Schwenke, Theresa (2019) Development of a social-ecological network under the influence of a network facilitator - implications for regional environmental governance. [Talk] In: University Alliance for Sustainability’s (UAS) fourth Spring Campus Conference. , 1 - 5 April 2019, Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany .

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The Bay of Babitonga is located in the south Brazilian federal state Santa Catarina. It encompasses an area of 6200ha (130km²) and six municipalities (Balneário Barra do Sul, São Francisco do Sul, Araquari, Joinville, Garuva and Itapoá). 80% of the mangroves of Santa Catarina and the most southern mangrove forests of Brazil are located within the region, which had been designated as one of the regions with high priority for protection, by the Brazilian government in 2007. Besides the ecological interest a diverse variety of interest groups, like industrial and artisanal fishers, construction industry, shipping industry, social and environmental non-governmental organizations, tourists and governmental organizations have a stake within the Bay of Babitonga. To cope with these manifold interests in the region an interactive governance approach had been proposed. By Kooiman et al.’s definition of interactive governance it includes the pool of all interactions involved, solving environmental problems and creating societal opportunities like the formulation and application of principles and taking care for institutions (Kooiman et al. 2005, p. 17). Within the context of social-ecological systems that necessarily needs to include social to social, ecological to ecological, as well as social to ecological interlinkages and each of those in both directions. In the aim to support an integrative, participatory governance process for the development of an ecosystem management plan, the social-ecological network (SEN) concerned by respective regulations within the Bay of Babitonga, had been examined. By the results of this study an exploratory approach is taken to discover human and non-human actors and their connections within a SEN and how this interactions influence regional environmental governance. The impact of a network facilitator on the development of the investigated SEN and its properties and therefor on the respective environmental governance processes is discussed in line with the implications of changes in SEN properties for environmental governance processes in general. In this study interactions are defined as any kind of contact between the actors, being either human or non-human. The different types of this contacts and, if given, their purpose where explored. To examine the development of the SEN over time the network was observed and analyzed for two periods in time, 1) 2013 to 2015, before a network facilitator was present and 2) 2015 to 2017 during the presence of a network facilitator. The outcomes of the analyses in form of different SENA images had been discussed with the most engaged and main actors of the network in the frame of a world café. Within this study different human and non-human network actors and their interlinkages to each other had been identified within the Bay of Baitonga. From time span 1) to time span 2) the number of nodes within the network rose from 93 to 108, the number of links from 709 to 852 and the density of the examined network from 0.05 to 0.06. Additionally the network acquired relevant network actors at the international level after the implementation of the network facilitator, which were not present at time span 1). The results of this study will be used as baseline to further observe the development of the SEN and the regional environmental governance processes in the Bay of Babitonga after the network facilitator stopped the massive mobilization effort. These future observations will provide further understanding of SEN dynamics over time and the effect of changes in network properties on environmental governance issues. By investigating the SEN in the Bay of Babitonga at least one more period of time, preferably 2017 to 2019, it becomes feasible to answer questions like ‘Do links that have been implemented by network facilitators outlast, when the network facilitator decrease its effort?’. Acquiring, sharing and further developing knowledge on SEN to support environmental governance might help to identify ways to handle our finite shared resources and the upcoming regional and global challenges in the Anthropocene.

Document Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Talk)
Research affiliation: Social Sciences > Social-Ecological Systems Analysis
Date Deposited: 21 Oct 2019 10:17
Last Modified: 01 Oct 2020 12:58

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