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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    Analysing the state of student participation in two Eco-Schools using Engeström’s Second Generation Activity Systems Model
    Schröder, Laura-Marie U. ; Wals, Arjen E.J. ; Koppen, C.S.A. van - \ 2020
    Environmental Education Research 26 (2020)8. - ISSN 1350-4622 - p. 1088 - 1111.
    Cultural-Historical-Activity-Theory (CHAT) - Eco-Schools programme - Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) - student-led change

    This research investigates the state of student participation in the Eco-Schools programme in two selected secondary schools located in Spain and the Netherlands. The focus is on understanding the levers of student participation and of the factors leading to a whole-school approach. Engeström’s Second Generation Activity Systems Model is used as an analytical framework. The study also reflects on the merits and shortcomings of this framework. The analysis of the two cases revealed contradictions in the intended effect of the Eco-School programme on fostering student-led change towards sustainability and a whole-school approach. The research suggests that student participation in Eco-School programme can be fostered by using an activity-based ‘whole institution’ approach that interlinks a reflective and action-based procedure, by adapting the students’ learning environment according to their needs and capabilities, by providing for close teacher guidance in Eco-School activities and establishing good student-teacher-relationships, and, finally, by incorporating the Eco-School programme into the school’s overall educational framework.

    Ongedierte
    Putten, Wim van der - \ 2020
    Natural sciences and social sciences : Where do the twain meet?
    Koppen, C.S.A. van - \ 2020
    Nature and Culture 15 (2020)1. - ISSN 1558-6073 - p. 111 - 119.
    Hydrological Drought Simulations: How Climate and Model Structure Control Parameter Sensitivity
    Melsen, L.A. ; Guse, B. - \ 2019
    Water Resources Research 55 (2019)12. - ISSN 0043-1397 - p. 10527 - 10547.
    hydrological drought - hydrological models - large-sample - processes - sensitivity analysis

    Hydrological drought, defined as below-average streamflow conditions, can be triggered by different mechanisms, which are to a large extent dictated by the climate. Moreover, the simulation of hydrological droughts highly depends on the model structure and how drought-triggering mechanisms are parameterized. In this large-sample hydrological study, we investigate how climate and model structure control hydrological drought simulations. We conducted sensitivity analysis on parameters of three frequently used hydrological models (HBV, SAC, and VIC) for the simulation of drought duration and drought deficit over 605 basins covering more than 10 different Köppen-Geiger climates. The sensitivity analysis revealed that, as anticipated, different parameters are sensitive in different climates. However, not all expected drought mechanisms were reflected in the parameter sensitivity: Especially, the sensitivity of ET parameters does not align with the theory, and the role of snow parameters in snow-related droughts shows a distinction between degree-day-based models and energy-balance models. Besides parameter sensitivity being different over climates, we also found that parameter sensitivity differed over the different models. Where HBV and SAC did display fairly similar behavior, in VIC other model mechanisms were triggered. This implies that conclusions on driving mechanisms in hydrological drought cannot be based on hydrological models only, as different models would lead to different conclusions. Hydrological models can have heuristic value in drought research, to formulate new theories and identify research directions, but formulated theories on driving processes should always be backed up by observations.

