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Sustainability of social–ecological systems: The difference between social rules and management rules

Chiaravalloti, RM; Homewood, K; Dyble, M; (2021) Sustainability of social–ecological systems: The difference between social rules and management rules. Conservation Letters 10.1111/conl.12826. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Most conservation and development initiatives assume that rules limiting resource extraction are necessary for ecological sustainability. While this is often true, in some social–ecological systems, unpredictable ecosystem dynamics and limited exploitation technology make it unlikely that people will overstep the ecological threshold, precluding the need for management rules. Here, two kinds of systems can emerge: open access systems in which individuals can meet their needs without cooperating with others, and a cooperative open access system in which social rules are required though management rules are not, because individuals need to cooperate to survive and to prevent erosion of cooperation by free-riders. We provide three brief case studies illustrating cooperative open access: Pantaneiro fishers, Agta hunter-gatherers, and Maasai pastoralists. We conclude that understanding these exceptions is pivotal for a better theoretical understanding of social–ecological systems, and can be valuable in building a strategic approach to conservation.

Type: Article
Title: Sustainability of social–ecological systems: The difference between social rules and management rules
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/conl.12826
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/conl.12826
Language: English
Additional information: © 2021 The Authors. Conservation Letters published by Wiley Periodicals LLC. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10130934
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