Stakeholder participation and sustainable fisheries: an integrative framework for assessing adaptive comanagement processes.


Adaptive comanagement (ACM) has been suggested as the way to successfully achieve sustainable environmental governance. Despite excellent research, the field still suffers from underdeveloped frameworks of causality. To address this issue, we suggest a framework that integrates the structural frame of Plummer and Fitzgibbons’ "adaptive comanagement” with the specific process characteristics of Senecah’s "Trinity of Voice.” The resulting conceptual hybrid is used to guide the comparison of two cases of stakeholder participation in fisheries management—the Swedish Co-management Initiative and the Polish Fisheries Roundtable. We examine how different components of preconditions and the process led to the observed outcomes. The analysis shows that despite the different cultural and ecological contexts, the cases developed similar results. Triggered by a crisis, the participating stakeholders were successful in developing trust and better communication and enhanced learning. This can be traced back to a combination of respected leadership, skilled mediation, and a strong focus on deliberative approaches and the creation of respectful dialogue. We also discuss the difficulties of integrating outcomes of the work of such initiatives into the actual decision-making process. Finally, we specify the lessons learned for the cases and the benefits of applying our integrated framework.

Keywords: adaptive comanagement; fisheries; fisheries governance; learning; participation; stakeholder dialogue; Trinity of Voice

Citation: Stöhr, C., C. Lundholm, B. Crona and I. Chabay 2014 Ecology & Society 19 (3):14.

Stakeholder participation and sustainable fisheries: an integrative framework for assessing adaptive comanagement processes.

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