Forces opposing sustainability transformations: institutionalization of ecosystem-based approaches to fisheries management
Matt P Fortnam, Geography, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter
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Moving toward new ways of governing ecosystems in varied contexts worldwide is likely to be a critical part of achieving the global Sustainable Development Goals, yet understanding of the tensions between forces driving and opposing such sustainability transformations is very limited. Here, I shed light on this critical research and policy domain by applying participatory actor and influence mapping (Net-Map) and innovation histories methods to understand the power relations and social processes involved in enabling and blocking the institutionalization of an ecosystem approach to fisheries management (EAFM) in the Philippines. Drawing upon a case study of an intermunicipal alliance in Lanuza Bay, the results highlight how challenges such as vested and divergent interests, corruption, weak coordination between levels of government, and the particular contingencies of place conspire to weaken and undermine initial EAFM successes. I conclude that agents of resistance, the role of power and agency, and socio-political realities need to be central to resilience conceptualizations of sustainability transformations.
institutionalization; power and politics; small-scale fisheries; transformations
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