Table 3. Key insights from the ACM literature contributing to understanding/addressing core environmental governance issues or challenges.

Core environmental
governance issue or challenge
Insights from the ACM literature
Accountability and legitimacy • Accountability is embedded in the ACM process and generated as an outcome as responsibility is shared collectively in a transparent manner by those involved and consequences are collectively accepted.
• Legitimacy in association with ACM is: enhanced by the involvement of diverse actors; assists with coordination of information and in undertaking new collaborations; and encourages compliance.
• Enabling policy environments can establish/enhance legitimacy and accountability.
Actors and roles • Involving diverse actors in filling a variety of roles is important because of sharing power and responsibility.
• Incentivizing participation is an important consideration.
• Leadership is a critical ingredient.
• Actors acting as intermediaries (bridging organizations, boundary organizations, brokering organizations) make key connections and facilitate group processes.
Fit, interplay, and scale • Linkages and interactions between individuals and/or organizations are important.
• Interactions may be cross scale and/or cross level and may forge horizontal and/or vertical connections.
• Flexibility and dynamism of ACM permits tailoring the process to a specific place/situation and thereby enhances fit.
Adaptiveness, flexibility, and learning • Adaptiveness, flexibility, and learning are essential characteristics for processes to address uncertainty and change and can effectively be married with collaboration.
• A rich collection of experiences with adaptiveness-, flexibility-, and learning-oriented processes in practice exist in the ACM literature from which lessons can be gleaned.
• The concept of learning is complicated. Specificity is required in its employment and attention is required in terms of its definition, expectations, underlying mechanisms, participants, and ethical issues.
Evaluation and monitoring • Monitoring and evaluation is embedded in the ACM process because insights about the system are continuously generated and adjustments are made based on feedback.
• The ACM literature offers frameworks and examples of assessments in practice for evaluation and monitoring.
• Rich experiences of undertaking collaborative monitoring and evaluation in ACM offer lessons in both developed and developing contexts.
Knowledge • Multiple sources of knowledge and various types of knowledge need to be combined. ACM offers a novel process by which knowledge integration and coproduction may occur.
• Accessible information is critical to knowledge development processes and learning.
• Knowledge in the ACM literature makes connections to networks and systems, communication, and learning.