A Complex adaptive journey toward sustainability : reframing a federal fisheries program
Chestnut, Tina Jean
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Subjectcomplex adaptive systems; governance; resilience; resilience principles; resilience thinking; social ecological system
The Anthropocene requires environmental managers to shift toward governance approaches that recognize the interdependencies of system components, embrace uncertainties and enable adaptive management to retain the resilience in the social ecological systems. Sustainability scientists suggest this shift can be achieved through improved implementation of existing policy instruments. This research uses resilience thinking and a complex adaptive systems approach to diagnose problems and potentialities within an existing fisheries program to explore whether the program could be reframed. The analysis of the program history, interactions within the social ecological system and actor interview data reveals a misalignment of program goals; latent resilience characteristics; activities that support social innovation and local governance process; barriers to change; and, the possibility for increased responsibility by the federal agency responsible for the program. There is an opportunity to build resilience and manage for the continued emergence of social innovation and governance processes within the program.
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