Next Article in Journal
Development of Web-Based RECESS Model for Estimating Baseflow Using SWAT
Next Article in Special Issue
A Multi-Scalar Examination of Law for Sustainable Ecosystems
Previous Article in Journal
Simulation and Prediction of Decarbonated Development in Tourist Attractions Associated with Low-carbon Economy
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessReview
Sustainability 2014, 6(4), 2338-2356; doi:10.3390/su6042338

Identifying Legal, Ecological and Governance Obstacles, and Opportunities for Adapting to Climate Change

1
College of Law and Waters of the West, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID 83844, USA
2
Department of Environmental Sciences, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA
3
Geological Survey, Nebraska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE 68583, USA
4
Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 March 2014 / Revised: 14 April 2014 / Accepted: 14 April 2014 / Published: 22 April 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Law for Sustainability)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [532 KB, uploaded 24 February 2015]   |  

Abstract

Current governance of regional scale water management systems in the United States has not placed them on a path toward sustainability, as conflict and gridlock characterize the social arena and ecosystem services continue to erode. Changing climate may continue this trajectory, but it also provides a catalyst for renewal of ecosystems and a window of opportunity for change in institutions. Resilience provides a bridging concept that predicts that change in ecological and social systems is often dramatic, abrupt, and surprising. Adapting to the uncertainty of climate driven change must be done in a manner perceived as legitimate by the participants in a democratic society. Adaptation must begin with the current hierarchical and fragmented social-ecological system as a baseline from which new approaches must be applied. Achieving a level of integration between ecological concepts and governance requires a dialogue across multiple disciplines, including ecologists with expertise in ecological resilience, hydrologists and climate experts, with social scientists and legal scholars. Criteria and models that link ecological dynamics with policies in complex, multi-jurisdictional water basins with adaptive management and governance frameworks may move these social-ecological systems toward greater sustainability.
Keywords: adaptive governance; ecological resilience; water law; sustainability; social-ecological system adaptive governance; ecological resilience; water law; sustainability; social-ecological system
Figures

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Cosens, B.; Gunderson, L.; Allen, C.; Benson, M.H. Identifying Legal, Ecological and Governance Obstacles, and Opportunities for Adapting to Climate Change. Sustainability 2014, 6, 2338-2356.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Sustainability EISSN 2071-1050 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top