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SCALETOOL IntroductionDriversBiodiversityPolicies and managementConnectivity and protected areas
SCALES and governance Green Infrastructure Site selections Management of network of protected areas Biodiversity monitoring and EU policy Ecological Fiscal Transfers Links to key nature conservation policy instruments
 

Theory of SCALES and governance

Here we provide a short outline of scale-related challenges that new governance processes create for biodiversity governance. This outline serves as background for the cases illustrated in this module on Policy and management.
Complex and non-linear accumulation of environmental problems aggravate the governance challenges that arise on the various scales of any social-ecological systems, together with the difficulty in designing institutions for incentives or control with the aim of responding to the multiple interests and motivations. In line, the modes of biodiversity governance are to develop. Increasingly governance takes place through networks with no single centre but many, complementary and competing, centres: While new governance processes combine administrative arrangement with features of markets, innovative forms of mixed public-private regulation and exclusively private regulation are emerging. In addition, new governance arrangements are assumed to be multi-jurisdictional, with an increasing range of stakeholders participating in them.

Currently, biodiversity governance faces numerous challenges. The policy prescriptions for governing biodiversity are claimed to lack generalisability as well as applicability and effectiveness. This criticism has been made also with references to medical prescriptions and to carbon-accounting-based climate-change policies. As a consequence, significant effort has been put into aggregating understanding of specific conservation measures and subsequent development of diagnosis and prescription. The demands for precision are in contrast with the general acknowledgement of the fact that governance of biodiversity must deal with multiple scales and their interactions as well as the inherent complexity of scales of biodiversity. As a general policy target, biodiversity conservation is difficult to tackle by specific policy instruments in isolation because biodiversity and its preconditions are complex and vary across time and space. Instead of focusing on the effectiveness of particular policies, conservation success might depend on alertness and ability to adapt with the emergence of new knowledge about biodiversity and its dependence on social-ecological changes.

Together, these knowledge and governance challenges demonstrate the importance of scale in analysis of policies and governance as well as their targeting and development. On one hand, governance mechanisms and policy instruments should better match with the ecological processes they are intended to address. On the other hand, they should contribute to recognition of various scales and cross-scale interactions as well as policies addressing them and making them easier to deal with.


In these SCALESTOOL pages, we trace out responses to scales related challenges and draw lines for further policy development by describing the following few cases: green infrastructure (regional connectivity), systematic site-selection, management of protected areas, monitoring and financing (marked with green boxes in the policy cycle in Figure 1 above). Each of these aspects faces specific scale challenges, calling for different responses and ideas to develop policies more scale-sensitive.

References

Bevir M. (2011). Handbook of governance. SAGE, London.

Black, J. (2008) Constructing and contesting legitimacy and accountability in polycentric regulatory regimes' Regulation & Governance 2: 137-164.

Cash W., Adger W, Berkes F, Garden P, Lebel L, Olsson P, Pritchard L, Young O (2006) Scale and cross-scale dynamics: governance and information in a multilevel world. Ecology and Society 11(2): 8. Online: http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol11/iss2/art8/

Folke C, Pritchard L Jr, Berkes F, Colding J, Svedin U (2007) The problem of fit between ecosystems and institutions: ten years later. Ecology and Society 12(1):30. Online: http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol12/iss1/art30/

Ring, I., May, P., Loureiro, W., Santos, R., Antunes, P., Clemente, C. (2011) Ecological fiscal transfers. In Irene Ring and Christoph Schröter-Schlaack (ed.) Instrument Mixes for Biodiversity Policies, POLICYMIX Report No. 2/2011. Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ, Leipzig, pp. 98-118.

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