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Can scenario-planning support community-based natural resource management? Experiences from three countries in Latin America

Kerry A Waylen, Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences Group, The James Hutton Institute
Julia Martin-Ortega, Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences Group, The James Hutton Institute; Sustainability Research Institute, School of Earth and the Environment and water@leeds, University of Leeds
Kirsty L Blackstock, Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences Group, The James Hutton Institute
Iain Brown, Information and Computational Sciences Group, The James Hutton Institute
Bryan E. Avendaño Uribe, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana. School of environmental and rural studies. Department of Rural development
Saúl Basurto Hernández, Faculty of Economics, National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM); Department of Economics, University of Birmingham, UK.
María Belén Bertoni, Departamento de Antropología, Universidad de Buenos Aires
M. Lujan Bustos, Instituto Argentino de Oceanografía - CONICET; Departamento de Geografía y Turismo, Universidad Nacional del Sur
Alejandra Xóchitl Cruz Bayer, Faculty of Economics, National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM)
Roberto Ivan Escalante Semerena, Faculty of Economics, National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM)
Maria Adelaida Farah Quijano, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana-Faculty of Environmental and Rural Studies
Federico Ferrelli, Instituto Argentino de Oceanografía. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (IADO-CONICET); Universidad Nacional del Sur. Departamento de Geografía y Turismo
Guillermo Luis Fidalgo, Fundación Aquamarina, Pinamar
Israel Hernández López, Estudios Rurales y Asesoría Campesina (ERA)
María Andrea Huamantinco Cisneros, Instituto Argentino de Oceanografía - CONICET
Silvia London, Departamento de Economía, Universidad Nacional del Sur; Instituto de Investigaciones Económicas y Sociales del Sur
Diana L. Maya Vélez, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana
Natalia Ocampo-Díaz, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana
Cesar E. Ortiz-Guerrero, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana
Juan Carlos Pascale, Departamento de Geografía y Turismo, Universidad Nacional del Sur
Gerardo M. E. Perillo, Instituto Argentino de Oceanografía - CONICET, Camino a la Carrindanga km 7, B8000BFW Bahía Blanca, Argentina; Departamento de Geología, Universidad Nacional del Sur, San Juan 670, B8000ICN Bahía Blanca, Argentina
M. Cintia Piccolo, Instituto Argentino de Oceanografía - CONICET; Departamento de Geografía y Turismo, Universidad Nacional del Sur
Lina N. Pinzón Martínez, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana
Mara L. Rojas, Departamento de Economía, Universidad Nacional del Sur; Instituto de Investigaciones Económicas y Sociales del Sur
Facundo Scordo, Instituto Argentino de Oceanografía - CONICET; Departamento de Geografía y Turismo - Universidad Nacional del Sur
Valeria Vitale, Fundación Aquamarina, Pinamar; Departamento de Economía, Universidad Nacional del Sur
Mariana I Zilio, Instituto de Investigaciones Económicas y Sociales del Sur (CONICET-UNS); Departamento de Economía, Universidad Nacional del Sur.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5751/ES-07926-200428

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Abstract

Community-based natural resource management (CBNRM) is a concept critical to managing social-ecological systems but whose implementation needs strengthening. Scenario planning is one approach that may offer benefits relevant to CBNRM but whose potential is not yet well understood. Therefore, we designed, trialed, and evaluated a scenario-planning method intended to support CBNRM in three cases, located in Colombia, Mexico, and Argentina. Implementing scenario planning was judged as worthwhile in all three cases, although aspects of it were challenging to facilitate. The benefits generated were relevant to strengthening CBNRM: encouraging the participation of local people and using their knowledge, enhanced consideration of and adaptation to future change, and supporting the development of systems thinking. Tracing exactly when and how these benefits arose was challenging, but two elements of the method seemed particularly useful. First, using a systematic approach to discuss how drivers of change may affect local social-ecological systems helped to foster systems thinking and identify connections between issues. Second, explicitly focusing on how to use and respond to scenarios helped identify specific practical activities, or “response options,” that would support CBNRM despite the pressures of future change. Discussions about response options also highlighted the need for support by other actors, e.g., policy groups: this raised the question of when and how other actors and other sources of knowledge should be involved in scenario planning, so as to encourage their buy-in to actions identified by the process. We suggest that other CBNRM initiatives may benefit from adapting and applying scenario planning. However, these initiatives should be carefully monitored because further research is required to understand how and when scenario-planning methods may produce benefits, as well as their strengths and weaknesses versus other methods.

Key words

Argentina; climate change; Colombia; community-based conservation; futures thinking; Mexico; participation; scenario methods; wicked problems

Copyright © 2015 by the author(s). Published here under license by The Resilience Alliance. This article  is under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.  You may share and adapt the work for noncommercial purposes provided the original author and source are credited, you indicate whether any changes were made, and you include a link to the license.

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