Marine social-ecological systems are threatened by multiple and overlapping human pressures resulting in long-term trajectories of environmental degradation and decline. Governance and management responses to deal with these changes have been small, fragmented, incremental and inadequate. Recent years have seen a call for major transformational changes, but shifting from conventional approaches to new multilevel, participatory, flexible governance approaches has proven to be difficult. Governance transformation processes have in general failed to assess wide-ranging social and ecological conditions which can help understand impacts and design for further governance innovations. In fact, assessments of research needs to foster desirable adaptive responses and the capacity for scale of innovative management practices are not usually part of these transformative fisheries programs and policies. Using empirical information from marine governance transformation processes in Chile this talk presents the results of social-ecological research aimed at both understanding governance transformation consequences and fostering innovative policy adjustments aimed at increasing the sustainability of coastal fisheries. The talk highlights the importance of assessing enabling conditions created by novel governance regimes and how scientific knowledge can then aid in designing programs that focus a priori on scaling, adaptation, and innovation.
Stefan is a Professor at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile where he studies social and ecological dimensions of marine fisheries management and environmental conservation. He was awarded a 2014 Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation. Stefan’s work currently focuses on social-ecological systems, marine conservation, and incentive-based programs focusing on small-scale fisher and coastal communities. Stefan has published more than 100 papers and participated in consultancy for national and international NGOs, foundations and governments. Stefan is also an adviser and board member of Global Green Grants, an organization which supports grassroots environmental groups in more than 100 countries. He received his BSc from the Universidad Catolica del Norte, his MPhil from the University of Cambridge, and his PhD from University of Wales, Bangor.