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Managing Waters of the Paraiba do Sul River Basin, Brazil: A Case Study in Institutional Change and Social Learning

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Type: Journal Article
Author: Kumler, Lori M.; Lemos, Maria Carmen
Journal: Ecology and Society
Volume: 13
Date: 2008
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/2704
Sector: Water Resource & Irrigation
Region: South America
Subject(s): institutional analysis
river basins
water management--policy
social behavior
Abstract: "This article examines the implementation of integrated water-management institutions in the Paraiba do Sul River basin in southeast Brazil. It argues that social learning has been critical in facilitating reform implementation so far, and will likely continue to be an important factor for the future sustainability of the new management system. There has been a synergistic relationship between social learning and Brazils water-reform hybrid governance institutions, in which social learning facilitated the implementation of the reforms new institutions, which in turn enabled further learning in the context of the river basin committees decision-making process. Through interviews, surveys, and observations, we identified social-learning capacities, including trust, an ability to work together, and the committees shared understanding of the institutions problems, possibilities, and mission. Effective management through social learning was demonstrated by the institutions adaptive capacity in the face of a severe drought."

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