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Water 2016, 8(5), 191; doi:10.3390/w8050191

Ecosystem Perceptions in Flood Prone Areas: A Typology and Its Relationship to Preferences for Governance

1
Environmental Sustainability Research Centre, Brock University, St. Catharines, ON L2S 3A1, Canada
2
Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University, Stockholm 106 91, Sweden
3
Department of Environmental Studies and Sciences, University of Winnipeg, Winnipeg, MB R3B 2E9, Canada
4
Department of Economics, Brock University, St. Catharines, ON L2S 3A1, Canada
5
Department of Geography, Brock University, St. Catharines, ON L2S 3A1, Canada
6
Centre for Women's and Gender Studies, Brock University, St. Catharines, ON L2S 3A1, Canada
7
Department of Biological Sciences, Brock University, St. Catharines, ON L2S 3A1, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Athanasios Loukas
Received: 3 February 2016 / Revised: 2 May 2016 / Accepted: 3 May 2016 / Published: 7 May 2016
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [460 KB, uploaded 7 May 2016]   |  

Abstract

A shift appears to be occurring in thinking about flooding, from a resistance-based approach to one of resilience. Accordingly, how stakeholders in flood-prone regions perceive the system and its governance are salient questions. This study queried stakeholders’ internal representations of ecosystems (resistance- or resilience-based), preferences for governance actors and mechanisms for flooding, and the relationship between them in five different regions of the world. The influence of personal experience on these variables was also assessed. Most respondents aligned themselves with a resilience-based approach in relation to system connectedness and response to disturbance; however, respondents were almost evenly split between resistance- and resilience-based approaches when considering system management. Responses generally were considered to hold for other disturbances as well. There was no clear relationship between internal representations and preferences for governance actors or mechanisms. Respondents generally favoured actor combinations that included governments and mechanism combinations that included regulations and policies. Those who had personal experience with flooding tended to align themselves with a resilience-based internal representation of system management, but personal experience showed no clear relationship with governance preferences. The findings support an evolutionary perspective of flood management where emerging paradigms enhance preceding ones, and prompt a critical discussion about the universality of resilience as a framing construct. View Full-Text
Keywords: ecosystem perception; flooding; governance; resilience ecosystem perception; flooding; governance; resilience
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Baird, J.; Dzyundzyak, A.; Plummer, R.; Bullock, R.; Dupont, D.; Jollineau, M.; Kubik, W.; Pickering, G.; Vasseur, L. Ecosystem Perceptions in Flood Prone Areas: A Typology and Its Relationship to Preferences for Governance. Water 2016, 8, 191.

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