Science–policy processes for transboundary water governance

Derek Armitage, Rob C. de Loë, Michelle Morris, Tom W. D. Edwards, Andrea K. Gerlak, Roland I. Hall, Dave Huitema, Ray Ison, David Livingstone, Glen MacDonald, Naho Mirumachi, Ryan Plummer, Brent B. Wolfe

In this brief perspective, MacDonald et al note that globally, significant changes in water flows in major rivers have been identified, which will lead to water stress and competition for water under various climate change scenarios. They also note that about “45% of the earth’s surface is covered by 276 river basins that are shared by more than one country.” Thousands of river basins bisect subnational boundaries. The authors note that transboundary river systems make identification of problems and solutions more difficult. They “identify five important conditions that—on the basis of our combined expertise—can be identified as supportive of effective science–policy interactions. The key conditions we emphasize include (1)recognizing that science is a crucial but bounded aspect in water resource decision-making processes; (2) establishing initial conditions and shared commitment among actors; (3) understanding that social or group learning processes linked to science–policy interaction are enhanced through greater collaboration; (4) accepting that the collaborative production of knowledge about hydrological and associated socioeconomic change and institutional responses is essential to build legitimate decision-making processes; and (5) engaging boundary organizations and supporting informal networks of scientists, policy makers and civil society.

Published Work | 2015 | Kungl Vetenskaps-Akademien

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