1st Edition

Governing the Coastal Commons Communities, Resilience and Transformation

Edited By Derek Armitage, Anthony Charles, Fikret Berkes Copyright 2017
    286 Pages 51 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    286 Pages 51 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Coastal communities depend on the marine environment for their livelihoods, but the common property nature of marine resources poses major challenges for the governance of such resources. Through detailed cases and consideration of broader global trends, this volume examines how coastal communities are adapting to environmental change, and the attributes of governance that foster deliberate transformations and help to build resilience of social and ecological systems. 

    Governance here reflects how communities, societies and organisations (e.g. fisher cooperatives, government agencies) choose to organise themselves to make decisions about important issues, such as the use and protection of coastal commons (e.g. fishery resources). The book shows how a governance approach generates insights into the specific forms and arrangements that enable coastal communities to steer away from unsustainable pathways. It also provides an analytical lens to consider important questions of power, knowledge and legitimacy in linked social-ecological systems. Chapters highlight examples in which communities are engaging in deliberative transformations to build resilience and enhance their well-being. These transformations and efforts to build resilience are emerging through multi-level collaboration, shared learning, innovative policies and institutional arrangements (such as new property rights regimes and co-management), methodologies that engage with indigenous cultural practices, and entrepreneurial activities, including income and livelihood diversification. 

    Case studies are included from a range of countries including Canada, Japan, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, South Africa, Thailand, the South Pacific and Europe. The authors integrate theory with practical examples to improve coastal marine policy and governance, and draw upon emerging concepts from social-ecological resilience and transformations, adaptive governance and the scholarship on the commons.

    1. Toward Transformative Change in the Coastal Commons

    Derek Armitage, Anthony Charles and Fikret Berkes

    2. Turning the Tide: Strategies, Innovation and Transformative Learning at the Olifants Estuary, South Africa

    Merle Sowman

    3. Emergence of Community Science as a Transformative Process in Port Mouton Bay, Canada

    Laura Loucks, Fikret Berkes, Derek Armitage and Anthony Charles

    4. Rights-based Coastal Ecosystem Use and Management: From Open Access to Community Managed Access Rights

    A. Minerva Arce-Ibarra, Juan Carlos Seijo, Maren Headley, Karla Infante-Ramírez, and Raúl Villanueva-Poot

    5. Transformations of the Reef, Transformations of the Mind: Marine Aquarium Trade in Bali, Indonesia

    Jack Frey and Fikret Berkes

    6. The Path to Sustainable Fisheries in Japan and the Transformative Impact of the Shiretoko World Natural Heritage Site

    Eirini Ioanna Vlachopoulou and Mitsutaku Makino

    7. Community Participation and Adaptation to Change in Biosphere Reserves: A Review and a Mediterranean European Coastal Wetland Case Study (Rhone Delta Biosphere Reserve, Southern France)

    Meriem Bouamrane, Raphael Mathevet, Harold Levrel, Heather Huntington and Arun Agrawal

    8. Navigating the Transformation to Community-Based Resource Management

    Jessica Blythe, Philippa Cohen, Kirsten Abernethy and Louisa Evans

    9. Navigating from Government-centralized Management to Adaptive Co-management in a Marine Protected Area, Paraty, Brazil: Turbulence, Winds of Opportunity, and Progress Towards Transformation

    Cristiana Simão Seixas, Ana Carolina Esteves Dias and Rodrigo Rodrigues de Freitas

    10. Koh Pitak: A Community-Based, Environment and Tourism Initiative in Thailand

    Philip Dearden, Dachanee Emphandhu, Supawinee Songpornwanich and Amnat Ruksapol

    11. Sasi Laut In Maluku: Transformation and Sustainability of Traditional Governance in the Face of Globalization

    Ahmad Mony, Arif Satria and Rilus A. Kinseng

    12. The Messy Intertidal Zone: Transformation of Governance Thinking for Coastal Nova Scotia

    Jennifer Graham and Anthony Charles

    13. Communities, Multi-level Networks and Governance Transformations in the Coastal Commons

    Derek Armitage, Steve Alexander, Mark Andrachuk, Samantha Berdej, Shandel Brown, Prateep Nayak, Jeremy Pittman and Kaitlyn Rathwell

    14. Synthesis: Governing Coastal Transformations

    Derek Armitage, Fikret Berkes and Anthony Charles


    Derek Armitage is Professor in the School of Environment, Resources and Sustainability, University of Waterloo, Canada, where he leads the Environmental Change and Governance Group.

    Anthony Charles is Professor in the School of the Environment and the School of Business, Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, Canada, and is Director of the Community Conservation Research Network.

    Fikret Berkes is Distinguished Professor Emeritus and former Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Community-based Research Management at the Natural Resources Institute, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada.