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Functional silos and other governance challenges of rangeland management in Iceland

Petursdottir, Thorunn, Baker, Susan ORCID: and Aradottir, Asa L. 2020. Functional silos and other governance challenges of rangeland management in Iceland. Environmental Science and Policy 105 , pp. 37-46.

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Social-ecological system (SES) promoting sustainable management of natural resources in common ownership are steered by a complex governance system that includes regulations through laws and policies, and management by administrative authorities operating across multi-level institutional structures that, in turn, are shaped by stakeholder interests. In addition, the long-term progress of natural resource management not only relies upon the existence of a well-structured and functional governance system, but needs that system to adaptably facilitate sustainable resource management in line with current knowledge and best practices. In this research we mapped the administrative structure that steers rangeland management in Iceland and undertook a critical analysis of the governance system´s structure and functions to examine if agricultural and environmental policy targets have facilitated improved rangeland management practices. A survey, based on a questionnaire distributed to selected public sector employees and sheep farmers, was used to gauge the participants: a) attitude towards rangeland management practices, b) perception of the level of collaboration and state support for rangeland restoration and c) views on current agricultural and environmental policies on rangeland management. The results strongly indicate that neither the current administrative structure nor the governance process itself have significantly facilitated expected attitude changes within the agricultural sector or among local authorities. Furthermore, it has neither facilitated significant attitude nor behavioral changes among sheep farmers aimed at improved rangeland management, in line with current government agricultural and environmental policy targets. Our key findings support previous research that shows the governance system for rangeland management in Iceland as structurally limited and suffering from weak vertically and horizontally integration. Furthermore, our findings clearly reveal the need for improved governance for rangeland management and the need for increased levels of knowledge application within the system.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 1462-9011
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 16 December 2019
Date of Acceptance: 14 December 2019
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2023 22:02

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