Forging new models of natural resource governance


Effective solutions to today's most pressing natural resource management challenges demand working across jurisdictional and sectoral boundaries, which requires a networked system of governance. The 21st century has seen a dramatic shift in technology and social norms that have fundamentally changed the way we coordinate and make decisions at individual, organizational, and societal levels. The term “network society” has been applied to this mode of organization. Through networks, people leverage informal relationships to exchange ideas, build rapport, identify common interests, work together, share power, and solve problems of mutual interest. Network governance emerges when people realize that they (and the organizations they represent) cannot solve a particular problem by acting independently and that their interests may be better served through collaboration, drawing on their diverse capabilities. At large landscape scales, networks facilitate and shape governance of economic, socio-cultural, and ecological processes and activities.

Publication Type
Journal Article
R Patrick Bixler
Matthew McKinney, University of Montana
Lynn Scarlett, The Nature Conservancy
Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment

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