In constantly changing complex social-ecological systems conservation organisations need to take steps toward adaptive co-management if they want to be effective in their conservation activities. In the surroundings of the soda pans of the Kiskunság region in Hungary, a participatory process was initiated with the local national park directorate to understand the socio-economic context of the sodic wetland area, reveal the perceptions of local stakeholders about the current and preferable management of the area and start discussions with them about certain priority management issues related to sustainable use (grazing and ecotourism). In this article, we show how this process helped in taking the first steps toward adaptive co-management. For the assessment, criteria of effective adaptive co-management were derived from the literature. The results show that most conditions for adaptive co-management have already been fulfilled (e.g. identified set of stakeholders, sense of place shared or incentives for participation) and some social outcomes were achieved. The participatory process assisted the collaboration of stakeholders, which can contribute to positive economic and ecological outcomes in the future. Through the engagement of local stakeholders some conflicting management issues were resolved (e.g. accepting a wider range of grazing animal species and allowing flexible time for mowing) and collaboration started on ecotourism issues (e.g. information sharing with the assistance of the national park directorate). This process can be seen as the ‘formulation’ phase of adaptive co-management but more efforts are needed to move toward the ‘conjoint’ phase with more actions, monitoring and social learning. Our case also shows that ACM can be a good method for both conservation and rural development but supporting policy environment as well as financial resources assisting the participatory process and nature-friendly farming activities can be important for its long term success.
Auteurs et éditeurs
Nagyné Grecs, Anita
Land Use Policy is an international and interdisciplinary journal concerned with the social, economic, political, legal, physical and planning aspects of urban and rural land use. It provides a forum for the exchange of ideas and information from the diverse range of disciplines and interest groups which must be combined to formulate effective land use policies.
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