Governance and biodiversity

Two hands next to each other showing painted world map on palmsThe ASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes led a Governance and Biodiversity Workshop on December 12, 2017 with the intention of building local empirical governance work to scale. This workshop, which was spearheaded by Associate Director of Social Sciences Abigail York, was attended by representatives from various colleges and ranging interests. Attendees discussed various types of governance approaches including property rights focused systems, informal or decentralized systems, mixed systems and top-down governmental policy.  When weighing different governance mechanisms, cultural barriers to success were considered for social barriers, climate and boundaries for political barriers, ecosystem services for environmental barriers and feasibility for economic barriers. Additional questions raised throughout the workshop include: Who defines success? Who benefits? Who defines benefits? Is it possible to operationalize a framework for scaling up governance? Given that there is no scale independent or ecosystem independent of biodiversity, how much do ecosystem services count? How do we take smaller empirical studies to fit to other systems or use them as tools for commons dilemmas? This workshop is the beginning of a long-term project aiming to understand scalability of governance from successful local-to-global policies and vice versa. The goal is to craft a framework for this scalability by aggregating data, research and cases from different fields of work to advance biodiversity outcomes.