Beyond Calendars and Maps: Rethinking Time and Space for Effective Knowledge Governance in Protected Areas | Land Portal

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Date of publication: 
September 2020
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© 2020 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article.

Protected area managers rely on relevant, credible, and legitimate knowledge. However, an increase in the rate, extent, severity, and magnitude of the impacts of drivers of change (e.g., climate change, altered land use, and demand for natural resources) is affecting the response capacity of managers and their agencies. We address temporal aspects of knowledge governance by exploring time-related characteristics of information and decision-making processes in protected areas. These areas represent artefacts where the past (e.g., geological periods and evolutionary processes), the present (e.g., biodiversity richness), and the future (e.g., protection of ecosystem services for future generations) are intimately connected and integrated. However, temporal horizons linked with spatial scales are often neglected or misinterpreted in environmental management plans and monitoring programs. In this paper, we present a framework to address multi-dimensional understandings of knowledge-based processes for managing protected areas to guide researchers, managers, and practitioners to consider temporal horizons, spatial scales, different knowledge systems, and future decisions. We propose that dealing with uncertain futures starts with understanding the knowledge governance context that shapes decision-making processes, explicitly embracing temporal dimensions of information in decision-making at different scales. We present examples from South Africa and Colombia to illustrate the concepts. This framework can help to enable a reflexive practice, identify pathways or transitions to enable actions and connect knowledge for effective conservation of protected areas.

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Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 
Múnera-Roldán, Claudia Roux, Dirk J. Colloff, Matthew J. van Kerkhoff, Lorrae

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