Frames of Scale Challenges in Finnish and Greek Biodiversity Conservation
Evangelia Apostolopoulou, Department of Ecology, School of Biology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Riikka Paloniemi, Environmental Policy Centre, Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE)
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Global conservation expansion has been associated with significant changes in cross-scale interactions and in the discourses surrounding them engendering new scale challenges in the field of biodiversity conservation. In this paper, we analyze frames of scale challenges by drawing on evidence from eight focus groups of stakeholders and scientists from Greece and Finland. By following a systematic frame analysis we found three dominant frames. First, framing scale challenges as mainly derived from knowledge gaps regarding ecological scale emphasizes the scale problems occurring when only limited consideration is given to the scale-dependence of ecological phenomena. This prioritizes the formulation of scientifically informed conservation policies, discounting the importance of governance by concentrating on specialized environmental administrations. Second, framing scale challenges as stemming from limited fit highlights the scale problems caused by discrepancies in the alignment of natural and social scales and underlines the need to optimize the match between ecological and governance levels with more or less fixed boundaries. Third, framing scale challenges as primarily derived from inequalities in existing power relationships and learning processes emphasizes scale problems resulting when the dominant perception of scale is seen as a neutral, technical issue. This calls for investigations focused explicitly on how conservation scaling contributes to the production of new social-ecological entities in space and time. Dialogues between aspects of the different frames offer a potential path toward deliberative learning aimed at resolving current contradictions in the spatial patterning of human-environment interactions produced by biodiversity conservation.
biodiversity governance; conservation areas; fit; frames; learning; mismatch; power; scale