Conflict Resolution through Ecosystem-based Management: The Case of Swedish Moose Management

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2013

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Abstract

"Swedish moose (Alces alces) management has over the years transformed from a situation similar to what Hardin (1968) defined as a tragedy of the commons i.e. where open access and unrestricted demands lead to overexploitation into a situation characterized by an abundance of moose. While high numbers of moose are preferred by hunters, they damage forests through grazing, causing conflicts between hunters and forest owners. In an attempt to resolve these disputes, the Swedish government is introducing a new local ecosystembased management system. This paper analyzes this shift from managing a single resource to the broader perspective of ecosystem management and discusses to what extent it will contribute to conflict resolution. The results suggest that some of the problems highlighted may be solved through the implementation of an ecosystem management system. However, several challenges remain to be tackled, such as how to establish robust partnerships between forest owners and hunters for managing moose on land with a fragmented property rights structure. This can lead to different and conflicting objectives and, consequently, difficulties in reaching collective action."

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conflict, ecosystems, moose, social-ecological systems

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