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Understanding Complexity in Freshwater Management: Practitioners' Perspectives in The Netherlands

Rutten, Guido and Cinderby, Steve and Barron, Jennie (2020). Understanding Complexity in Freshwater Management: Practitioners' Perspectives in The Netherlands. Water. 12 , 593 , 2-18
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Abstract

Ecosystems have been stabilized by human interventions to optimize delivery of certain ecosystem services, while at the same time awareness has grown that these systems are inherently dynamic rather than steady state. Applied research fields have emerged that try to increase adaptive capacity in these ecosystems, using concepts deriving from the theory of complex adaptive systems. How are these concepts of complexity interpreted and applied by practitioners? This study applies a mixed-methods approach to analyze the case of freshwater management in The Netherlands, where a management paradigm promoting nature-fixating interventions is recently being replaced with a new paradigm of nature-based solutions. We find that practitioners have widely varying interpretations of concepts and of how the ecosystems they work in have evolved over time when described with complex system attributes. This study allows for the emergence of key complexity-related considerations among practitioners that are not often discussed in literature: (i) the need for physical and institutional space for self-organization of nature; (ii) the importance of dependency and demand management; and (iii) trade-offs between robustness and flexibility. This study, furthermore, stresses the importance of using practitioners' views to guide applied research and practice in this field.

Authors/Creators:Rutten, Guido and Cinderby, Steve and Barron, Jennie
Title:Understanding Complexity in Freshwater Management: Practitioners' Perspectives in The Netherlands
Year of publishing :2020
Volume:12
Article number:593
Number of Pages:18
Publisher:MDPI
ISSN:2073-4441
Language:English
Publication Type:Journal article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Ecology
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 5 Social Sciences > 507 Social and Economic Geography > Economic Geography
Keywords:ecosystem management, complex adaptive systems, nature-based solutions, engineering, adaptive management
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-105289
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-105289
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.3390/w12020593
Web of Science (WoS)000519846500284
ID Code:16942
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Soil and Environment
(S) > Dept. of Soil and Environment
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:26 May 2020 13:12
Metadata Last Modified:26 May 2020 13:12

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