Ecology and Society Ecology and Society
E&S Home > Vol. 21, Iss. 1 > Art. 28 > Abstract Open Access Publishing 
How to build science-action partnerships for local land-use planning and management: lessons from Durban, South Africa

Jessica Cockburn, School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal; Department of Environmental Science, Rhodes University
Mathieu Rouget, School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal
Rob Slotow, School of Life Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal; Department of Genetics, Evolution, and Environment, University College, London
Debra Roberts, Environmental Planning and Climate Protection Department, eThekwini Municipality; School of Life Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal
Richard Boon, Environmental Planning and Climate Protection Department, eThekwini Municipality; School of Life Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal
Errol Douwes, Environmental Planning and Climate Protection Department, eThekwini Municipality; School of Life Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal
Sean O'Donoghue, Environmental Planning and Climate Protection Department, eThekwini Municipality; School of Life Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal
Colleen T. Downs, School of Life Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal
Shomen Mukherjee, School of Life Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal; School of Liberal Studies, Azim Premji University, Bengaluru, India
Walter Musakwa, School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal; Department of Town and Regional Planning, Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, University of Johannesburg
Onisimo Mutanga, School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal
Tarombera Mwabvu, School of Life Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal
John Odindi, School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal
Alfred Odindo, School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal
Şerban Procheş, School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal
Syd Ramdhani, School of Life Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal
Jayanti Ray-Mukherjee, School of Life Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal; School of Liberal Studies, Azim Premji University, Bengaluru, India
Sershen, School of Life Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal
M. Corrie Schoeman, School of Life Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal
Albertus J Smit, Environmental Planning and Climate Protection Department, eThekwini Municipality; Biodiversity and Conservation Biology Department, Faculty of Natural Science, University of the Western Cape
Edilegnaw Wale, School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal
Sandi Willows-Munro, School of Life Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal

Full Text: HTML   
Download Citation


Abstract

The gap between scientific knowledge and implementation in the fields of biodiversity conservation, environmental management, and climate change adaptation has resulted in many calls from practitioners and academics to provide practical solutions responding effectively to the risks and opportunities of global environmental change, e.g., Future Earth. We present a framework to guide the implementation of science-action partnerships based on a real-world case study of a partnership between a local municipality and an academic institution to bridge the science-action gap in the eThekwini Municipal Area, South Africa. This partnership aims to inform the implementation of sustainable land-use planning, biodiversity conservation, environmental management, and climate change adaptation practice and contributes to the development of human capacity in these areas of expertise. Using a transdisciplinary approach, implementation-driven research is being conducted to develop several decision-making products to better inform land-use planning and management. Lessons learned through this partnership are synthesized and presented as a framework of enabling actions operating at different levels, from the individual to the interorganizational. Enabling actions include putting in place enabling organizational preconditions, assembling a functional well-structured team, and actively building interpersonal and individual collaborative capacity. Lessons learned in the case study emphasize the importance of building collaborative capacity and social capital, and paying attention to the process of transdisciplinary research to achieve more tangible science, management, and policy objectives in science-action partnerships. By documenting and reflecting on the process, this case study provides conceptual and practical guidance on bridging the science-action gap through partnerships.

Key words

biodiversity conservation; boundary organization; climate change adaptation; collaboration; environmental management; sustainable development; transdisciplinary research.

Copyright © 2016 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.

Top
Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087