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Bogs, birds, and berries in Belarus: the governance and management dynamics of wetland restoration in a state-centric, top-down context

Dawson, Lucas and Elbakidze, Marine and Schellens, Marie and Shkaruba, Anton and Angelstam, Per (2021). Bogs, birds, and berries in Belarus: the governance and management dynamics of wetland restoration in a state-centric, top-down context. Ecology and Society. 26 , 8
[Research article]

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Abstract

Wetlands are complex social-ecological systems, which provide both important habitat for species, and multiple tangible and intangible benefits for people. Sustaining long-term benefits through restoration, conservation, and sustainable use is often linked to integrative and adaptive approaches to wetlands management. Such approaches assume democratic ideals, and require multilevel, multisector, and multiactor participation in governance and management arrangements. How then can functional wetlands be restored and sustainably managed as social-ecological systems in strongly state-centric, top-down governance contexts, such as in former Soviet republics? Using three case studies of wetland restoration and management for ecosystem functionality, biodiversity conservation, and human livelihoods, we employ a complex systems approach to analyze key governance and management dynamics underpinning initiatives toward sustainable wetlands in Belarus. We identified five core processes, namely, planning, garnering stakeholder support, obtaining key inputs (financial, human, material, technological, fixed capital), implementing core activities, and integrating learning and knowledge cycles. Key constraints concerned institutional hierarchies, onerous regulations, "negativism," and financing difficulties. Strategies relating to perception management, risk mitigation, and learning are identified as key to enabling beneficial feedback loops relating to core processes. Although path-dependent societal dynamics of the Soviet era continue to influence wetland systems, combinations of social and ecological crises created windows of opportunity for active participation among nongovernmental actors. Major opportunities for enabling emergent management approaches included identification of confluences of interest amongst stakeholders, as well as the continued mutual integration of Belarus with the international community.

Authors/Creators:Dawson, Lucas and Elbakidze, Marine and Schellens, Marie and Shkaruba, Anton and Angelstam, Per
Title:Bogs, birds, and berries in Belarus: the governance and management dynamics of wetland restoration in a state-centric, top-down context
Series Name/Journal:Ecology and Society
Year of publishing :2021
Volume:26
Article number:8
Number of Pages:60
Publisher:RESILIENCE ALLIANCE
ISSN:1708-3087
Language:English
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution-Noncommercial 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 > 506 Political Science > Public Administration Studies
Keywords:biodiversity conservation, complex systems, environmental governance and resource management, habitat restoration, social-ecological system dynamics, sustainability strategies, sustainable enterprise
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-112067
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-112067
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.5751/ES-12139-260108
Web of Science (WoS)000638266300013
ID Code:24422
Faculty:S - Faculty of Forest Sciences
Department:(S) > School for Forest Management
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:08 Jun 2021 11:43
Metadata Last Modified:08 Jun 2021 11:51

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