    Natuurbeheer, ecologie en onzekerheid : Een analyse van het mosselvisserijconflict in de Waddenzee
    Floor, J.R. ; Koppen, C.S.A. van - \ 2019
    Landschap : tijdschrift voor landschapsecologie en milieukunde 36 (2019)3. - ISSN 0169-6300 - p. 157 - 165.
    knowledge uncertainties - nature protection conflicts - Wadden Sea - mussel fishery - Natura 2000
    Parties involved in conflicts on nature protection, including ecologists and policy officials, often expect that the controversies arising in these conflicts can be
    resolved by doing more research, in order to take away existing uncertainties in knowledge. Typically, these uncertainties are interpreted as incomplete knowledge. To shed more light on this expectation, which in literature is known as the 'linear' approach to knowledge in policy, this article investigates the role of scientific uncertainties in controversies on mussel fishery in the Dutch Wadden Sea (1990–2016). Findings show that while a substantial amount of research was done, it was not science-based knowledge that guided policy-making. Instead the controversy was closed, at least temporarily, by the Mussel Covenant, a political agreement between the fishery and nature protection parties. Many of the knowledge uncertainties in this case could be characterized as ambiguous knowledge, stemming from diverging interpretations of research findings, rather than incomplete knowledge. We conclude that science is an important factor in conflicts, but societal and political debates remain crucial in bringing complex nature protection conflicts to closure.
    Knowledge uncertainties in environmental conflicts: how the mussel fishery controversy in the Dutch Wadden Sea became depoliticised
    Floor, Judith R. ; Koppen, C.S.A. van; Tatenhove, Jan P.M. van - \ 2019
    Environmental Politics 28 (2019)7. - ISSN 0964-4016 - p. 1236 - 1258.
    Depoliticisation - knowledge expectations - knowledge uncertainties - mussel fishery - science-policy interactions - Wadden Sea

    Policy-makers and scientists often expect that controversies in public policy can be solved by gathering more knowledge, even though this linear model of expertise is widely criticised in social studies of science. To shed more light on this expectation, the role of scientific uncertainties in controversies on mussel fishery in the Dutch Wadden Sea (1990–2016) is investigated. The analysis shows that mussel fishery regulation decisions were primarily based on government authority, not on scientific knowledge. Expectations of policy-makers and scientists on conflict resolution by more research were not met, because the knowledge debate was politicised over ambiguous knowledge claims. The controversy was depoliticised by a political covenant between the conflicting parties. The case study confirms that science-based knowledge fails to guide policy-making as expected in the linear model, and demonstrates how science plays important strategic, procedural and instrumental roles in structuring interactions between stakeholders in nature protection conflicts.

    Local perceptions of ecosystem services and protection of culturally protected forests in southeast China
    Gao, Hong ; Xiao, Yi ; Koppen, C.S.A. Van; Ouyang, Zhiyun - \ 2018
    Ecosystem Health and Sustainability 4 (2018)12. - ISSN 2096-4129 - p. 299 - 309.
    Conservation - culturally protected forests - ecosystem services - informal rules - local community

    Introduction: Culturally protected forests (CPFs), preserved and managed by local people on the basis of traditional practices and beliefs, have social and ecological functions. Local residents’ perceptions were investigated in three types of CPFs (community forests, ancestral temple forests, and cemetery forests) in five villages in southeast China. In semi-structured interviews (232 questionnaires), residents were asked about their perceptions concerning ecosystem services and protection of CPFs. Outcomes: The survey results showed that resource utilization was not high in CPFs than in forests without culturally protected. Important ecosystem services provided by CPFs included air quality improvement, water retention, recreation, and aesthetic value. Respondents were satisfied with different cultural services provided by CPFs, including aesthetic value of community forests, ecotourism of ancestral temple forests, and cultural heritage of cemetery forests. Informal rules and traditional customs were used as the main measures to govern forests in daily life; however, the most effective measures, in order of importance, were setting fines or punishment by laws, using informal rules and village regulations, or protection by government agencies. Only half of the respondents were willing to pay for maintaining ecosystem services of CPFs, but 77.8% respondents were willing to spend time on protection. From apolicy perspective, educational programs were as important as traditions, and they are crucial to explain the ecological importance of CPFs. Conclusion: The conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services of CPFs will benefit if government agencies consider incorporating CPFs into policy and legislative frameworks, maintain CPFs as collectively owned forests, and introduce ecological compensation mechanisms.

