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Creating an Adaptive Ecosystem Management Network Among Stakeholders of the Lower Roanoke River, North Carolina, USA

Susan L. Manring, Elon University
Sam Pearsall, The Nature Conservancy


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Adaptive ecosystem management (AEM) requires building and managing an interorganizational network of stakeholders to conserve ecosystem integrity while sustaining ecosystem services. This paper demonstrates the usefulness of applying the concepts of interorganizational networks and learning organizations to AEM. A case study of the lower Roanoke River in North Carolina illustrates how an AEM network can evolve to guide stakeholders in creating a shared framework for generative learning, consensus building through collaboration, and decision making. Environmental professionals can use this framework to guide institutional arrangements and to coordinate the systematic development of cohesive interorganizational AEM networks.

Key words

adaptive ecosystem management; stakeholder networks; virtual organizations; learning organizations; negotiations; multivariate decision making; institutional power; leadership
Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087