Extensive livestock farming in the future: understanding discourses and networks in two case studies
federica ravera | universitat de Vic | Spain
Natural resources management, networks and discourses, alliances and conflicts
We explore present and future of extensive livestock and pastoralism under several drivers of change in two case studies analysed through a mixed-method approach. The first case, located in Sierra Morena, in Southern Spain, is an example of extensive livestock management system, including transhumant pastoralism, affected by rural abandonment versus agricultural intensification, due to competition with more profitable activities such as intensive olive grove cultivation and game hunting. The second case, located in the NW Andean Patagonia, Argentina, focuses on transhumant pastoralism, which is currently threaten by urbanization processes, whereas the area is also increasingly shared by other more profitable activities such as forestry, tourism and mining.
In this comparative analysis, we explored the visions of key stakeholders and intervention agents on the current situation and future role of extensive livestock and pastoralism in the context of the land-use changes mentioned above using a Q methodology. We then analysed through Social Network Analysis the existing relationships of information exchange and conflicts among local institutions in the case of Sierra MOrena and the work and information exchange networks in the case of Patagonia..
Results from Sierra Morena showed the existence of three different discourses among social actors, but a large consensus regarding the management strategies. The social network revealed high cohesion and communication exchange, as well as a low level of conflicts among actors. In the Patagonia case, results showed the existence of six different discourses among social actors, but a large consensus regarding the support of traditional transhumant pastoralism and the associated cultural capital and lifestyle. The main differences were related to perceived problems and main threats, and hence the highlighted solutions. Social network analyses revealed high cohesion through some key social actors with high centrality positions.
The combination of the two methodological approaches showed a high complementarity. Discourse analysis allowed for a deep understanding of common views of existing problems and underlying conflicts, and suggested that new possibilities could emerge for extensive livestock farming and pastoralism through the collaborative effort of the different socio-economic sectors. Social network analysis, on the other hand, allowed us to identify and characterize marginalized actors, conflicting positions and current and potential alliances. However, differences in the point of view of the main regional problems should be taken into account in order to foster consensus to better orient policy design.
Evaluating and predicting the structure of Natura 2000 sites management through Ego Network Analysis
Andreea Nita | University of Bucharest | Romania
Keywords — Protected area administration, Simmelian ties, Girvan-Newman Clustering.
In a world in a constant evolution, the need for preserving biodiversity is a challenging task for governments and NGOs along with the need to increase the societal engagement in the management of protected areas. Natura 2000 represents the main instrument for the implementation of the Habitats and Birds Directives, the network gathering European protected areas. The centerpiece of biodiversity conservation is ensuring cooperation among countless actors involved in the management of protected areas. From this perspective, social network analysis is a suitable tool for securing essential information for social interactions established during the environmental management process. This is why, in this paper we present a new approach in investigating the management of Natura 2000 sites, by considering two real-world management settings in Romania: Iron Gates Natural Park (a natural park, category V IUCN, administrated by a public body owned by state: Iron Gates Natural Park Administration) and Lower Siret Floodplain site (a Natura 2000 site managed by the regional NGO called Association for Biodiversity Conservation). Thus, we evaluate the characteristics of two ego networks established for the management of two protected areas, these networks being created around administrative bodies of the protected areas (ego), and include management actors directly connected to the ego. After evaluating the most common ego-network metrics that illustrate the characteristics of each egonet, we correlate the indegree values and betweenness values in three distinct forms (i.e. the complete management network, the ego-network of the main administrative management organization and the remaining management actors after removing the ego). Furthermore, we analyzed the strong ties by using Simmelian ties within protected areas management ego networks and clustered the embedded links in primary Girvan Newman groups. The findings of this study suggest that the administrative bodies of protected area have a critical role in bridging other management actors. Examining the effect of tie strength within the collaboration gives us the opportunity to predict what role the stakeholders play within the management of the protected areas. Using embedded ties and link strength showed for Lower Siret Floodplain site a high potential to collapse if removing the ego from the network. This paper tries to identify models of management control by comparing two ego-networks and showing how well connected the administrative bodies of protected areas are. The study provides insights regarding several means to improve the cooperation of environmental conservation in Natura 2000 areas and contributes to a better understanding of best practices in environmental management. The analyses presented can be further extended to other protected area management. Hence, a future step in our work considers providing tools and guidelines for changing management actions so that the conservation targets could be achieved without stimulating social conflicts.
