Regional co-management systems are gaining interest in natural resource governance policy. Simultaneously, ecosystem-based management (EBM) is hailed as a holistic approach to ecosystem management.
In line with these trends, the project aims to identify determinants of successful co-management processes embracing the guiding principles of EBM, and also to use these insights to formulate policy recommendations.
In particular, the project is targeted to investigate how issues of agency, social networks and institutions at local and regional levels affect the possibilities for such new initiatives to successfully embed themselves in existing governance structures.
We propose a longitudinal, multi-case study analysis of five pilot areas initiated by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (influenced by HELCOM and OSPAR) to establish Integrated Coastal Zone Management governance in Sweden.
It is of scientific interest because it i) illustrates how far-reaching policy ambitions at high levels of policy making are translated into practice at lower levels of administration and, ii) it constitutes a unique opportunity to study the evolution of co-management processes with explicit ecosystem focus, over space and time.
These pilots thus constitute a prime "natural experiment" and pose an exceptional opportunity for significant contributions in theory development and in suggesting policies of relevance within the field of natural resource governance.