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Assessing Management Regimes in Transboundary River Basins: Do They Support Adaptive Management?

G.T. (Tom) Raadgever, Centre for River Basin Administration, Delft University of Technology
Erik Mostert, Centre for River Basin Administration, Delft University of Technology
Nicole Kranz, Ecologic - Institute for International and European Environmental Policy
Eduard Interwies, InterSus - Sustainability Services
Jos G. Timmerman, RWS Centre for Water Management

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Abstract

River basin management is faced with complex problems that are characterized by uncertainty and change. In transboundary river basins, historical, legal, and cultural differences add to the complexity. The literature on adaptive management gives several suggestions for handling this complexity. It recognizes the importance of management regimes as enabling or limiting adaptive management, but there is no comprehensive overview of regime features that support adaptive management. This paper presents such an overview, focused on transboundary river basin management. It inventories the features that have been claimed to be central to effective transboundary river basin management and refines them using adaptive management literature. It then collates these features into a framework describing actor networks, policy processes, information management, and legal and financial aspects. Subsequently, this framework is applied to the Orange and Rhine basins. The paper concludes that the framework provides a consistent and comprehensive perspective on transboundary river basin management regimes, and can be used for assessing their capacity to support adaptive management.

Key words

Adaptive management; management regime; Orange; Rhine; river basin; transboundary
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Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087