Lisen Schultz holds a Schwartz Research Position since January 2011. Her research aims at deepening understanding of conditions and strategies that enable resilience-based management of landscapes and seascapes. Her work focuses on the role of bridging actors, who catalyze collaboration and learning across levels and sectors in adaptive co-management. Most of her research is carried out in UNESCO biosphere reserves.
She was awarded a PhD in June 2009, with the thesis “Nurturing resilience in social-ecological systems: Lessons learned from bridging organizations", supervised by Prof. Carl Folke at the Department of Systems Ecology, Stockholm University. The thesis contains case studies of Kristianstads Vattenrike Biosphere Reserve (Sweden) and comparative studies done within the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and the World Network of Biosphere Reserves.
In Kristianstads Vattenrike, she studied different user groups that act as stewards of the land, analyzing how their activities were facilitated and complemented by official management through a bridging organization.
She also developed a method to identify local stewards in the landscape - a social-ecological inventory - arguing that such inventories should be useful in the preparatory phase of all projects concerning biodiversity conservation and ecosystem management. This method has been developed into a handbook
Hypotheses on the conditions and strategies that enabled success in Kristianstad were then tested in a survey of 146 biosphere reserves in 2008. Results indicate that biosphere reserve offices have the potential to act as bridging organizations, and when they do, they are more likely to fulfill the multiple objectives of biodiversity conservation, local development, and generation of ecosystem services.
In addition to conducting her own research, Lisen Schultz is engaged in PECS (Program on Ecosystem Change and Society), popular science communication and various science-policy-practice processes.
What are the results of adaptive co-management in terms of biodiversity, ecosystem services, human well-being and capacity to deal with change?
What are the challenges faced by bridging organizations in adaptive co-management and how can they be overcome?
How are conventional approaches to natural resource management and biodiversity conservation transformed into adaptive co-management of social-ecological systems?
GLEAN (2012-2016) - a global survey of learning and participation in ecosystem management of biosphere reserves
In a series of 12 case studies of biosphere reserves, we investigate how various degrees and types of stakeholder participation influence outcomes of biosphere reserve management, both with regards to learning and adaptation, and with regards to achieving biodiversity conservation. The case study approach allows for detailed understanding of micro-level processes. To understand broader patterns, we repeated the 2008 survey mentioned above with 100 biosphere reserves, five years later, and with complement this panel data with analysis of land-use change using satellite data.
So far, field work has been conducted in Spain (Menorca, La Palma, Donana), Australia (Mornington peninsula and Noosa), SouthAfrica (Cape West Coast, Kruger to Canyons), and Paraguay (Mbaracayú). We welcome master students who are interested in doing their thesis within our project.
The project is funded by Vetenskapsrådet and Ebba and Sven Schwartz Stiftelse, and the team consists of Lisen Schultz, Stockholm Resilience Centre, Andreas Duit, Department of Political Science, Örjan Bodin, Stockholm Resilience Centre, Simon West, Stockholm Resilience Centre, Alba Mohedano Roldan, Department of Political Science, and Cecilia Lundholm, Centre for Teaching & Learning in the Social sciences, and 1-3 master students per year.
BiosACM (2013-2016) Diagnosing processes and outcomes of adaptive co-management in biosphere reserves
This project develops a diagnistic framework to investigate how adaptive co-management can be designed to nurture resilience of social-ecological systems. We follow two Canadian and two Swedish biosphere reserves during three years, using social network analysis, interviews, and participatory resilience assessments to understand how processes and outcomes are interacting in various contexts. The study sites include Frontenac Arch and Georgian Bay in Canada and Kristianstads Vattenrike and Östra Vätterbranterna in Sweden.
The project is funded by Vetenskapsrådet and Ebba and Sven Schwartz Stiftelse and the team includes Lisen Schultz, Stockholm Resilience Centre, Ryan Plummer and Julia Baird at Brock University, Canada, Örjan Bodin and Beatrice Crona at Stockholm Resilience Centre, and Derek Armitage, University of Waterloo.
Research news | 2017-06-01
Possibly. Assessment of four UNESCO biosphere reserves reveals "myriad" of positive results
Research news | 2015-06-15
Study in PNAS teases out strategies for successful governance, for both people and ecosystems
Research news | 2015-05-18
Practices of the European Court of Human Rights support adaptive governance
Research news | 2014-10-31
Researchers identify conditions necessary for the SDGs to be effective in the Anthropocene
2017 - Journal / article
This paper examines relationships among perceived processes and outcomes in four UNESCO biosphere reserves (BRs). BRs offer a unique opportunity to examine these relationships because they aim to foster more adaptive and collaborative forms of management, i.e. adaptive co-management (ACM). Accounting for the outcomes of ACM is a difficult task and little progress has been made to this end. However, we show here that ACM effor...
2016 - Policy brief or report
This report was produced by the independent, tripartite, Working Group on Resilience Management and the Circular Economy working under the aegis of the High Level Group on Innovation Policy Management . Its members – senior civil servants drawn from the European and national administrations, experts and managers from leading innovative companies and prominent scholars from academia – have participated in its work in their pe...
2015 - Journal / article
To gain insights into the effects of adaptive governance on natural capital, we compare three well-studied initiatives; a landscape in Southern Sweden, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, and fisheries in the Southern Ocean. We assess changes in natural capital and ecosystem services related to these social-ecological governance approaches to ecosystem management and investigate their capacity to respond to change and new cha...
2015 - Book chapter
The nested nature of social-ecological systems across scales requires a multi-scale approach for monitoring and response. However, in many cases this flow is hindered by hierarchical structures and bureaucratic procedures. Recent research suggests that bridging organizations that facilitate collaboration and learning across sectors and scales are key to adaptive governance. Bridging organizations can facilitate cross-scale l...