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Creating pathways for stakeholder participation in water management
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Land and Water Resources Engineering, Environmental Management and Assessment.
2012 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The role of stakeholder participation has been increasingly recognized as important in water management. The EU Water Framework Directive (WFD), adopted in 2000 requires Member States to fulfill three levels of participation; information, consultation and active involvement. This thesis focuses on the third level of participation; where concernd groups, organizations or individuals are involved in co-designing or co-thinking of water management. This thesis uses case studies in Sweden to explore pathways for stakeholder participation in catchment-based water management, focusing on how the opportunity for stakeholder participation is created; social mechanisms important for responding to change; and how institutional arrangements can generate stakeholder participation. The result of the study shows that opportunities for changing track towards more participatory water management could be triggered by either social and ecological changes or surprises. However, in order to take the opportunity to change, social mechanisms such as leadership and social capital, is crucial. The legacy of institutional arrangements affects how water management adapts to new requirements and surprises. Some old patterns might clash with new approaches of participatory and adaptive water management. The results show the importance of creating links crucial to generate stakeholder participation. Municipalities are important actors in catchment-based water management, as well as bridging organizations that can be seen as independent by participating stakeholders. Based on these results, the solution to realize active involvement of stakeholders suggested by the Swedish Water Authorities is discussed. The result suggests that there are some important challenges to overcome, regarding institutional arrangements that could encourage stakeholder participation in water management.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2012. , x, 27 p.
Series
Trita-LWR. LIC, ISSN 1650-8629 ; 2063
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-77682ISBN: 978-91-7501-270-4 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-77682DiVA: diva2:491959
Presentation
2012-02-24, V3, Teknikringen 72, Stockholm, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
QC 20120208Available from: 2012-02-08 Created: 2012-02-07 Last updated: 2012-02-08Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Participatory social-ecological modeling in eutrophication management: the case of Himmerfjärden, Sweden.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Participatory social-ecological modeling in eutrophication management: the case of Himmerfjärden, Sweden.
Show others...
2011 (English)In: Ecology and society, ISSN 1708-3087, Vol. 16, no 4Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Stakeholder participation is increasingly seen as central in natural resource management. It is also required bythe European Union Water Framework Directive, which identifies three levels of participation; information, consultation, andactive involvement. In this paper we discuss the active involvement of stakeholders, using our experience from a case study inthe Himmerfjärden region, which is a coastal area southwest of Stockholm, Sweden. Our study used the systems approachproposed by the European Union research project called Science and Policy Integration for Coastal System Assessment(SPICOSA), in which local stakeholders and a study site team constructed an integrated simulation model of a crucial coastalmanagement issue. In this case the issue was nitrogen enrichment. We showed how stakeholder participation in the modelingprocess helped identify interesting and currently relevant management scenarios, and how the modeling process facilitatedcommunication of the likely ecological, economic, and social effects of these scenarios to the stakeholders. In addition,stakeholders also reported social gains in terms of network building. We managed to actively involve local stakeholders in waterissues, and the research process clearly strengthened the social capital in the Himmerfjärden region, and created a basis forfuture collaboration regarding water management. Our experience indicates that the approach we tried is a useful tool forpromoting active stakeholder involvement in water management projects. Also, the results of our science and policy integrationapproach indicated that the study site team assumed a leadership role, which is a commonly recognized factor in successfulnatural resource management.

National Category
Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-77674 (URN)10.5751/ES-04394-160427 (DOI)000298841900018 ()2-s2.0-84855323090 (Scopus ID)
Note
QC 20120208Available from: 2012-02-07 Created: 2012-02-07 Last updated: 2015-05-06Bibliographically approved
2. Institutional arrangements for stakeholder participation in water management: an analysis of two Swedish catchment areas
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Institutional arrangements for stakeholder participation in water management: an analysis of two Swedish catchment areas
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Stakeholder participation has recently become an important part of natural resource management. Several policy documents and legislation acts such as the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) emphasize the importance of participation for successful implementation. However, only few studies deal with the link between stakeholder participation and institutional arrangements. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to explore the role of changes in institutional arrangements, in order to meet new requirements on stakeholder participation in water management. We use a case study application to explore two neighboring catchment areas in southern Sweden. These areas are interesting since similar management plans of wetland creation by farmers, were suggested in the 1990s, which resulted in different solutions of institutional arrangement and level of stakeholder participation. We study these areas with three checkpoints in time; (i) the initial stage covering the period for the management plans proposal; (ii) approximately ten years after the proposal, meaning that also the WFD had been adopted; and (iii) current development of the institutional arrangement, when the real implementation of the WFD has proceeded. The data collection was based on literature review, interviews and a questionnaire covering questions of collaboration patterns between different stakeholder groups in the catchment areas. The study shows how a new institutional arrangement emerged in one of the catchment areas, where also the proposed management plan was realized. Whereas, in the other area the traditional institutional arrangement continued unchanged, and the management plan was not realized. The comparison of the collaboration patterns in the catchment areas showed great differences; especially concerning municipal collaboration and the role of bridging organizations. The result indicated that bridging organizations could be important in linking farmers and other stakeholder groups, to realize the wetland creation. These results show the importance of institutional change in terms of adapting to ecological or social changes. Also, the results indicate that old water institutions can be an obstacle when new requirements are introduced, such as those following the WFD.

National Category
Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-77660 (URN)
Note
QS 2012Available from: 2012-02-07 Created: 2012-02-07 Last updated: 2012-02-08Bibliographically approved

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