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Towards adaptive coastal management: Lessons from a "legal storm" in Byron Shire, Australia
Univ Sunshine Coast, Sustainabil Res Ctr, Locked Bag 4, Maroochydore, Qld 4558, Australia;Saes Advogados, Av Rio Branco 4,Sala 1104, BR-20090000 Rio De Janeiro, RJ, Brazil.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, SWEDESD - The Swedish International Centre of Education for Sustainable Development. Univ Sunshine Coast, Sustainabil Res Ctr, Locked Bag 4, Maroochydore, Qld 4558, Australia;Brock Univ, Environm Sustainabil Res Ctr, 1812 Sir Isaac Brock Way, St Catharines, ON L2S 3A1, Canada.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3991-5211
Univ Sunshine Coast, Sustainabil Res Ctr, Locked Bag 4, Maroochydore, Qld 4558, Australia.
Univ Sunshine Coast, Sustainabil Res Ctr, Locked Bag 4, Maroochydore, Qld 4558, Australia;Univ Queensland, Ctr Policy Futures, St Lucia, Qld 4072, Australia;Ctr Marine Socioecol, Hobart, Tas 7004, Australia.
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2019 (English)In: Ocean and Coastal Management, ISSN 0964-5691, E-ISSN 1873-524X, Vol. 179, article id 104909Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Adaptive management has been advocated as an appropriate approach for the management of social-ecological systems, although its implementation has proven to be a challenge. Legal systems can hinder or facilitate adaptive management. Focusing on legal arrangements, this article explores how adaptive management can be better operationalised in the context of coastal management. Byron Shire, a local government area in New South Wales, Australia, was selected as a case study where we: (a) analysed how the concept of adaptive management has emerged within the evolution of coastal management and its applicable legal framework, and (b) identified juridical constraints to adaptive coastal management. Qualitative methods were used for the analysis of relevant documents and semi-structured interviews with 23 key informants. The results show that a distorted version of adaptive management has been adopted in Byron Shire's draft coastal management plans, which fails to adhere to the formal, structured, and iterative process of adaptive management. A legacy created by the legal effects of past decisions affecting coastal management has led to a path dependency towards protective measures to manage coastal erosion, constraining other management options, particularly managed realignment strategies. Failure to address juridical constraints in the early stages of the adaptive management process can result in stakeholder conflict and litigation. Overlitigation harms adaptive coastal management by pushing the decision-making process away from the pathway offered by the legal framework for preparing and implementing coastal management plans. After recent legislative coastal reform at the state level, there is momentum for the Byron Shire Council to refocus its adaptive management approach. However, overcoming existing juridical constraints will require adaptive governance, in which all levels of government must work collaboratively with the affected stakeholders in the design and implementation of the adaptive management process.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
ELSEVIER SCI LTD , 2019. Vol. 179, article id 104909
Keywords [en]
Adaptive governance, Adaptive management, Law, Managed realignment, Path dependency
National Category
Law and Society
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-396641DOI: 10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2019.104909ISI: 000486105500035OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-396641DiVA, id: diva2:1368544
Available from: 2019-11-07 Created: 2019-11-07 Last updated: 2019-11-07Bibliographically approved

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Smith, Timothy F.

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