Adaptive Governance and Evolving Solutions to Natural Resource Conflicts
AbstractNew Zealand is facing increasing challenges in managing natural resources (land, freshwater, marine space and air quality) under pressures from domestic (population growth, agricultural intensification, cultural expectations) and international (climate change) sources. These challenges can be described in terms of managing ‘wicked problems’; i.e. problems that may not be understood fully until they have been solved, where stakeholders have different world views and frames for understanding the problem, the constraints affecting the problem and the resources required to solve it change over time, and no complete solution is ever actually found. Adaptive governance addresses wicked problems through a framework to engage stakeholders in a participative process to create a long term vision. The vision must identify competing goals and a process for balancing them over time that acknowledges conflicts cannot always be resolved in a single lasting decision. Circumstances, goals and priorities can all vary over time and by region. The Resource Management Act can be seen as an adaptive governance structure where frameworks for resources such as water may take years to evolve and decades to fully implement. Adaptive management is about delivery through an incremental/experimental approach, limits on the certainty that governments can provide and stakeholders can demand, and flexibility in processes and results. In New Zealand it also requires balancing central government expertise and resources, with local authorities which can reflect local goals and knowledge, but have varying resources and can face quite distinct issues of widely differing severity. It is important to signal the incremental, overlapping, iterative and time-consuming nature of the work involved in developing and implementing adaptive governance and management frameworks. Managing the expectations of those involved as to the nature of the process and their role in it, and the scope and timing of likely outcomes, is key to sustaining participation.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by New Zealand Treasury in its series Treasury Working Paper Series with number 07/03.
Date of creation: Mar 2007
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: New Zealand Treasury, PO Box 3724, Wellington, New Zealand
Phone: +64-4-472 2733
Fax: +64-4-473 0982
Web page: http://www.treasury.govt.nz
More information through EDIRC
Adaptive capacity; governance; resilience;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- Q28 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy
- Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2007-03-31 (All new papers)
- NEP-ENE-2007-03-31 (Energy Economics)
- NEP-ENV-2007-03-31 (Environmental Economics)
You can help add them by filling out this form.
reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Web and Publishing Team, The Treasury).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.