A Critical Assessment of Collaborative Adaptive Management in Practice

Journal of Applied Ecology, Vol. 49, 2012

UC Irvine School of Law Research Paper No. 2012-47

Posted: 23 May 2012 Last revised: 7 Jun 2013

Lawrence E. Susskind

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Urban Studies & Planning

Alejandro E. Camacho

University of California Irvine School of Law; Center for Progressive Reform

Todd Schenk

Virginia Tech; Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Urban Studies & Planning

Date Written: ,

Abstract

1. Collaborative adaptive management (CAM) is regularly touted as the best way to handle natural resource management in the face of uncertainty, change and conflict. Successful applications of CAM have, however, been elusive in practice.

2. This article examines the Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program (AMP) in the United States, and other CAM efforts, to illustrate why and how procedural shortcomings may lead to natural resource management failures and reflect on how they may be overcome.

3. Synthesis and applications. To increase the chance of success, CAM efforts should set clear overarching goals and concrete and measurable objectives, employ tools and incentives to facilitate participation and foster collaboration, implement well-defined joint fact-finding protocols to promote shared learning and manage scientific uncertainty, and commit to monitoring and adapting their management regimes over time. Even in complex and contentious resource management contexts, future CAM efforts that integrate these design elements are likely to lead to more effective natural resource management.

Keywords: collaborative adaptive management, collaborative planning, consensus, ecosystem management, environmental management, Glen Canyon Dam, joint fact-finding, natural resource management, public participation, stakeholder engagement

Suggested Citation

Susskind, Lawrence E. and Camacho, Alejandro E. and Schenk, Todd, A Critical Assessment of Collaborative Adaptive Management in Practice (,). Journal of Applied Ecology, Vol. 49, 2012; UC Irvine School of Law Research Paper No. 2012-47. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2064975

Lawrence E. Susskind (Contact Author)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Urban Studies & Planning ( email )

77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
United States

Alejandro E. Camacho

University of California Irvine School of Law ( email )

401 East Peltason Drive
4500-A
Irvine, CA 92697-1000
United States
949-824-4160 (Phone)

Center for Progressive Reform ( email )

500 West Baltimore Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
United States

Todd Schenk

Virginia Tech ( email )

207 Architecture Annex (0113)
140 Otey Street NW
Blacksburg, VA 24061
United States
(540) 231-1803 (Phone)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Urban Studies & Planning ( email )

77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
United States

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