Building new Nexus: Wastewater Reuse in Agriculture from a Multilevel Network Perspective
Björn Ebert | ISOE - Institute for Social-Ecological Research | Germany
Wastewater reuse in agricultural irrigation is an innovative way to reduce the agricultural groundwater demand and to adapt to water scarcity. Globally, agriculture accounts for more than 70% water usage and, therefore, massively contributes to conflicts in water use. The politi-cal demand for action in wastewater reuse is articulated by the “Blueprint to Safeguard Europe’s Water Resources”. However the appeal of the supranational level to “reuse treated wastewater whenever appropriate” is answered very differently in the member states. Also in non-arid countries like Germany the current irrigation practice is challenged based on qualitative indicators. Therefore, practitioners and scientists have cooperated in innovating a pilot installation of a hydroponic system in which treated wastewater can be reused to grow vegetables. The site is situated in Lower Saxony, which already has to find regional answers to the multilevel problem setting of agricultural irrigation. While increasing the efficiency of nutrient as well as water use and developing a multi-barrier system to secure product and health standards, the interactions between multiple societal levels, the technical solution relies on, remain unclear.
The necessarily involved actors in planning, construction, operation, sales, consumption and regulation are organized in their own sectoral, organisational or institutional logics. Bottom-up NGOs engaged in environmental policy have a stake in the network as well as public-law institu-tions and public authorities responsible for wastewater treatment. They are complemented by individual enterprises like farmers or even multi- and transnational food traders and supermar-ket chains. Additional to the diversity of organisational backgrounds neither the acceptance of the new production process transforming the existing farming practices nor the acceptance of the products by the consumers can be taken for granted. Missing proof of acceptance creates uncertainties for investors’ networks.
Multilevel-actor networks and debates about wastewater reuse in agriculture have firstly been analysed in a stakeholder workshop which has brought together different communities of prac-tice and research. Secondly, the empirical material of the group discussions and a short quanti-tative survey are complemented with in-depth semi-structured expert interviews meant to make individuals articulate and reflect their subjective perspectives about the multilevel network conditions the innovation is challenged by. The evidence generated in social interaction has thirdly been contextualised and cross-validated in regional newspapers.
The status quo of the innovation’s environment is characterised by fragmentation of organisa-tional forms and a high number of actors having a stake in it. Positions of important groups are still fluid and heterogeneous. A central pushing actor or a steering in-group taking ownership of the transformation process could not be identified yet. As the agriculture and wastewater sector are not experienced in working together, they need to overcome sector specific forms of interaction and address lacks of inclusiveness and trust to enable new cooperation. Conceptually, the creation of interactions is embedded in adaptive and design-orientated nexus governance. Despite multilevel networks, crisis discourses, reflexive future frames of the irrigation regime, and a procedural dimension considering desirable tools to reach these re-quirements are going to be discussed as a contribution to governance of complexity.
Understandig water governance in a subwatershed in Veracruz Mexico through social network analysis
Julia Ros-Cuellar | Institute of Ecology (Instituto de Ecología A. C.) / Centre for Economic Research and Teaching, CIDE (Centro de Investigacion y Docencia Economicas, CIDE, AC). | Mexico
social network analysis, local committees, water access
Understanding local forms of organization for water management is essential for the design of watershed management programs. However, this is extremely complex because of the physical and social aspects of governance context and the involvement of multiple actors at different scales. A tool to study these processes of governance is the analysis of social networks. This tool allows mapping access/exploitation of water resources; identify links between social actors involved; know the exchange of information (agreements) and the exploitation of common resources as a basis for political negotiation, as well as the way in which the social network structure affects the adaptive capacity in water management. In this study, we describe how 34 localities /private properties within the Sochiapa’s river watershed in Veracruz, are organized to supply water. The area is of special relevance because it’s considered of interest for conservation. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with key stakeholders. Little linkage was found between local water committees of localities that exploit the same water sources. The density, centrality and intermediation of the network of meetings between localities and other actors for water governance indicate a low adaptive capacity to processes such as the change in the seasonality of the rains and the capacity to supply water bodies, derived from the climate change. Water committees were documented in more than the half of the localities. The evidence found shows a need to design an integrated water management strategy at regional level through agreements between local and municipal authorities to ensure a sufficient supply throughout the watershed.
Patent Oppositions in Networks: An Analysis of the Cosmetics Industry
Malte Doehne | Switzerland
This paper examines patent oppositions at the European Patent Office as firm-level responses to newly granted patents. We present a novel network-analytic construct, the ‘technology tree’, that allows us to reconstruct the ownership configuration of the technology lineage to which a particular patent relates. We demonstrate the usefulness of this construct by formulating a firm-level explanation for the observed decline in patent oppositions relative to the number of newly granted patents. A fine-grained dataset of the cosmetics industry shows technological lineages in general, and incumbent positions in particular, to be surprisingly important for explaining the decline in oppositions, especially in light of past research on patent thickets and public good problems. The analysis of technology trees and their owners’ characteristics sheds light on local strategic considerations of firms when they decide whether or not to initiate oppositions against the patents of their competitors and peers.