Stakeholder participation, learning and management of ecosystems: a global study of 146 Biosphere Reserves in 55 countries (GLEAN)

Project leader


Funding source

Swedish Research Council - Vetenskapsrådet (VR)

Project Details

Start date: 01/01/2012
End date: 31/12/2016
Funding: 7750000 SEK


Theories of natural resource management and conservation, such as adaptive management and adaptive co-management, are based on strong but mostly untested assumptions about the importance of engaging local stakeholders in conservation and management efforts.

The aim of this project is to analyse the effect of stakeholder participation in natural resource management programs on 1) outcomes in ecosystems, and 2) learning processes. Through a powerful combination of a transdisciplinary research team, cross-national panel survey of 144 BR-areas in 55 countries, longitudinal biodiversity mapping using satellite imagery, and context-sensitive field work in 10 strategically selected cases studies, the contested role of stakeholder participation in natural resource management will be examined in with a much higher degree of precision and generalizability than previously possible.

The significance of the proposed project consists in its unique ability to subject key theoretical assumptions to rigours testing against several different types of empirical data. In addition, the proposed project will compile and make publicly available a data set consisting of estimates of interlinked social and ecological systems situated in 55 different political contexts. This will enable researchers to analyze long term interaction patterns between social and ecological systems, as well as generate new research questions that go beyond current theories of environmental management.

Last updated on 2017-31-03 at 12:58