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Monitoring the Governance Dimension of Natural Resource Co-management

Georgina Cundill, Rhodes University, South Africa; Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research, South Africa
Christo Fabricius, Rhodes University, South Africa


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The governance outcomes of natural resource co-management have been neither systematically monitored nor rigorously assessed. We identified system attributes and key variables that could form the basis for monitoring the governance dimension of adaptive co-management. A methodology for collaboratively monitoring these system attributes and key variables was tested in four localities in South Africa. Our results suggest that creating the conditions that facilitate self-organization, and particularly cross-scale institutional linkages, is the major challenge facing attempts to initiate adaptive co-management. Factors requiring greater attention include community perceptions of support from outside agencies, access to long-term funding for adaptive decision making, and access to reliable information about changes in natural resources and legal options for the formation of decision-making bodies. Long-term and well-funded social facilitation is key to achieving this.

Key words

adaptive capacity; adaptive co-management; governance; monitoring; self-organization; social capital
Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087