    Spatial Frames and the Quest for Institutional Fit
    Koppen, C.S.A. van; Bush, S.R. - \ 2018
    In: Environment and Society / Boström, Magnus, Davidson, Debra J., Palgrave Macmillan - ISBN 9783319764146 - p. 305 - 326.
    Spatial frames play a crucial role in debates over environmental sustainability. Building on a social scientific understanding of space, we discuss key spatial frames in biodiversity and ecosystem management, including territory, social-ecological systems, global networks and flows, and sense of place. In evaluating these frames, we argue that the state with its territorial power has clear limitations in effectively and legitimately addressing ecosystem problems, even when it remains a crucial power-container and regulator. Adapting institutional arrangements to ecosystem scale, as advocates of social-ecological systems propose, is often inappropriate because of cross-scale socio-political dynamics. Given the importance of global flows, we argue that place-based or landscape approaches that bring together local ecosystem management and global value chains present an ambivalent, but highly relevant spatial framing.
    Shades of Sublime : a book review
    Schouten, M.G.C. ; Koppen, C.S.A. van; Roncken, P.A. - \ 2018
    Landschap : tijdschrift voor landschapsecologie en milieukunde 35 (2018)4. - ISSN 0169-6300 - p. 226 - 228.
    sublime, landscape, ecology, meaning, design, nature, experience
    book review of the dissertation 'Shades of Sublime'
    Steekmuggen in de Peelvenen
    Verdonschot, P. ; Hesen, F. ; Leijsen, J. van; Verheggen, L. - \ 2018
    Vakblad Natuur Bos Landschap (2018)142. - ISSN 1572-7610 - p. 14 - 17.
    “Vernatting leidt tot een muggeneldorado”. Krantenberichten met dergelijke koppen kom je de laatste jaren vaak tegen. Vernatting van natuurgebieden of waterberging leidt bij omwonenden namelijk tot zorg over muggenoverlast. Zo ook rondom de Peelvenen op de grens van Limburg en Noord-Brabant waar de beheerder met maatregelen probeert om de sterke waterstandsschommelingen tussen winter en zomer te verminderen. De vraag is of er een direct verband is tussen vernatting en steekmuggen, en zo ja: hoe kunnen we die muggenoverlast voorkomen?
    Engagement on ESG issues by Dutch pension funds : is it reaching its full potential?
    Wagemans, Frank A.J. ; Koppen, C.S.A. van; Mol, Arthur P.J. - \ 2018
    Journal of Sustainable Finance and Investment 8 (2018)4. - ISSN 2043-0795 - p. 301 - 322.
    ESG - pension funds - Responsible investment - shareholder engagement - Socially Responsible Investment - SRI

    In socially responsible investment (SRI), engagement forms one of the core strategies of institutional investors. In investigating the case of Dutch pension funds, this study answers the following questions: what networks shape engagement with investees, and what factors determine the effectiveness of engagement? The methods we used were interviews and a multiyear survey. Engagement was practised by 82% of the largest Dutch pension funds in 2016 and was implemented by asset managers and service providers. However, these actors are isolated from actors outside the financial sector. The legitimacy of the investor influences the effectiveness of engagement, whereas the number of shares is less important. The relationship between the engager and investee and the receptivity of the investee towards engagement are also of importance. Engagement can be made more effective when pension funds focus on specific themes, target companies open to engagement, and also seek collaboration with societal and policy actors.

    Regional convergence in environmental policy arrangements : A transformation towards regional environmental governance for West and Central African ports?
    Barnes-Dabban, Harry ; Koppen, C.S.A. van; Tatenhove, Jan P.M. van - \ 2018
    Ocean & Coastal Management 163 (2018). - ISSN 0964-5691 - p. 151 - 161.
    Multiple level governance - Policy arrangements - Port environmental policy - Regional convergence - West and Central African ports

