Institutional arrangements for stakeholder participation in water management: an analysis of two Swedish catchment areas
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Stakeholder participation has recently become an important part of natural resource management. Several policy documents and legislation acts such as the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) emphasize the importance of participation for successful implementation. However, only few studies deal with the link between stakeholder participation and institutional arrangements. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to explore the role of changes in institutional arrangements, in order to meet new requirements on stakeholder participation in water management. We use a case study application to explore two neighboring catchment areas in southern Sweden. These areas are interesting since similar management plans of wetland creation by farmers, were suggested in the 1990s, which resulted in different solutions of institutional arrangement and level of stakeholder participation. We study these areas with three checkpoints in time; (i) the initial stage covering the period for the management plans proposal; (ii) approximately ten years after the proposal, meaning that also the WFD had been adopted; and (iii) current development of the institutional arrangement, when the real implementation of the WFD has proceeded. The data collection was based on literature review, interviews and a questionnaire covering questions of collaboration patterns between different stakeholder groups in the catchment areas. The study shows how a new institutional arrangement emerged in one of the catchment areas, where also the proposed management plan was realized. Whereas, in the other area the traditional institutional arrangement continued unchanged, and the management plan was not realized. The comparison of the collaboration patterns in the catchment areas showed great differences; especially concerning municipal collaboration and the role of bridging organizations. The result indicated that bridging organizations could be important in linking farmers and other stakeholder groups, to realize the wetland creation. These results show the importance of institutional change in terms of adapting to ecological or social changes. Also, the results indicate that old water institutions can be an obstacle when new requirements are introduced, such as those following the WFD.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-77660OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-77660DiVA: diva2:491927
QS 20122012-02-072012-02-072012-02-08Bibliographically approved