From: Stockholm University
Published August 18, 2017 11:43 AM

Right kind of collaboration is key to solving environmental problems

The coming decade may determine whether humanity will set a course toward a more socially and ecologically sustainable society. A crucial part of this goal is to develop a better understanding of how cooperation can be improved and become more effective, both within and among private stakeholders and public institutions.

“Collaborative governance is often highlighted as a solution to different environmental problems. For example, when small-scale fishermen agree to avoid overfishing or when states agree to reduce greenhouse gases. But we don’t know so much about how cooperation around environmental issues works in a complex world. Different actors want different things, different environmental problems are related to each other, and different groups have differing amounts of influence. Does cooperation actually lead to a better environment?” says Örjan Bodin, lecturer at the Stockholm Resilience Centre who conducts interdisciplinary research on better ways to handle diverse environmental problems.

One way to delve into these questions has been to study how different collaborative initiatives have engaged different actors and how these actors have chosen to work with each other. An ‘actor’ can be an individual, like a fisherman, but it can also be a city, business, non-profit or a country. Through studying these collaborative networks we develop a better understanding of how actors, both as a group and as individuals, act when confronted with different environmental problems.

Read more at Stockholm University

Photo: The ability to solve environmental problems is connected to the way different actors collaborate, for example in the fish industry, says a new study. Credit: Andreas Altenburger / Mostphotos

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