusion - management - fisheries - comanagement - sustainability - rights - biodiversity - collapse - science
    Marine ecosystems are in decline. New transformational changes in governance are urgently required to cope with overfishing, pollution, global changes, and other drivers of degradation. Here we explore social, political, and ecological aspects of a transformation in governance of Chile's coastal marine resources, from 1980 to today. Critical elements in the initial preparatory phase of the transformation were (i) recognition of the depletion of resource stocks, (ii) scientific knowledge on the ecology and resilience of targeted species and their role in ecosystem dynamics, and (iii) demonstration-scale experimental trials, building on smaller-scale scientific experiments, which identified new management pathways. The trials improved cooperation among scientists and fishers, integrating knowledge and establishing trust. Political turbulence and resource stock collapse provided a window of opportunity that triggered the transformation, supported by new enabling legislation. Essential elements to navigate this transformation were the ability to network knowledge from the local level to influence the decision-making processes at the national level, and a preexisting social network of fishers that provided political leverage through a national confederation of artisanal fishing collectives. The resultant governance scheme includes a revolutionary national system of marine tenure that allocates user rights and responsibilities to fisher collectives. Although fine tuning is necessary to build resilience of this new regime, this transformation has improved the sustainability of the interconnected social-ecological system. Our analysis of how this transformation unfolded provides insights into how the Chilean system could be further developed and identifies generalized pathways for improved governance of marine resources around the world.
    Development of small-scale fisheries in Yemen: An exploration
    Wagenaar, A. ; Haese, M.F.C. D' - \ 2007
    Marine Policy 31 (2007)3. - ISSN 0308-597X - p. 266 - 275.
    Yemen is one of the poorest countries in the world. The development of its fishery sector is increasingly being mentioned as a source of livelihood creation. The aims of this paper are to: (a) provide an overview of the institutional environment in which small-scale fishermen in Yemen operate; (b) investigate the constraints they face; and (c) discuss the potential role that co-operatives could play in such development. Small-scale fisheries in Yemen are increasingly important, yet they struggle with access to infrastructure, markets, and credit. We identify significant differences in the development of the fisheries sector in the two main fishing regions: the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea. Overall, local capacity within co-operatives needs to be improved and private sector development should be encouraged
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