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From words to action: Lessons from active stakeholder participation in water management
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering. (Environmental Management and Assessment Research Group)
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Water governance worldwide is going through a shift towards more holistic and participatory approaches. In Europe, the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) adopted in 2000, aims at protecting surface water and groundwater. The WFD emphasizes the importance of stakeholder participation in planning and implementation of the directive, and in order to reach environmental objectives. However, the empirical findings are insufficient regarding how stakeholder participation can lead to improved decisions and implemented plans. In Sweden, a major water quality problem is eutrophication caused to a large extend by diffuse nutrient leakage from agriculture. Therefore, it is important to involve farmers in water management, since their participation can lead the commitment of mitigation measures for reduced nutrient leakage. The overall aim of this study is to contribute the knowledge and understanding of active stakeholder participation in water management, in particular how it can lead to implementation of water quality objectives. The thesis addresses stakeholder participation in eutrophication management in local Swedish catchments, with a particular focus on farmers’ participation in the commitment of mitigation measures. The results are based on case study research, involving four catchment areas in Sweden with severe eutrophication problems. The thesis identified socio-demographic factors, farmers’ knowledge, and the level of existing information and economic support for wetland creation, as factors affecting farmers’ willingness to participate in wetland creation to mitigate nutrient leakage. In the local catchment groups studied, farmers and other local stakeholders participated to discuss potential mitigation activities. In these, farmers emphasized other emitting actors’ responsibility and commitment in local action plans. Where this was realized, social capital within the group increased and led to further collaboration. The thesis also analyzed large-scale wetland programmes at catchment scale, where the organizational and institutional arrangements were central to realize farmers’ participation: inter-municipal agreements entailed sufficient resources, the organization involved the most relevant actors; and leadership resources were important. The thesis argues that organizing water management at a catchment level can be important to cope with challenges related to stake-holder participation for mitigating diffuse nutrient leakage. In particular for dissemination and collection of information, suggesting potential measures for all concerned actors, provide resources needed to realize actions, and to build trust and collaboration. The thesis also emphasized that stakeholder participation has to be underpinned by a genuine meaning, both for the initiators and the participants.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2015. , ix, 50 p.
Series
TRITA-LWR. PHD, ISSN 1650-8602 ; 2015:01
Keyword [en]
stakeholder participation; EU Water Framework Directive; eutrophication; catchment-based water management; agriculture.
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Land and Water Resources Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-166232ISBN: 978-91-7595-569-8 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-166232DiVA: diva2:809988
Public defence
2015-05-28, F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, KTH, Stockholm, 14:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20150506

Available from: 2015-05-06 Created: 2015-05-05 Last updated: 2015-05-06Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Participatory social-ecological modeling in eutrophication management: the case of Himmerfjärden, Sweden.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Participatory social-ecological modeling in eutrophication management: the case of Himmerfjärden, Sweden.
Show others...
2011 (English)In: Ecology and society, ISSN 1708-3087, Vol. 16, no 4Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Stakeholder participation is increasingly seen as central in natural resource management. It is also required bythe European Union Water Framework Directive, which identifies three levels of participation; information, consultation, andactive involvement. In this paper we discuss the active involvement of stakeholders, using our experience from a case study inthe Himmerfjärden region, which is a coastal area southwest of Stockholm, Sweden. Our study used the systems approachproposed by the European Union research project called Science and Policy Integration for Coastal System Assessment(SPICOSA), in which local stakeholders and a study site team constructed an integrated simulation model of a crucial coastalmanagement issue. In this case the issue was nitrogen enrichment. We showed how stakeholder participation in the modelingprocess helped identify interesting and currently relevant management scenarios, and how the modeling process facilitatedcommunication of the likely ecological, economic, and social effects of these scenarios to the stakeholders. In addition,stakeholders also reported social gains in terms of network building. We managed to actively involve local stakeholders in waterissues, and the research process clearly strengthened the social capital in the Himmerfjärden region, and created a basis forfuture collaboration regarding water management. Our experience indicates that the approach we tried is a useful tool forpromoting active stakeholder involvement in water management projects. Also, the results of our science and policy integrationapproach indicated that the study site team assumed a leadership role, which is a commonly recognized factor in successfulnatural resource management.

