RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2019

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353 Exploring the local context for nature-based solutions in conservation management (2)
Affiliation Planning and Environment Research Group
Convenor(s) Nikoleta Jones (Anglia Ruskin University, UK)
Shonil Bhagwat (The Open University, UK)
Chair(s) Nikoleta Jones (Anglia Ruskin University, UK)
Timetable Friday 30 August 2019, Session 3 (14:40 - 16:20)
Room RGS-IBG Lowther Room
Session abstract Nature based solutions aim to protect nature to deliver ecosystem services, the benefits that people derive from nature. In order to develop efficient nature-based solutions, it is important to evaluate social and economic priorities at a location. These priorities may arise from the characteristics of the local ecosystem itself, but also cultural and historical contexts in which the nature-based solutions are implemented. The aim of this session is to explore how the characteristics of a location can assist (or obstruct) in developing nature-based solutions in conservation management. This is discussed both through theoretical and empirical contributions in a wide range of geographical settings. Each presentation will be followed by a short discussion. At the end of the session the main speakers will discuss optimum ways in order to improve nature-based solutions depending on the locality where they are implemented.
Linked Sessions Exploring the local context for nature-based solutions in conservation management (1)
Contact the conference organisers to request a change to session or paper details: ac2019@rgs.org
Eco-Scalar fixes’ and Accumulation by Dispossession in Karaburun Peninsula, Turkey
Adile Arslan Avar (Izmir Institute of Technology, Turkey)
Yagmur Ozcan Cive (Izmir Institute of Technology, Turkey)
This work has a two-fold concern: first, how “eco-scalar fixes,” which were constituted in 2000s following deregulation and reregulation in line with nature’s neoliberalisation, have been constituted at the expense of nature and local socio-spatial context; and second how existing “eco-scalar fixes” to be rearticulated to local peoples’ livelihoods in Karaburun Peninsula, Turkey. We take a departure from “eco-scalar fix” Bakker and Cohen (2014) develop. It is a concept either revealing nature’s neoliberalisation or articulating the scale question to “environmental fixes” (Castree, 2008). The “ecosystem boundaries,” laid down as watersheds, coastals etc., and thus “naturalised” by goverments, have been substituted by the same token to jurisdictional boundaries. Having been in prospect of avoiding environmental degradation and uneven development, the eco-scalar fix was a strategy to overcome the crises. In fact, it paves the way of using natural protection areas on behalf of capital accumulation. Hence not only does it deepen environmental degradation, but also causes disspossesion of local people and uneven development.

By the 2000s, agricultural lands, forests, pastures, natural protection areas, and the coastal waters, all of which had been commonly owned or state-owned areas falling under natural protection boundaries in Karaburun Peninsula, have been allocated to private “sustainable” energy production, fish farms, industrial agriculture, quarries and the new tourism investments. By the way allocation, expropriation and enclosure, local people have been deprived off the use of, and access to, these areas. On the other hand, despite environmental plans and coastal plans of Karaburun Peninsula were based on naturalized boundaries, they were rescaled as different central and local governmental boundaries in a way of allocating them to be used for capital accumulation. So, ‘eco-scalar fixes’ led to degradation of the previously un-commodified biophysical areas and dispossession of local people. Whereas, care for nature had always been immanent to their ways of making their livelihoods. That is why, we will elaborate on the ways to deconstruct existing “eco-scalar fixes” in a way of articulating nature based practices of local people.
Evolution of ecosystem services in the frame of pastoral functional categories: a study case in Swedish Lapland
Romain Courault (Sorbonne-Université, France)
Marianne Cohen (Sorbonne-Université, France)
Ecosystem services represent a useful tool to manage human – environment systems, (Vihervaara, Kumpula et al., 2010). In polar environments where global warming has stronger effects on socio-ecosystems (ACIA, 2004; WG1, IPCC, 2014), taking account of local knowledge, culture and production represent an urgent matter (WG2, IPCC, 2014; Maynard, Oskal et al. in Gutman, Reissell (eds), 2010). In northern Europe, reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus L.) is a keystone specie, particularly important for landscapes ecological functioning, structure, and for pastoral systems resilience (Forbes, Kumpula, 2009).

The aims of the study are both methodological and thematic: by re-using the classification of ecosystem services that Vihervaara, Kumpula et al. (2010) proposed, we seek firstly to map ecosystem services (supporting, provisioning, regulating, cultural services), as some could be named in the northern Saami language. Secondly we survey how ecosystem services of the Gabna reindeer herders’ community (roughly stretching between Riksgränsen and Kiruna, ~150 km, Norrbotten county, Sweden) evolved along time (from 1990, 2000 to 2017).

Using literature (Klein, 1990, Inga, 2006, 2007, Roturier et al., 2009, Lavrillier (ed) 2017) and field information (mainly floristic surveys), we use saami pastoral categories of vegetation according to their provisioning or cultural ecosystem services. Landsat imagery is processed all along the study (land cover classification using saami terminologies and comparatively the EUNIS habitat classification), as well as floristic datasets (physiognomy, floristic communities) to create a supervised terrain classification with remote sensing techniques.

