Blog #11: Ecosystem governance: What’s wrong with the current practice?

This blog has laid out some of the stepping stones that I believe can help us collectively get from where we are to where we need to be in the practice of the ecosystem approach (aka ecosystem governance and ecosystem-based management). Our collective progress towards more equitable and sustainable governance of the primary human habitat - coastal lands and coastal waters - is more halting, fragmented, inefficient and ineffective than it should be. This entry gets at why I believe this to be case. This is a big topic and one that I have been pondering for many years.

Blog #10: Switzerland’s Governance System

I am in Switzerland, awaiting open heart surgery on my three month old grandson.  He and his father are Swiss and I am getting a taste of what that means.  Switzerland has the highest per capita GDP and last month a referendum that would have provided every Swiss citizen with a minimum income of 4000 francs per month (about US $4600) lost by a small margin. Why is Switzerland so wealthy, so seemingly insulated from the turmoil swirling about those of us that carry other passports?

Blog #9 Timelines Tracing the Trajectory of Change

Blog #1 declared that ecosystem governance is, above all, a social and political challenge and process that shapes how groups of people and institutions relate to, and modify, each other’s behavior and the environments of which they are part. I came to this conclusion long ago when my colleague Lynne Hale and I prepared a paper for the first US national conference on coastal zone management (CZM) held in California in the late 1970s.

Blog #8 The Ethics of Ecosystem Governance

Many years ago, when I was deeply immersed in leading a particularly difficult attempt to establish a national coastal management program in Thailand, a colleague observed “Steve, one of things that is unusual about you is that you care more about the process of what we are doing than the outcomes.”  I agreed that this was the case.

Blog # 7: The Orders of Outcomes

This post addresses the Orders of Outcomes, the second of the simplifying frameworks put forward in blog #4

Blog #6 The Management Cycle

This installment addresses the first of the simplifying frameworks - the Management Cycle.  The cycle was developed by the Coastal Resources Center (CRC) as the conceptual framework for what evolved into the Center’s four-week international training courses on the “theory and practice of coastal management.”  After fifteen years of engagement in US-style coastal zone management and four years working in Latin America and Southeast Asia we felt ready to share what we were learning.

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