Spatial decision support systems - Exploring differences in pilot-testing with students vs. professionalsMer info
Computers, Environment and Urban Systems 2018, 72 : 204-211.
This study explores the implications of engaging students vs. professionals / stakeholders in pilot-testing of SDSS and discusses likely differences in terms of experiences and outcomes for the given pilot-test. To this end we use data collected during two pilot tests of a novel SDSS. The pilot-tests were done with two different groups; one made of thirteen doctoral students, while the other of twelve professionals / stakeholders. The pilot-test served to gather feedback on SDSS usability and other aspects of interest to the development team. Based on the outcomes obtained we develop an analytical framework meant to summarise key aspects impacting on how different (tester) profiles will engage during a pilot, and on feedback they provide. These key aspects include expertise, stage of life, and institutional context (ESI). This framework could offer some help to SDSS / DSS development teams in planning, organizing, and delivering pilot-test, and processing the assessments received.
An Investigation of the Role of Social Dynamics in Conversion to Sustainable Integrated Mangrove-Shrimp Farming ... Mer info
Singapore journal of tropical geography 2018, 39 (3): 421-437.
In the coastal area of the Vietnamese Mekong Delta, much of the mangrove forest has been cut to make space for expansion of industry and aquaculture. Export-oriented shrimp farming is a particularly fast-growing business. Nonetheless, the importance of tropical mangrove forest ecosystems for coastal protection and marine biodiversity is widely recognized. The Vietnamese government, supported by non-governmental organizations and donors, has sought to restore mangrove forest. To this end, the government has promoted mixed or integrated mangrove-shrimp systems in which farmers maintain at least 40 per cent of their area under mangrove cover. Since 2012, mangrove reforestation, care and protection has benefited from local authority stimulus as well. Multiple studies have examined the condition of the mangrove forest in Ben Tre and other coastal provinces of the Mekong Delta. However, no research has investigated the role of social dynamics in farmers' willingness to shift to, or maintain, integrated mangrove-shrimp systems. Specifically, the influence of information, group dynamics and social learning on farmer decision-making is poorly understood and, indeed, hardly investigated in Vietnam. This article reports on a study of social processes in three communes in Binh Dai District, Ben Tre Province, Vietnam. We conducted 42 semi-structured interviews (with 34 farmers and eight local officials) and used secondary data. Our preliminary findings indicate that social dynamics in these communes were issue-driven and played an important role in farmers' decisions to adopt, or convert to, the integrated mangrove-shrimp farming system. Television, radio, the internet, books, neighbours and training courses all had some influence in farmer decision-making processes. However, our findings suggest that the accessibility, usefulness, relevance and approach of these communication methods must be improved if they are to adequately inform and support local farmers.
: , 2018. (MOVIUM and SLU Urban Futures Workshop Report ; )
On the 25th January, 25 researchers, social entrepreneurs and policy makers attended a MOVIUM and SLU Urban Futures funded workshop on “Rethinking urban nature to promote human well-being and livelihoods”. The objectives of the workshop were to identify and discuss integrated digital, social and nature solutions for the use, management and governance of urban nature in the City of Malmö; and to provide a platform for knowledge sharing and networking between researchers and practitioners.Multiple enlightening presentations on how to plan, design and manage urban nature were provided by the cities of Malmö and Copenhagen, social entrepreneurs and academics. Each presentation guided a creative workshop activity that involved four groups creating an integrated solution using Lego and other materials to address the concerns of citizens presented in different scenarios relevant to the use and management of urban nature in Malmö. Each group was asked to present their presentation to the wider group, what inspired them the most from the workshop activity and how their understanding of integrated solutions in urban nature changed over the day. This report presents a summary of each group’s creations and findings.
Learning for social-ecological change - a qualitative review of outcomes across empirical literature in natural resource managementMer info
Journal of Environmental Planning and Management 2018, 61 (7): 1085-1112.
