Table 9-3. Table 9-5 lists four such approaches. Each has potential to provide linkages between the local level and the regional. Ecosystem-based management and adaptive management pay explicit attention to ecological-scale issues. Bioregionalism, which is a body of practice and not a collaborative methodology per se, is a special case of ecosystem-based management. It is of special interest

TABLE 9-5 Research and Management Approaches That Enable Cross-Scale Linkages



Ecosystem-based management or ecosystem management

Has come to include human uses of resources. The U.S. Forest Service adopted ecosystem management in 1992 as its official policy for managing national forests, and some other agencies followed suit. The policy came about mainly in response to increased spatial scales of management that require interagency and local landowner cooperation (Grumbine, 1994). However, how well ecosystem management may serve as an institution of cross-scale linkages is an open question.

Adaptive management

The scientific version of learning by doing. It uses the tools of systems modeling and iterative hypothesis testing, “adapting” management prescriptions by treating policies as hypotheses. Adaptive management typically focuses at the level of a local ecosystem. However, because different ecological interactions and resource use patterns occur at different scales, adaptive management, at least in the more recent applications, takes an explicitly cross-scale approach (Walters, 1986; Holling et al., 1998).

Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA)

Derives from Rapid Rural Appraisal (RRA) and Agroecosystem Analysis (AEA), both in the area of development, and first appeared in the late 1970s (Chambers, 1994). All three methodologies help link up the scale of individual farms and villages with the regional scale of development. PRA is distinguished by its insistence on a grassroots, “farmer-first” approach, empowering decision making and application at the local level.

Participatory Action Research (PAR)

Similar to “action anthropology,” shares with PRA the emphasis on the empowerment of users at the local scale. PAR places research and researchers at the service of the community; researchers help the community to carry out its own research agenda, in accordance to its own priorities and values (Chambers, 1994).

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