    Environmental policy-making in West and Central Africa, with implications for the region's ports, is usually dominated by state actors that also represent the nation-states at regional inter-governmental co-operation. The ports share common and transboundary environmental problems, but fall under diverse political and decentralisation systems. Also, in spite of regional inter-governmental co-operation there is disagreement between regional environmental policies and those for the ports at sub-national level. The port authorities are largely absent in environmental negotiations with outcomes ignoring their contributions. However, institutional reform of the ports from the year 2000 onwards has seen the port authorities gaining greater autonomy as public non-state actors and beginning to involve in environmental policy-making. This paper seeks to understand how environmental policy-making and governance is transforming in West and Central African ports. By combining the policy arrangement approach, the main analytical tool for the paper, with the concept of regional convergence, interaction processes among key actors involved in port environmental policy-making in West and Central Africa are studied. The study finds a developing innovation of joint environmental policy-making arrangement in which West and Central African port authorities, from sub-national level, are engaging directly with regional inter-governmental and Environmental Non-Governmental Organisation actors. The developing innovation by-passes institutionalised state-led environmental policy-making arrangements, with the potential for transforming environmental governance of West and Central African ports. It is concluded that non-state actors, when given flexible manoeuvring, can be innovative in overcoming diverse statist political dynamics in dealing coherently with transboundary environmental issues within a territorial region. However, state actors remain key as linking pins in transboundary environmental policy and governance.

    Greening African ports: environmental governance transformations in a network society
    Barnes-Dabban, Harry - \ 2018
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): A.P.J. Mol; J.P.M. Tatenhove, co-promotor(en): C.S.A. Koppen. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463438605 - 224

    West and Central African ports have historically not paid much attention to environmental issues. However, since the year 2000, economic globalisation that has brought about an institutional and infrastructure restructuring of the ports, in an era of global environmental change, has triggered a gradual but still fragmented and limited process of port environmental reform. This thesis investigates how the environmental reform of the ports is being institutionalised. Environmental interactions among actors and institutions and their interplay across multiple levels of governance - within individual ports at the sub-national (local) level, within nation-states at national level, and at the regional level - are analysed within a global setting. Differing sets of theoretical perspectives from the environmental reform and governance literature are applied as analytical lenses. A mixed bag of qualitative research techniques, including case studies and action research, are used. Primary data was generated through face-to face interviews, closed and open-ended questionnaires, and participant observation while secondary data was obtained from the review of relevant literature, policy documents and reports. Findings highlight an emergent re-scaling of port environmental governance, for West and Central Africa, from the sub-national moving beyond national and statist environmental politics towards territorial environmental regionalisation in a transnational port environmental governance. The emergence has however not homogenised environmental policies in West and Central African ports nor replaced existing statist institutional environmental arrangements.

    Knowledge uncertainties in nature conservation : Analysing science-policy interactions in the Dutch Wadden Sea
    Floor, Judith R. - \ 2018
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): J.P.M. van Tatenhove; H.J. Lindeboom, co-promotor(en): C.S.A. Koppen. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463432603 - 191

    Knowledge uncertainties are an important challenge for nature conservation governance. Although the legitimacy of science-based decisions is questioned by knowledge uncertainties, the dominance of scientific expertise in nature conservation has not reduced. This PhD thesis explains this paradox through an analysis of knowledge uncertainties in decision-making processes around a planned powerboat race, mussel fishery and seagrass restoration in the Dutch Wadden Sea. An analytical distinction is made between three types of knowledge uncertainties: incomplete knowledge, unpredictability and ambiguity. A key factor that explains why knowledge uncertainties have not reduced the dominance of science-based expertise in nature conservation governance is the dominant perception of uncertainty as incomplete knowledge among scientists as well as decision-makers. In order to adequately respond to knowledge debates, ambiguity triggered by diverging knowledge claims as well as the politics of knowledge uncertainties should be given due consideration.

    Science, uncertainty and changing storylines in nature restoration : The case of seagrass restoration in the Dutch Wadden Sea
    Floor, Judith R. ; Koppen, C.S.A. van; Tatenhove, J.P.M. van - \ 2018
    Ocean & Coastal Management 157 (2018). - ISSN 0964-5691 - p. 227 - 236.
    Action-research dilemma - Nature restoration - Seagrass - Storylines - Uncertainties - Wadden sea
    Marine areas have been heavily affected by human activities, resulting in current attempts to both conserve and restore nature. In decisions about nature restoration, ecological knowledge plays a crucial role and is closely linked to nature preferences and political views. In this study, the empirical case of seagrass (Zostera marina) restoration in the Dutch Wadden Sea (1989–2017) is analysed. The impact of storylines and uncertainty perceptions, together with socio-political context factors, on decisions concerning restoration action and research are investigated. This case illustrates the difficulties of establishing seagrass fields and the dynamic process in which meaning is attributed to nature restoration. Two basic storylines – authenticity and the ecological function of ecosystem engineers – supported the restoration efforts. Three different episodes are distinguished based on different views of research in restoration efforts. The dominant perception of uncertainty was incomplete knowledge, and this perception resulted in research projects. Furthermore, the unpredictability of the success of restoration efforts and the ambiguity regarding the feasibility of restoration also influenced decisions. Two concepts – ecosystem engineer and pilot project – facilitated collaboration among science-based experts, NGOs and governmental organisations.
    The significance of meaning. Why IPBES needs the social sciences and humanities
    Jetzkowitz, Jens ; Koppen, C.S.A. van; Lidskog, Rolf ; Ott, Konrad ; Voget-Kleschin, Lieske ; Wong, Catherine Mei Ling - \ 2018
    Innovation: The European Journal of Social Science Research 31 (2018)sup1. - ISSN 1351-1610 - p. S38 - S60.
    biodiversity - ethics - foundations of biodiversity research - IPBES - methodology - science–policy interface - social sciences

    The term “biodiversity” is often used to describe phenomena of nature, which can be studied without a reference to the socially constructed, evaluative, or indeed normative contexts. In our paper, we challenge this conception by focusing particularly on methodological aspects of biodiversity research. We thereby engage with the idea of interdisciplinary biodiversity research as a scientific approach directed at the recognition and management of contemporary society in its ecological embedding. By doing this, we explore how research on and assessments of biodiversity can be enhanced if meaning, aspiration, desires, and related aspects of agency are methodically taken into account. In six sections, we substantiate our claim that the discourse on biodiversity (including the IPBES (Intergovernmental science-policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services) debate) is incomplete without contributions from the social sciences and humanities. In the introduction, a brief overview of biodiversity’s conceptual history is provided showing that “biodiversity” is a lexical invention intended to create a strong political momentum. However, that does not impede its usability as a research concept. Section 2 examines the origins of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) by way of sociological discourse analysis. Subsequently, it proposes a matrix as a means to structure the ambiguities and tensions inherent in the CBD. The matrix reemphasizes our main thesis regarding the need to bring social and ethical expertise to the biodiversity discourse. In Section 3, we offer a brief sketch of the different methods of the natural and social sciences as well as ethics. This lays the groundwork for our Section 4, which explains and illustrates what social sciences and ethics can contribute to biodiversity research. Section 5 turns from research to politics and argues that biodiversity governance necessitates deliberative discourses in which participation of lay people plays an important role. Section 6 provides our conclusions.