Learning is considered as a promising mechanism to cope with rapid environmental change. The implications of learning for natural resource management (NRM) have not been explored in-depth and the evidence on the topic is scattered across multiple sources. We provide a qualitative review of types of learning outcomes and consider their manifestations in NRM across selected empirical literature. We conducted a systematic search of the peer-reviewed literature (N = 1,223) and a qualitative meta-synthesis of included articles, with an explicit focus on learning outcomes and NRM changes (N = 53). Besides social learning, we found several learning concepts used, including policy and transformative learning, and multiple links between learning and NRM reported. We observe that the development of skills, together with a system approach involving multi-level capacities, is decisive for implications of learning for NRM. Future reviews could systematically compare how primary research applies different learning concepts and discusses links between learning and NRM changes.
Razvoj podeželja na območju predvidenega Krajinskega parka Dragonja - mnenje aktivnih prebivalcevMer info
Geografski vestnik - Geographical Bullentin 2017, 89 (1): 63-78.
The article presents the results of a research done in rural settlements located within the area of the prospective Dragonja Landscape Park. We analysed documents of local communities, undertook observation of a workshop, and interviewed ten local inhabitants in order to obtain information about local inhabitants’ awareness and their interest in being involved in rural development, and about their valuing of the environment and natural resources, and to gain insight into their expectations in the matters of quality of life. We have established that our respondents are entirely familiar with the past and current development programs and projects, that they are well aware of the importance the protection of natural and cultural heritage has for sustainable development, and that they want to participate actively in the future. With the help of our respondents, observation in the workshop, and analysis of the documents also the less promising aspects of development have been revealed. We found out that local participation was weak in the past, that those who were active are in the minority, and that changes depend on the collective efforts of individuals. Those living in the remote villages located in the area of the prospective Dragonja Landscape Park are few and mostly of advanced age. It seems that the younger ones have resigned themselves to being powerless, and therefore it is urgent, in order to foster their participation in local development, to increase their awareness and motivation and extend their education. We also can expect that the incoming young people will have an important role to play.
Knowledge synthesis for environmental decisions - an evaluation of existing methods, and guidance for their selection, use and development : a report from the EKLIPSE projectMer info
The social side of spatial decision support systems - Investigating knowledge integration and learningMer info
Environmental Science and Policy 2017, 76 : 177-184.
Abstract Spatial decision support systems (SDSS) represent a step forward in efforts to account for the spatial dimension in environmental decision-making. The aim of SDSS is to help policymakers and practitioners access, interpret and understand information from data, analyses and models, and guide them in identifying possible actions during a decision-making process. Researchers, however, report difficulties in up-take of SDSS by the intended users. Some suggest that this field would benefit from investigation of the social aspects involved in SDSS design, development, testing and use. Borrowing insights from the literature on science-policy interactions, we explore two key social processes: knowledge integration and learning. Using a sample of 36 scientific papers concerning SDSS in relation to environmental issues, we surveyed whether and how the selected papers reported on knowledge integration and learning. We found that while many of the papers mentioned communication and collaboration with prospective user groups or stakeholders, this was seldom underpinned by a coherent methodology for enabling knowledge integration and learning to surface. This appears to have hindered SDSS development and later adoption by intended users.
A social marketing perspective on road freight transportation of fresh fruits and vegetables - a Slovene caseMer info
Ekonomska Istrazivanja 2017, 30 (1): 1132-1151.
With the large increase in transportation over the last decades and the associated negative impacts upon the environment and society, a more sustainable use of transport is a crucial policy issue. This analysis focuses on road freight transport of selected produce (carrots, cabbage, apples and pears) with the aim to appraise the sustainability of road freight transport of these for the Slovene market. To this end, we take into account self-sufficiency, import and export features, transport needs, produce origin and prices differences between domestic and non-domestic produce. The method used for obtaining transported quantities, exported from and imported to the county, was material flow accounts (MFA). Then we undertook an analysis of sustainability of road transport of produce where we considered the country's transport needs. The study finds that road freight transport for selected produce is not sustainable. Recognising the normative dimensions of sustainability, the role of social marketing in this context is explored and suggestions on how to promote more sustainable transport solutions advanced.
