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A practical dialogue protocol for sustainability science to contribute to regional resources management: its implementation in Réunion

Jérôme Queste and Tom Wassenaar

Natural Resources Forum, 2019, vol. 43, issue 1, 3-16

Abstract: Over the last decade, adaptive co‐management has been recommended as a policy framework to address complex and uncertain resources management issues. Implementing this theoretical management concept requires the integration of multidisciplinary research and local knowledge. Yet practical protocols to link science, policymaking and societies have yet to be developed. We designed a protocol to produce legitimate, credible and relevant solutions to a regional resources management issue. This is a two‐component protocol. A stakeholder grid categorizes stakeholder representatives in three distinct specialized dialogue arenas: institution representatives, technical experts and local end‐users. An iterative co‐design process then builds on these arenas to assess the institutional legitimacy, technical credibility and empirical relevance dimensions of a common solution initiated by an initial plausible promise. We tested this framework in Réunion to address organic waste management issues at the regional level. The plausible solution explored was the introduction of a recycling industry involved in collecting organic waste and producing and selling organic fertilizers tailored for local crop systems. The protocol application outcomes were consolidated and documented scenarios accepted by all, with knowledge exchange and the broad spread of a stabilized expectation contributing to private initiatives and public policy change.

Date: 2019
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