Sustaining urban ecosystem services with local stewards participation in Stockholm (Sweden)


  • S. Barthel


Urban ecosystems are becoming increasingly important as nodes of interaction between humans and nature. Sustainable management of urban ecosystems is therefore a crucial issue that needs to be analysed. The aim of this paper is to explore if adaptive co-management may be a viable approach for managing ecosystem resilience of a biodiversity-rich urban landscape in Stockholm, called the National Urban Park. Adaptive co-management is an integrative and place-specific approach that focuses on creating functional feedback loops between social and ecological systems. A social-ecological inventory based on multiple forms of qualitative data reveals that there are twenty-four local steward associations linked to ecosystem services, like air filtration, recreation, pollination, seed dispersal, delivered to the cityscape of Stockholm. They operate under diverse property-right regimes. Local actor groups in the park also alter biotopes and associated ecosystem services. Their specific management practices sustain diversity of culturally transformed biotopes on a landscape level and seem to be one contributing factor for the rich species diversity currently found in the park. Inclusion of local actors, in the unique cultural landscape in Stockholm, in an integrative co-management programme may strengthen biological-diversity management, reducing overall cost of management and promote joint learning of how to adapt to unpredictability and change. Complementing the local stewards with actor groups active outside the administrative borders of the National Urban Park together with scientists and authorities in an adaptive comanagement regime is suggested as a way to sustain the resilience of the National Urban Park as a biodiversity-rich social-ecological system