Case Studies in Adaptation and Transformation of Ecosystems, Legal Systems, and Governance Systems

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Apr 19, 2018
Barbara Cosens, Lance Gunderson



Seven water basins, six in North America and one in Australia, were chosen as case studies to investigate the dynamic interactions among ecosystems, society, and legal systems. These cases were chosen because of local knowledge and expertise of a group of interdisciplinary scholars. The teams were asked to describe the structures and processes that contribute to resilience, adaptations, and transformations in both the ecological and social components of the linked system. The role of law in triggering or hindering change in governance and institutional reformation was explored. The cases also describe conditions for emergence of adaptive governance in heavily regulated and developed water systems nested within a hierarchical governmental system.

Read the chapter in Practical Panarchy for Adaptive Water Governance.

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