Testing the ecosystem service cascade framework and QUICKScan software tool in the context of land use planning ... Mer info
International Journal of Biodiversity Science, Ecosystem Services & Management 2017, 13 (2): 12-25.
The concept of ecosystem services has been extensively studied in recent decades. Most studies have focused on describing the specific aspects such as production, spatial extent, valuation of services and the trade-off between services. Few studies however assess the practitioners? views on the frameworks, models or tools developed. In this paper, we report on a multi-stakeholder workshop where two tools were tested (i) the ecosystem service cascade framework was tested as a means to frame the issues and (ii) a participatory-spatial modelling method, QUICKScan, was tested as an aid to support discussion over natural resource management and planning in a multi-use landscape. A focused group discussion was utilised to determine stakeholders? views of the cascade framework and pre- and post-workshop questionnaires quantified the stakeholders? views of the QUICKScan method. The stakeholders identified both positive and negative aspects of both tools. The diversity of views expressed were associated with (i) the past experience of the individual with the issues discussed, (ii) the technical aspects of the tools i.e. the ability with GIS and (iii) the level of new shared knowledge they reported acquiring on the day which was related to their initial knowledge of the issue and area studied.
Developing Environmental NGO Power for Domestic Battles in a Multilevel Context - Lessons from a Slovenian caseMer info
Environmental Policy and Governance 2017, 27 (3): 244-255.
Many have discussed the crucial role that environmental nongovernmental organizations (ENGOs) have played in the implementation of nature protection policies across European member states. However, there are important differences in the opportunity structures among new and old member states that influence how ENGOs can act and undertake activities. This article seeks to clarify the role of ENGO capacity building within the context of multilevel environmental governance and focuses on a case in which Slovene ENGOs mobilized against the siting of 80 windmills in a natural area suggested for protection under the EU Birds and Habitats Directive. The dispute involved ENGOs seeking to pursue nature protection objectives against state authorities who prioritized green energy infrastructural development. The article analyses the mobilization strategies pursued and the combination of material, cognitive, social and symbolic resources used. The results suggest that these resources had to be mobilized and organized along both horizontal (domestic) and vertical (international) axes, and that this combination appears key in advancing an environmental protection agenda.
Crossing disciplinary boundaries in environmental research - Interdisciplinary engagement across the Slovene research communityMer info
Science of the Total Environment 2017, 574 : 1492-1501.
Contemporary approaches to environmental research are calling for a type of scientific inquiry that is able to bring together the natural and social sciences. This with the aim to advance our understanding of environmental issues and produce synthetic and actionable knowledge meant to address these. Yet, interdisciplinarity research of this type is a demanding and challenging pursuit; many have shown that in certain thematic areas and geographic regions practice falls behind discourse. We bring together ideas about interdisciplinary research collaborations (after Patricia L. Rosenfield) and interdisciplinary epistemic synthesis (after Julie T. Klein) that are used to analyse a sample of research projects funded (from 2006 to 2013) by the Slovene Research Agency. We triangulated interview data (with principal investigators) with document analysis and integrated these with other secondary data. Our results suggest for the sample of environmental projects to be interdisciplinary in a narrow sense, this prevalently within natural and life sciences with little input from the humanities and social sciences. Also, the results obtained suggest that environmental research with unambiguous problem solving objectives is preferred over research with a high degree of abstraction, as involved in theoretical and conceptual work.
Public Private Partnerships for the Governance and Management of Ecosystem Services - Exploring Current Challenges and Potentials of Common-Pool ResourceMer info
Ljubljana : , 2016. ( ; )
On the use of databases about research performance - comments on Karlovčec and Mladenić (2015) and others using the SICRIS databaseMer info
Scientometrics 2016, 109 (3): 2151-2157.
