Challenges to and Potentials of Cross-Scale Linkages for Environmental Conservation: A Focus of Natural Resource Management Network in Kuraburi Estuary

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"Estuary and lagoon ecosystems pose a special challenge to commons theory and common pool resource management by making the exclusion and subtractability problems more difficult to deal with. Together with climate variability, these areas are physically subject to various influences not only from the coastal and brackish environment but also the adjacent marine and terrestrial areas including the watershed. The regional resources in the ecotone spaces raise cross-boundary issues so that elaborations are required to move beyond a community-based resource management situation within a limited area. Under this circumstance, cross-scale institutions, which are in tune with the scales where ecosystems function, shall be taken into account. Given that multiple and heterogeneous resource users are involved in the ecological-social-economic system, building a natural resource management (NRM) network consisting of various resource user groups is essential to deal with the exclusion and subtractability problems. On this recognition, the paper aims to identify challenges to and potentials of cross-scale linkages, in terms of NRM network building in a case study of Kuraburi estuary, Thailand where two NRM networks have already been formulated by the initiatives of the local people and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). This study emphasizes the assessment of actual and potential effects of NRM network building. It highlights the significance of NRM network building to mobilize collaborative relationships among relevant stakeholders. Furthermore, the research identifies several challenges in developing cross-scale linkages at the horizontal level across space and at the vertical level among the stakeholders, in order to ensure the legitimacy of cooperative and collaborative works for the wise use of natural resource. Based on these analyses, this paper draws some implications on the role of cross-scale linkages, and identifies positive strengths and pressing constraints toward integrated common pool resource management in the wider ecotone spaces."



scale, networks, environmental change