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Social-ecological innovation and transformation: Ecosystem-based fisheries management (EBFM) in the Philippines

Fortnam, MP; (2017) Social-ecological innovation and transformation: Ecosystem-based fisheries management (EBFM) in the Philippines. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London).

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From a resilience perspective, this thesis explores the potential of socialIecological innovations (SEIs) to enact transformations towards sustainability. We know little about what constitutes a transformation, the new concept of SEI or how contextual factors, such as politics and power relations, create barriers and pathways to transformation. These knowledge gaps are investigated through an inIdepth case study of ecosystemIbased fisheries management (EBFM) in the Philippines. The thesis analyses the role of individuals in actor networks and the challenges faced in the adoption, implementation and institutionalisation of EBFM in Lanuza Bay in the southeast of the Philippines. A novel action research methodology provides a networkI and processIorientated perspective on SEI. Innovation Histories and NetIMap methods facilitate systematic reflection by members of an interIgovernmental alliance on the events, social relations and variable influence of actors involved in EBFM. These ‘insider’ views are complemented with the ‘outsider’ views of the researcher and quantitative social network analysis. The thesis finds that leadership is diffuse since SEIs aim to match multiIjurisdictional governance systems with the scale of socialIecological dynamics. Multiple leaders are enrolled to leverage the resources and power relations of individuals occupying different social positions. The character and evolvement of EBFM is shaped, however, by contextual realities, which create opportunities and barriers to transformation. A context of vested interests, corruption, wide inequalities, resource and data constraints, diverging political priorities and patronage networks has generated resistance to change that is weakening the transformative potential of EBFM in Lanuza Bay. The thesis concludes that SEIs need to be adapted and reworked in novel ways to be feasible in particular contexts but, in doing so, their potential to transform underlying social structures that maintain unsustainable development pathways can be weakened. Transformations to sustainability are argued to be messy, nonIlinear political processes, involving multiple waves of innovation, crossIscale interplay, and conflict between rival coalitions and development visions.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Social-ecological innovation and transformation: Ecosystem-based fisheries management (EBFM) in the Philippines
Event: UCL (University College London)
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1558300
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