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Challenges to build up a Collaborative Landscape Management (CLM) - lessons from a stakeholder analysis in Germany

Zscheischler, Jana; Busse, Maria; Heitepriem, Nico

Traditional cultural landscapes are of special value not only for reasons of nature conservation and high species diversity but also because they intersect with the identity of local communities, support recreation and tourism, and preserve cultural heritage. Structural changes in rural areas threaten these unique sceneries and environments in Europe and worldwide. As a result, the question of how to maintain and manage cultural landscapes where economic benefits are not assured has become a priority in science and in practice. Considering this context, community-based collaborative landscape management (CLM) can be considered an innovative and promising approach. This paper presents results from a stakeholder analysis examining the preconditions and opportunities for initiating a CLM in the biosphere reserve known as ‘Spreewald’. The results indicate that due to the type of problem (landscape change)—which is characterised by complexity, beneficial linkages to a multitude of actor groups, and broad problem awareness—CLM appears to be feasible. However, other preconditions related to social relationships among actor groups, questions of legitimate coordination and the collaborative capacity of the community are not met, thus reducing the likelihood of success. To address these challenges, we discuss the potential of transdisciplinary processes (TD) to assist local communities in establishing such a collaborative problem-solving and management approach. We show that TD is highly valuable and supportive during this critical stage of emerging collaboration.
Published in: Environmental Management, 10.1007/s00267-019-01205-3, Springer