Table 1. A review of the literature on skills involved in successful ecosystem stewardship.

Strategies and methods Description References
1) Facilitating knowledge building and utilization Building/enhancing knowledge of the ecological resources. Crona and Bodin 2006, Bodin and Crona 2008
Generate and integrate a diversity of ideas, viewpoints, and solutions. Imperial and Kauneckis 2003, Marton-Lefèvre and Mehers 2007, Westley and Vredenburg 1997
Promote and steward experimentation at smaller scales (cf. active adaptive management). Westley 2001, Olsson et al. 2006, Gunderson and Light 2006
Catalyze community awareness and social learning. Stephenson 2010
Conduct research, spread alternative ideas and knowledge
 
Font and Subirats 2010, Huitema and Meijerink 2010
 
2) Vision building Provide a common vision that attracts a diversity of supporters upon which all can agree. Westley and Mintzberg 1989, Folke et al. 2003, Olsson et al. 2004, Olsson et al. 2007, Biggs et al. 2010
Creating new “social imaginaries” / create community cohesion accross a set of macro level shared aspirations.
 
Stephenson 2010
 
3) Developing social networks Bridge different and similar actors and stakeholders across and within organizational hierarchies and types. This could be divided into three subcategories:
• Bonding, i.e., link with similar others. For example, establish local fishing organizations, knowledge exchange among local villagers, etc.
• Bridging, i.e., bring together similar and/or different groups to create momentum, gain support, and to react to various challenges. This could be called horizontal linking.
• Linking, i.e., communicate and engage with key individuals in different sectors, and to link across scales.
Westley and Vredenburg 1997, Woolcock and Narayan 2000, Olsson et al. 2004, Ernstson 2008, Olsson et al 2006, 2007, Manring 2007, Biggs et al. 2010
Create and protect safe spaces for interaction.
Seek ways to bring all parties to respect the perspectives of all sides. Stephenson 2010
Create opportunities for stakeholder involvement in management and research. Franzen et al. 2011
Building multiactor and multilayered coalitions with a borad range of social organizations.
 
Font and Subirats 2010, Huitema and Meijerink 2010, Meijerink and Huitema 2010
 
4) Building trust, legitimacy, and social capital Developing networks (bonding/bridging/linking social capital). Hahn et al. 2006, Fell 2008, Bodin and Crona 2008, Biggs et al. 2010
Recognition of management initiatives by formal authorities. cf. Ostrom 1990
Building consensus on rule compliance and representing stakeholder heterogeneity. Stephenson 2010
Mediating between organizations and the broader ‘public.’
 
5) Facilitating / developing (social) innovations Identification and introduction of new alternatives, processes, products, and options, and of new ways to conduct businesses. Westley et al. 2006, Westley 1990, Bodin and Crona 2008
Fostering knowledge building and innovations by bringing together different kinds of thinking.
 
Huitema and Meijerink 2010
6) Preparation, mobilization for change Prepare the system to be able to effectively take advantage of forthcoming opportunities for change (windows of opportunity), including:
• raising awareness of a resource challenge
• leveraging limited resources and find new sources of funding
• building vertical social capital to influence policy decisions
• linking innovative ideas to resource opportunities (“management up-down”)
 
Bainbridge et al. 2000, Danter et al. 2000, Olsson et al. 2004, 2006, 2008, Westley et al. 2006, Gunderson and Light 2006, Pahl-Wostl 2007
7) Recognize or create and seize windows of opportunity Timing when to connect and mobilize others, i.e. creating the right links at the right time around the right issues. Westley 2002, Olsson et al. 2004, 2006, 2008, Gunderson and Light 2006
Willingness to take risks and convince others to take risks. Huitema and Meijerink 2010
Venue shopping: pitching right idea to right organization.
 
Font and Subirats 2010, Meijerink and Huitema 2010, Wilder 2010
 
8) Identifying and communicating opportunities for “small wins”? Ability and capacity to identify (often small) projects upon which actors involved can agree. Ostrom 1990, Hahn et al 2006, Wondolleck and Yaffee 2000
Reconceptualize issues. Able to take a whole system perspective, find leverage points in system.
9) Facilitate conflict resolution and negotiations Imperial and Kauneckis 2003, Hahn et al 2006, Westley 2002
Fair and low cost conflict resolution. Sudtongkong and Webb 2008