The accuracy of interdisciplinarity measurements depends on how well the data is used for this purpose and whether it can meaningfully inform about work that crosses disciplinary domains. At present, there are no ad hoc databases compiling information only and exclusively about interdisciplinary research, and those interested in assessing it have to reach out to existing databases that have been compiled for other purposes. Karlovčec and Mladenić (Scientometrics 102:433–454, 2015) saw an opportunity in a national database that brings together information meant to be used for assessing the scientific performance of the Slovene academic community, which they used to obtain information that was then applied to measure interdisciplinarity. However, the context and purpose for which databases are produced have certain implications on their use. In their study, the authors overlooked the social and political context within which that specific database was created, is maintained and is used for (evaluation of research performance). This resulted in an incomplete interpretation of the results obtained and description of the current situation. This commentary addresses two aspects that warrant further consideration: one pertains to the limitations of the dataset itself and the measures used to debunk these, while the second pertains to the line of reasoning behind the integration and use of IDR measures in this study.
Environmental Science and Policy 2016, 55 : 116-126.
Social learning studies emerged as part of the ecological economics research agenda rather recently. Questions of how human societies and organisations learn and transition on the basis of environmental knowledge relate to the core ideas of ecological economics with its pluralistic understanding of human behaviour in contrast to the limited focus on incentive-driven behaviour. Our study analyses the emergence and thematic foci of social learning studies within ecological economics over the past 15 years. We selected and analysed 54 articles published after peer review in established journals adhering to the epistemological tradition of ecological economics. This study is guided by the interest in how social learning is conceptualised, how this research is positioned in terms of process dynamics, causal factors and outcomes of learning. Results show, that the number of related papers grew substantially in recent years. Also the role of formal or informal institutions has been found to be a strong causal factor for social learning and change processes vis-à-vis technological, economic or political factors. In addition, there is a growing awareness of social learning processes in various environmental policy fields such as biodiversity governance, water and land management, fisheries, and climate adaptation. We conclude that these insights can give new impulses to research on socio-ecological transition and to the related debate on societal change and transformation processes as core topics for ecological economics.
Environmental governance in an increasingly complex world - An Interdisciplinary Exchange on Adaptation, Collaborative Learning and Knowledge IntegrationMer info
: , 2015. ( ; )
The purpose of this event was to bring together scholars and practitioners in order to create opportunities for an exchange of ideas, methodologies and experience. Participants with expertise in different areas i.e., adaptation research, resource management, policy studies, and adult learning, were invited to share latest research outcomes and engage in a collaborative reflection around the challenges of environmental governance in an increasingly complex world. Adaptation, collaborative learning and knowledge integration were the topics on which the event has focused.
Environmental non-governmental organizations and transnational collaboration - The Baltic Sea and Adriatic-Ionian Sea regionsMer info
Environmental Politics 2015, 24 (5): 762-787.
Previous studies of environmental non-governmental organizations (ENGO) have primarily taken place within a nation-state perspective without considering multiple levels of politics and governance. Because environmental problems are usually cross-border phenomena, environmental movements must develop transnational features to play constructive roles in politics and governance. This study contributes to the theorizing and study of transnationalization of ENGOs by illuminating the different regional conditions for this process. The conditions for ENGOs to develop transnational collaboration are explored by comparing ENGOs from six countries in two macro-regions: Sweden, Germany, and Poland in the Baltic Sea region, and Italy, Slovenia, and Croatia in the Adriatic-Ionian Sea region. Grounded in the literatures on social movement theory and ENGO transnationalization, the study identifies how different national, macro-regional, and European institutional structures shape the conditions under which ENGOs develop cross-border collaborations, and demonstrate the importance of long-term and dynamic interplay between processes that occur at the domestic and transnational levels.
NJAS - Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences 2014, 69 : 1-3.
A common thread throughout this special issue is that sustainability is not a destiny one can eventually reach, but rather a continuous learning path towards transformation that should be profound (e.g. affecting moral standards and value systems), transversal (e.g. requiring the involvement of individuals, groups and collectives) and counter-hegemonic (e.g. requiring the exposure and questioning of stubborn routines). From such a vantage point debates about sustainability likely require transdisciplinarity to transcend a singular disciplinary view-point and to allow for the consideration of different perspectives and types of knowledge. The aim of this special issue is to assess the added-value of a social learning perspective on research and action from at least three different 'disciplinary' perspectives: systems innovation, natural resource management, and environmental education. Each of these offers a particular perspective on learning, change processes and evolving understandings of sustainable practices.