    Vijfentwintig jaar burgerbetrokkenheid in het natuurbeleid : Analyse van beleidsdiscoursen en publiek draagvlak
    Buijs, A.E. ; Elands, B.H.M. ; Koppen, C.S.A. van; Warmelink, N. - \ 2017
    Wageningen : Wettelijke Onderzoekstaken Natuur & Milieu (WOt-technical report 103) - 82
    This report on public engagement with nature conservation between 1990 and 2017 focuses on public support for nature conservation and on policy discourses about public engagement. Based on a distinction between instrumental and idealistic motivations for engaging with the general public, three policy discourses on public engagement are described: Ecology First, Broadening and Embedding, and Co-creation and Economy. Although policy discourses and public opinion are influenced by a multitude of external factors, critical discourses on nature conservation policies seem to have contributed to a decrease in public support for nature conservation policies from 2006 onwards. The latest questionnaire results from 2017 suggest that public support for nature conservation policy is increasing. Meanwhile, most people do not consider nature conservation a priority for government policy.
    Incorporating nature in environmental sociology: a critique of Bhaskar and Latour, and a proposal
    Koppen, C.S.A. van - \ 2017
    Environmental Sociology 3 (2017)3. - ISSN 2325-1042 - p. 173 - 185.
    sociology - nature - critical realism - actor-network theory - lifeworld
    There is a vital, but complex and controversial debate in environmental sociology regarding how to bring nature into sociological investigation. This article discusses two influential strands in this debate: Bhaskar’s critical realism and its elaboration by Carolan, and the ‘politics of nature’ approach of Bruno Latour. Building on a critical assessment of these approaches, the article outlines an epistemological framework for a sociology that takes nature (in the sense of natural environment, material objects and human bodies) into account, and gives sociological meaning to natural science findings. At the core of this framework is the notion that sociology has an episteme (in the meaning introduced by Foucault) that is different from that of natural science, and that takes the lifeworld as its object and platform of debate. Nature can be incorporated in this episteme by taking in bodily experience as proposed by phenomenology (in particular, Merleau-Ponty) and by treating natural science facts as sensitizing concepts, not as sociological facts.
    Companies in search of the green consumer : Sustainable consumption and production strategies of companies and intermediary organizations in Thailand
    Thongplew, Natapol ; Spaargaren, Gert ; Koppen, C.S.A. van - \ 2017
    NJAS Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences 83 (2017). - ISSN 1573-5214 - p. 12 - 21.
    Consumer roles - CSR-strategies - Intermediary organizations - SCP-strategies of companies - Thailand

    Over the past two decades, Thailand, as an emerging economy, has developed sustainable consumption and production (SCP) policies and strategies to a considerable extent. While the first phase of SCP policy development has primarily focused on upstream actors and production processes, the second phase has extended company SCP policies and strategies to downstream actors and consumption processes. Through a desk study and interviews, we examine how appliance and dairy companies in Thailand have been involved in the shift from sustainable production to (also) sustainable consumption, from upstream to (also) downstream orientations, and from green supply to (also) green demand. Our analysis shows that carefully framing the role of citizen-consumers as change agents is required for the successful enrollment of Thai consumers in emerging markets for sustainable products and services. In making the shift towards consumers, companies can be assisted by so-called intermediary organizations that claim to hold specific knowledge on and access to Thai consumers.

    Institutionalizing environmental reform with sense-making: West and Central Africa ports and the ‘green port’ phenomenon
    Barnes Dabban, H. ; Tatenhove, J.P.M. van; Koppen, C.S.A. van; Termeer, C.J.A.M. - \ 2017
    Marine Policy 86 (2017). - ISSN 0308-597X - p. 111 - 120.
    Harmonizing economic activities with environmental considerations has emerged as a new globalizing phenomenon for ports. The phenomenon is labelled as ‘green port’. There is however no canonical way of turning green port into business reality. Some advanced ports have adapted it and African ports are also beginning to follow. The Freeport of Monrovia in West and Central Africa had its process of incorporating environmental considerations into its operational practices in an environmental reform labelled as ‘going green’, akin to the green port phenomenon. The process interrupted routinized port activities and behavior. Employees of Freeport of Monrovia and stakeholders could not foresee the meaning and consequences of such reform. The uncertainty triggered a process for employees and stakeholders to collectively make sense of and react to their new situation. This paper integrates Weick's sense-making properties with Weber and Glynn's institutional mechanisms affiliated to sense-making as a conceptual tool to analyze and understand the process by which meaning was assigned to Freeport of Monrovia's environmental reform and also how it became institutionalized. The analysis is based on hands-on empirical research on an environmental capacity strengthening project executed in 2013 in the Freeport of Monrovia as part of its institutional reform from a service port into landlord port. Findings bring to light the dynamic interplay of institutions and sense-making in the greening of Freeport of Monrovia.
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