Governance mapping: A framework for assessing the adaptive capacity of marine resource governance to environmental change
Marine social-ecological systems are influenced by the way humans interact with their environment, and external forces, which change and re-shape the environment. In many regions, exploitation of marine resources and climate change are two of the primary drivers shifting the abundance and distribution of marine living resources, with negative effects on marine-dependent communities. Governance systems determine ‘who’ makes decisions, ‘what’ are their powers and responsibilities, and ‘how’ they are exercised. Understanding the connections between the actors comprising governance systems and influences between governance and the environment is therefore critical to support successful transitions to novel forms of governance required to deal with environmental changes. The paper provides an analytical framework with a practical example from Vanuatu, for mapping and assessment of the governance system providing for management of coral reef fish resources. The framework enables a rapid analysis of governance systems to identify factors that can encourage, or hinder, the adaptation of communities to changes in abundance or availability of marine resources.
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