In: Facing an unequal world. Yokohama : .
Most environmental problems are extremely long term and have cross-border implications. For environmental non-governmental organizations (ENGOs) to achieve significant impact on environmental governance cross-border and sustained activities are required. The purpose of the paper is to identify key barriers and possible pathways to develop sustained and transnationalenvironmental activism among ENGOs operating in strikingly different political contexts. Our analysis is based on qualitative methodology and empirical analyses of ENGOs in six countries (Sweden, Germany, Poland, Italy, Slovenia and Croatia) and two regional contexts, the Baltic Sea and the Adriatic Sea regions. The study is based on document analyses and semi-structured interviews with representatives from 4-6 key ENGOs in each country. The theoretical framework departs primarily from social movement theory.The paper reveals intriguing similarities and differences between the countries regarding ENGOs' abilities to develop sustained and cross-border activism. We pay particular attention to differences in opportunity structures for resource mobilization. The last decades, the European Union (EU) has emerged as a key opportunity structure that in various ways facilitate cross-border collaboration and capacity building among ENGOs, particularly in Central and Eastern European (CEE) Countries. However, the EU also considerably shapes the conditions for ENGOs to set independent long-term agendas. With the exception of Germany and Sweden, ENGOs rely heavily on their ability to develop a "project mind-set", which in turn requires fund-raising skills and procedures. Also ENGOs in Germany and Sweden make use of public grants. However, the fact that they historically have been able to mobilize huge number of members/supporters –which is still extremely difficult particularly in post-communist countries - have profound implications for abilities to develop transnational and sustained environmental activism. We discuss the role of (dis)trust (institutional vs. family-based trust), political culture and historical legacies to analyze these remarkably different conditions for resource mobilization.
Issues and opportunities with participatory governance for the management of marine resources in the Adriatic Sea Mer info
In: . : .
Background: The marine natural environment is under high pressure. Not only are marine resources as flora and fauna intensively used (with consequent decrease of stocks) but in recent times, the seas have become the next frontier of a specific type of anthropization (i.e. the conversion of open space by human action) that of energy infrastructure. While this is a current process and, within the European Union, only recently policy actions have been taken in order facilitate a more coherent coordination of interventions (Marine Strategy), little research has been done about formal and informal institutional arrangements already existing between the many stakeholders who have specific stakes in the Adriatic Sea.The North Adriatic Sea is an area characterised by a history of (between state) conflicts and tensions that impacted on the development of collaborative arrangement for the management of the marine environment. Of interest to this research, therefore, was to map out formal and informal institutional arrangements currently in place between stakeholders from Italy, Slovenia and Croatia - countries with coastal access to the North Adriatic Sea. Also, of an interest was to understand if, and how, participatory practices are being used in relation to decision-making and management of the marine natural environment ( in particular siting of an energy infrastructure).Methods: In this case study we used interviews, archive material, policy documents and other secondary data (statistics, official documents) for the analysis.Findings: The preliminary analysis of our data suggests that the North Adriatic Sea is a highly politicized area over which different stakeholders advance claims but engage in little, or no cooperation. Marine resources appear to be under high pressure and in the following months we will continue the exploration into the institutional arrangements.
Social Learning, Natural Resource Management, and Participatory Activities - A reflection on construct development and testingMer info
NJAS - Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences 2014, 69 (6): 15-22.
This analysis reflects on the use of multidimensional constructs for the study of social learning in natural resource management. Insight from deliberative democracy and adult learning literature are used to ground the identified four dimensions (the moral dimension the cognitive dimension, the relational dimension and trust). Then, a selection of empirical cases is surveyed with the aim to develop and understanding how well the empirical outcomes reported by these sit against the insights borrowed from the deliberative democracy and pedagogy literature. The paper concludes with some recommendations for future research.
Environmental Non-Governmental Organizations and Transnational Collaboration in Two Regional Contexts - The Baltic Sea and Adriatic Sea RegionMer info