First results show that slight differences (in surface units) are noticed between saami terminologies and EUNIS habitat classification to express ecosystem services. Results stay scale-dependent according to the spatial unit (entire community, seasonal pastures…). A progressive, but important decrease in ecosystem services within the Gabna community borders is recorded, explainable by (a) forestry intensification for winter pastures (b) mining and touristic activities intensification (c) loss of palatable vegetation in summer / effects of plant competition.

The use of local terminologies in the frame of pastoralist landscape conservation applied to a survey in environmental sciences opened to a holistic integration. This raised the importance of local stakeholders (herders, law makers, scientists) as co-researchers in nature conservation studies.
Seeking win-win – ecosystem attributes for biodiversity and well-being
Jane Lusardi (Natural England, UK)
To deliver nature-based solutions there is a need to understand which environmental properties simultaneously underpin human well-being and biodiversity. The Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan includes goals for both biodiversity and ecosystem services. However, despite our dependence on the natural environment for all aspects of human well-being, we don’t fully comprehend the relationship between nature and the benefits it provides. This presentation outlines a new systematic approach taken by Natural England to identify the vital aspects of nature that underpin the provision of ecosystem services. We examine the links between attributes of ecosystems, their extent, condition and location, and the services and benefits they provide, defining attributes to ensure the sustainable future provision of multiple ecosystem services. We then explore the comparison between these attributes and those we are identifying for the Favourable Conservation Status of habitats and species. We will describe the application of the attributes in local places (both terrestrial and marine) through the establishment of baseline assessments, against which to measure change. This talk will demonstrate the importance of understanding ecosystems to enable the delivery of synergistic nature-based solutions for biodiversity and human well-being.
Exploring the links between social impacts, ecosystem services and public acceptability for nature-based solutions
Nikoleta Jones (Anglia Ruskin University, UK)
James McGinlay (Anglia Ruskin University, UK)
Chrisovaladis Malesios (Aston University Business School, UK)
Andreas Kontoleon (University of Cambridge, UK)
Victoria Maguire-Rajpaul (Global Sustainability Institute, Anglia Ruskin University, UK)
In order to adapt to climate change and meet biodiversity conservation targets it is essential to develop new and innovative ecosystem-based adaptation strategies, as underlined in the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. The urgent need for nature-based solutions linking climate change and ecosystems, highlighted by IUCN and other major organisations, is particularly pressing, as the Convention on Biological Diversity is set to agree a new set of targets by 2020, alongside the Sustainable Development Goals. In this context, several frameworks have been developed aiming to operationalize nature-based solutions and facilitate decision-making processes. However, very limited research has been conducted in order to explore the reasons communities react differently to proposed nature-based solutions. This is an important area of research as understanding human perceptions towards conservation initiatives can assist in the planning of appropriate actions minimizing negative social impacts while increasing public support. The aim of this presentation is to propose new ways of explaining the level of acceptability by local communities for proposed nature-based solutions. Drawing evidence from several approaches across different fields in public policy, environmental psychology, ecosystem services and social impact assessment we propose a new framework that aims to explain why communities perceive social impacts of nature-based solutions differently depending on the location they are implemented. Furthermore, we aim to explore how perceived social impacts lead to a decision of an individual to support (or not) a proposed initiative. This work is funded by a European Research Council starting grant (grant no. 802605; Project FIDELIO: Forecasting social impacts of biodiversity conservation policies in Europe)
Can flood defence be entrusted to local community initiatives?
James McGinlay (Anglia Ruskin University, UK)
Julian Clark (University of Birmingham, UK)
Victoria Maguire-Rajpaul (Global Sustainability Institute, Anglia Ruskin University, UK)
Recent trends in governance in England, exemplified by the notion of 'Big Society' and the 2011 Localism Act, have seen local communities and individuals encouraged to take greater responsibility for public policy issues that were previously seen as largely or exclusively state-led. This paper examines a case study where this presumption has been applied to estuary flood defence and considers the appropriateness of local- or community-based initiatives in dealing with an environmental issue that is so heavily linked to global climate change effects such as sea level rise. We consider a case study site in Suffolk: the Alde and Ore Estuary, where an earlier flood defence management proposal led by local government and the Environment Agency was rejected by local actors, who subsequently proposed, and are enacting their own alternative flood defence plan. Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with a range of local actors representing the key social networks concerned with the plan. The paper considers the conception and execution of the new alternative plan from technical, financial and political perspectives. It therefore considers: the problems that may be presented by devolving responsibility for matters such as flood defence to local actor networks; whether there is indeed a 'community' that can pick up responsibility for such issues; and therefore whether it is realistic to devolve such matters to local community actors, where complex trade-offs, major public safety and public expenditure issues may be at stake. In particular, we consider the threats that the above approach may present to nature conservation and protection of natural assets, and whether nature-based solutions may actually present opportunities that are being missed to provide flood defence and enhance quality of life for local communities.