Academic journal article Environmental Law

Collaborative Strategies for Managing Animal Migrations: Insights from the History of Ecosystem-Based Management

Academic journal article Environmental Law

Collaborative Strategies for Managing Animal Migrations: Insights from the History of Ecosystem-Based Management

Article excerpt

  I. Introduction
 II. Ecosystem-Based Management and Migration Conservation
     A. Spatial Scale and Complex Systems in EBM
     B. Collaboration and Adaptation in EBM
     C. EBM Principles in Migration Conservation
III. Implementation Challenges Facing EBM and Migration Conservation
 IV. Promoting Successful EBM and Migration Conservation
     A. Incentives to Cooperate
     B. Using Existing Governmental Structures and Planning Processes
     C. Obtaining Adequate Resources Through Partnerships
     D. Monitoring for Adaptive Management
     E. Enhancing Political Support
     F. Tapping into the Energy of Dedicated "Champions"
  V. The Lifecycle of EBM Efforts
     A. Stages in the EBM Lifecycle
        1. Planning and Early Implementation
        2. Later Implementation
        3. Social and Ecological Improvements
     B. Lessons for Migration Conservation
 VI. Balancing Coercion and Collaboration--The Role of Legal Structures
     A. Legal Mandates or Public Lands Plans as Incentives for
     B. Legal Mandates to Improve Accountability
VII. Conclusion


Over the last two decades, efforts to conserve large landscapes in North America have involved scientists, managers, policy makers, and a range of nongovernmental stakeholders in a variety of collaborative processes. Sometimes called ecosystem-based management (EBM), (1) these efforts have attempted to manage at larger, more ecologically-relevant scales than traditionally was the case in terrestrial, freshwater, and marine systems. Because these efforts have important similarities to migration conservation, they can be viewed as a suite of experiments that can inform the development of collaborative arrangements for managing wide-ranging animal species.

This Article describes lessons that have emerged from these EBM efforts, highlighting the challenges that people have faced and the factors that seem to account for success. Given a pluralistic political system and a land base that is fragmented among multiple public and private owners, future strategies must be collaborative while still creating the incentives for the collaboration to yield conservation outcomes. How can this be done?

Part II identifies the key principles of EBM and how they relate to emerging principles of migration conservation, noting strong similarities of the two approaches. Both EBM and migration conservation involve management at larger spatial scales and longer and more sophisticated temporal scales. They focus on maintenance or restoration of key ecosystem processes (such as disturbance and migratory movement), not just the structural components of ecosystems (such as species and communities). Larger scales and more complex management strategies require cooperation and collaboration across boundaries and force decision makers to include more stakeholders in management decisions. To deal effectively with uncertainty and change, such as the potential impacts of climate change on habitat quality and migration behavior, adaptive management is needed to ensure ongoing learning and wiser strategic choices.

Part III summarizes the challenges that have faced individuals attempting to implement EBM projects and examines the limited evidence of challenges associated with cases of migration conservation. These challenges include: institutional and political barriers due to conflicting agency missions and competing demands for resources; attitudinal issues due to mistrust and conflicting cultures; and process management difficulties associated with complex, multiparty decision-making processes.

Since the principles and challenges of EBM and migration conservation appear similar, there is reason to believe that the factors promoting success in EBM efforts will help to promote similar migration conservation efforts, and Part TV summarizes these factors based on numerous case studies of EBM projects. …

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