National Category
Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-77674 (URN)10.5751/ES-04394-160427 (DOI)000298841900018 ()2-s2.0-84855323090 (Scopus ID)
Note
QC 20120208Available from: 2012-02-07 Created: 2012-02-07 Last updated: 2015-05-06Bibliographically approved
2. Institutional development for stakeholder participation in local water management-An analysis of two Swedish catchments
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Institutional development for stakeholder participation in local water management-An analysis of two Swedish catchments
2015 (English)In: Land use policy, ISSN 0264-8377, E-ISSN 1873-5754, Vol. 43, 217-227 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) promotes a change of European water governance towards increased stakeholder participation and water management according to river basins. To implement the WFD, new institutional arrangements are needed. In Sweden, water councils have been established on the local level to meet the requirements of the WFD of a broad stakeholder involvement in water management. The aim of this paper is to contribute to the knowledge on institutional arrangements for meeting the WFD requirements on stakeholder participation in local water management. A case study of two adjacent catchments in southern Sweden is presented to analyze how institutional legacy affect organizational arrangements and stakeholder participation. Based on literature studies and semi-structure interviews, the case study is analyzed with special emphasis on the scope, the organization and the activities in practical water Management in catchments. The result shows different institutional arrangements for water management, despite similarities of the catchments' characteristics and the regulatory framework on national and regional level. The study identifies four important factors regarding institutional arrangements for water councils and local stakeholder participation in water management. Firstly, an organization involving key stakeholders that are committed to the scope and goals of the water council and willing to provide resources for the implementation of the planned activities. Secondly, institutional arrangements that include a willingness for flexibility and awareness of the need to include the most relevant stakeholders. Thirdly, a clear leadership to drive the process to realize the specific goals and assess the outcome. Fourthly, voluntary involvement of farmers to take part in the implementation of the measures and contribute with knowledge and experiences regarding local conditions.

Keyword
Stakeholder participation, Water management, EU Water Framework Directive, Institutional arrangements, Adaptive management
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-161119 (URN)10.1016/j.landusepol.2014.11.013 (DOI)000348885800021 ()2-s2.0-84913582855 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20150323

Available from: 2015-03-23 Created: 2015-03-09 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved
3. Factors affecting farmers' willingness to participate in eutrophication mitigation: a case study of preferences for wetland creation in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Factors affecting farmers' willingness to participate in eutrophication mitigation: a case study of preferences for wetland creation in Sweden
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Local stakeholder participation in water management is emphasized in the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD). Wetland creation to mitigate nutrient leakage from agriculture is one example where participation of local farmers is needed. In this case study of the Himmerfjärden coastal catchment area, south of Stockholm, Sweden, we assessed both the importance of several demo-graphic factors, and of the main subsidy factors in the present Agri-Environmental Scheme (AES) for their effects on farmers’ willingness to create wetlands on their farms. The farm and farmer characteristics analyzed were age, gender, knowledge of the WFD, education, farm size, land ownership, current measures to reduce nutrient leakage and trust for other actors. The main factors from the AES were defined as five attributes in a discrete choice experiment approach related to the current agri-environmental policy instrument for wetland creation applied in the area. The results showed that approximately 30 % of the farmers were interested in wetland creation at their farms. The most common reason for not wanting to create a wetland was economic cost. Males were significantly more willing than females to create wetlands. Younger farmers were significantly more willing than older. Prior knowledge of the WFD increased willingness almost threefold, and land owners were significantly more willing than leaseholders. The choice experiment showed that higher cost ceiling for subsidies, higher compensation percentage and higher annual subsidies can significantly increase the willingness to create wetlands. However to attract also the remaining 70% of all farmers to join the AES we must look at other options than only using action based AES.

Keyword
stakeholder participation; water management; eutrophication; wetland creation; agri-environmental schemes
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Land and Water Resources Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-166228 (URN)
Note

QS 2015

Available from: 2015-05-05 Created: 2015-05-05 Last updated: 2015-05-06Bibliographically approved
4. Involving farmers in local water eutrophication management: lessons learnt from two Swedish catchments
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Involving farmers in local water eutrophication management: lessons learnt from two Swedish catchments
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Stakeholder participation is increasingly important in water governance worldwide. In Europe, the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) requires Member states to encourage the active involvement of stakeholders in planning and implementation of the WFD. In Sweden, eutrophication is one of the major water quality problems, which is primarily caused by diffuse nutrient leakage from agriculture. Farmers are, therefore, increasingly invited to participate in local water groups to discuss potential local action to mitigate nutrient leakage. This paper presents the lessons learnt from two Swedish catchments, where farmers and other local stakeholders participated in local water groups. Both catchments have severe eutrophication problems, and have been pointed out as “hot-spots” for wetland creation as mitigation measure. The overall aim of this study was to identify farmers’ primary concerns regarding local water management and wetland creation in particular. The results were based on data from meeting observation, interviews and a questionnaire. The paper identified four major aspects: (i) farmers’ concern about the commitment of other actors in local action plans; (ii) farmers desired improved information on local water management, monitoring of water quality, as well as improved information on wetland creation; (iii) farmers were concerned about phosphorus scarcity, and were interested in wetlands as phosphor traps; and, (iv) farmers requested developments in catchment-based platforms. Therefore, the paper suggests that organization of water management at catchment level could play an important role to cope with farmers’ primary concerns: Catchment platforms should disseminate information on local water management, identify information and data gaps, distribute responsibilities and commitment, enhance incentives for farmers’ commitment and enable trust-building. Consideration of these aspects could lead towards more robust forms for participation, inducing action and, consequently, improved water quality.

Keyword
stakeholder participation; EU Water Framework Directive; catchment-based water management; eutrophication; wetland creation.
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Land and Water Resources Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-166230 (URN)
Note

QS 2015

Available from: 2015-05-05 Created: 2015-05-05 Last updated: 2015-05-06Bibliographically approved

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