Conceptualizing, analyzing, and supporting stewardship: examining the role of civil society in environmental governance
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Ecology and Society
How can we better understand, recognize, and support the role of local civic groups in environmental governance? Natural resource management often begins with a perspective that focuses on public authorities' formal jurisdictions and properties, e.g., federal, state, and local agencies, as well as private property owners and the parcels they manage. Through research focused on adaptation and collaboration in governance, environmental governance is recognized to be composed of collaborative arrangements and polycentric networks of actors working across sectors and scales (Dietz et al. 2003, Folke et al. 2005, Sabatier et al. 2005, Koontz and Thomas 2006, Ostrom 2010, Connolly et al. 2013; see also Davies 2011). At the local level, greater attention is needed on the role of formal and informal civic actors in these networks, not only as property owners or land managers, but as stewards who engage in acts of caretaking and claims-making across public and private lands (Barthel et al. 2005, Andersson et al. 2014). Recognition of the role local stewards play in urban environmental governance (Colding et al. 2006) emerged from the concept of adaptive comanagement (Olsson et al. 2004, Berkes 2009), advanced as part of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment.
Keywordsenvironmental stewardship; governance; social-ecological systems
Johnson, Michelle L.; Campbell, Lindsay K.; Svendsen, Erika S. 2020. Conceptualizing, analyzing, and supporting stewardship: examining the role of civil society in environmental governance. Ecology and Society. 25(4): Art. 14. 4 p. https://doi.org/10.5751/ES-11970-250414.