Institutional-Ecological Fit: New Journal Paper

Our new paper “Analysing the (mis)fit between Institutional and Ecological Networks of the Indo-West Pacific” has just been published in the journal Global Environmental Change. In this paper, we develop an innovative approach to analyse the ‘‘problem of fit’’ – one of the core constraints to effective governance in Social–Ecological Systems (SES). Such problem is based on the idea that effective SES governance depends to some extent on how the characteristics of the governance system (e.g., institutional arrangements) align with the characteristics of the ecosystem it is trying to govern. Despite the importance of the problem of fit, very few studies have quantitatively evaluated such a problem. Our paper quantifies the fit between key ecological processes and the governance structures (i.e., institutional arrangements) relating to the management of these processes. This was undertaken in the context of the geopolitically and ecologically complex region of the Indo-West Pacific where we focused on coral reefs and the transboundary corridors (i.e. ecological links), and associated institutional arrangements (e.g., treaties, conventions, agreements, and memoranda of understanding) addressing marine conservation and management. We believe that our method has the potential to assist management efforts in prioritising and strengthening governance to effectively safeguard ecological processes across multiple jurisdictions.


TREML, E.A.; FIDELMAN, P.; KININMONTH, S.; EKSTROM, J.; BODIN, O.  2015. Analyzing the (Mis)fit between Institutional and Ecological Networks of the Indo-West Pacific. Global Environmental Change, 31: 263-271; doi: 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2015.01.012
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