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      Wicked conflict: Using wicked problem thinking for holistic management of conservation conflict


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          Conservation conflict is widespread, damaging, and has proved difficult to manage using conventional conservation approaches. Conflicts are often “wicked problems,” lacking clear solutions due to divergent values of stakeholders, and being embedded within wickedly complex environments. Drawing on the concept of wicked environmental problems could lead to management strategies better suited to tackling conflict. However, it is unclear whether managers are embracing ideas from the wicked problems concept. There is currently a lack of guidance for applying strategies to tackle particular wicked problems, such as conservation conflict. We explored the suitability of wicked problems‐inspired management, using eight contemporary conflict case studies. Conservation conflict was managed predominantly using conventional approaches suited to tackling single objectives in simple environments, rather than balancing competing objectives in complex environments. To deal with different characteristics of wickedness, we recommend that managers develop strategies combining distributed decision‐making, diverse opinions, pattern‐based predictions, trade‐off‐based objectives, and reporting of failures. Recent advances in conservation conflict research have focused on improving interactions among stakeholders. We believe that such stakeholder‐focused approaches would dovetail with the whole‐system focus of a wicked problems framework, allowing conservationists to move toward a holistic strategy for managing conservation conflict.

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          Dilemmas in a general theory of planning

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            Complexity of coupled human and natural systems.

            Integrated studies of coupled human and natural systems reveal new and complex patterns and processes not evident when studied by social or natural scientists separately. Synthesis of six case studies from around the world shows that couplings between human and natural systems vary across space, time, and organizational units. They also exhibit nonlinear dynamics with thresholds, reciprocal feedback loops, time lags, resilience, heterogeneity, and surprises. Furthermore, past couplings have legacy effects on present conditions and future possibilities.
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              Collaborative environmental governance: Achieving collective action in social-ecological systems


                Author and article information

                Conserv Lett
                Conserv Lett
                Conservation Letters
                John Wiley and Sons Inc. (Hoboken )
                24 April 2018
                Nov-Dec 2018
                : 11
                : 6 ( doiID: 10.1111/conl.2018.11.issue-6 )
                : e12460
                [ 1 ] Biological and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Natural Sciences University of Stirling Stirling FK9 4LA United Kingdom
                [ 2 ] Conservation Ecology Group, Department of Biosciences Durham University South Road Durham DH1 3LE United Kingdom
                [ 3 ] Department of Biological Sciences National University of Singapore 14 Science Drive 4 Singapore 117543
                [ 4 ] School of Biological Sciences The University of Queensland Brisbane Queensland 4072 Australia
                [ 5 ] Department of Security and Crime Science University College London 35 Tavistock Square London WC1H 9EZ United Kingdom
                [ 6 ] Centre for Biodiversity & Environment Research (CBER), Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment University College London London WC1E 6BT United Kingdom
                [ 7 ] School of Geography & Sustainable Development, Irvine Building University of St Andrews North Street St Andrews KY16 9AL United Kingdom
                [ 8 ] African Marine Mammal Conservation Organization PO Box 908 Edea Cameroon
                Author notes
                [*] [* ] Correspondence

                Tom H.E. Mason, Conservation Ecology Group, Department of Biosciences, Durham University, South Road, Durham DH1 3LE, United Kingdom.

                Email: tom.h.e.mason@ 123456gmail.com

                Author information
                © 2018 The Authors. Conservation Letters published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

                This is an open access article under the terms of the http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                : 17 October 2017
                : 26 March 2018
                : 27 March 2018
                Page count
                Figures: 2, Tables: 2, Pages: 9, Words: 5107
                Funded by: H2020 European Research Council
                Award ID: 679651
                Award ID: ConFooBio
                Funded by: Natural Environment Research Council
                Award ID: NE/L002590/1
                Funded by: Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia
                Award ID: SFRH/BD/95510/2013
                Funded by: Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland
                Award ID: 50197
                Funded by: Australian Research Council
                Award ID: Linkage Project grant
                Policy Perspective
                Policy Perspectives
                Custom metadata
                November/December 2018
                Converter:WILEY_ML3GV2_TO_NLMPMC version:version=5.5.4 mode:remove_FC converted:16.01.2019

                adaptive management,coexistence,comanagement,complex systems,conservation conflict,human‐wildlife conflict,resilience,structured decision‐making,uncertainty,wicked problems


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