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The ecosystem approach is a salient policy paradigm originating from a scientific understanding of the reality of complex ecosystem dynamics. In this article, we investigate how Swedish national marine policies and practice between 2002 and 2015 have changed towards an ecosystem approach. Government documents, the scientific literature, institutional changes, changes in legislation, pilot projects, and changes in science and public opinion were reviewed and combined with information from expert interviews. We found that changes in policy and practice have slowly stimulated the development of an ecosystem approach, but that limited political leadership, challenges of coordination, different agency cultures, and limited learning appears to be key barriers for further and more substantial change. We compare and contrast the Swedish national process of change with other documented experiences of implementing an ecosystem approach and find that several countries struggle with similar challenges. Substantial work still remains in Sweden and we provide suggestions for how to stimulate further and more substantial change at the national level.
General news | 2017-07-20
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Research news | 2017-07-19
Financial markets example of how information flows are turning increasingly faster and more complex in the Anthropocene
Research news | 2017-07-11
More companies join largest seafood producers’ quest for ocean stewardship
Research news | 2017-07-02
Centre director Johan Rockström co-authors six-point plan for turning the tide of the world’s carbon dioxide by 2020
Research news | 2017-07-01
New study examines how a change in migration patterns of the northeast Atlantic mackerel led to intergovernmental dispute
Research news | 2017-06-29
Henrik Österblom is concerned about the ocean and engaged in ensuring that his work reaches outside of academia