Integration of legacy effects into evaluation of ecosystem governance Shkaruba, AntonKireyeu, ViktarFreie Universität Berlin, Fachbereich Politik- und Sozialwissenschaften, Forschungsstelle für Umweltpolitik
Integration of legacy effects into evaluation of ecosystem governance
Freie Universität Berlin, Fachbereich Politik- und Sozialwissenschaften, Forschungsstelle für Umweltpolitik
With environmental regimes, rapidly emerging and developing, scholars working on the
evaluation of ecosystem governance and its capacity to adapt to global environmental
change, face a challenge of accounting for the past changes of institutional set-ups and
“legacy effects” they created. These effects may include previously taken management
actions (including infrastructure development) and formal and informal institutions
developed or modified. This is important that even if completely new governance
regimes are being emerged/introduced, the inertia of the previous set-up can be
persistent, in particular where informal institutions are strong.
This problem has been raised in the course of a larger study looking at the adaptive
capacity of forest ecosystems in Belarus. Belarus makes for an interesting case because
the country is in socio-economic transition since early 1990s, and it still preserves the
national governance, which is very much top-down and not participatory. At the same
time, the national government and NG sector closely cooperate with international
organisations and EU on a number of initiatives, Belarus has ratified most of
environmental MEAs, and the national environmental legislation has often been
developed after EU models, i.e. multiple levels of environmental governance emerge
and influence the national policy and the implementation mechanisms. Another effect of
transition is that the conservation status of many protected areas and mandates of the
management agencies are often revised and re-formulated.
To account for the legacy effect on the adaptation capacity of institutions of ecosystem
governance, we have developed a methodological framework based on the analytical
problems of the Earth System Governance as formulated by Biermann et al (2009)
(Architecture, Agents, Allocation, Accountability, Adaptiveness) translated in a set of
operational criteria. The criteria were applied to typical institutional set-ups associated
with certain conservations categories of forest ecosystems, and mapped nationwide.
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