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Resilient governance : the politics of nature protection in New Zealand, Norway and Canada's British… Feditchkina Tracy, Elena 2014

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   RESILIENT GOVERNANCE:   The Politics of Nature Protection in New Zealand, Norway and Canada’s British Columbia          by    ELENA FEDITCHKINA TRACY  M.A. Political Science, Carleton University, 2004 B.A. Mass Communications, Carleton University, 2002  B.A. Journalism, Far Eastern State University, 1997    A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF    THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF      DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY                    in   THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE AND POSTDOCTORAL STUDIES                  (Political Science)      THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA           (Vancouver)           August 2014          © Elena Feditchkina Tracy 2014 ii Abstract  The degradation and collapse of the Earth’s ecosystems poses a formidable risk for humanity. Yet the effectiveness of political commitments to halt the irreversible loss of species and habitats remains critically low. The key challenge is to make the tough collective political decisions and then to follow through with real actions, despite often extreme resistance. What are the institutional mechanisms that can help increase the likelihood of the successful implementation of nature protection goals? Is decentralized, local-level governance more resilient in eventually meeting established nature protection goals than a centralized one? In attempting to answer these questions, this dissertation will rely on a qualitative analysis of nature protection policies carried out in New Zealand, Norway and British Columbia (Canada) between 1990 and 2012.   In the final analysis the research will suggest the following. First, it appears that when dealing with protecting ecoregions defined by high opportunity costs, decentralized governance has very significant limitations that cannot be overcome without political coordination occurring at a higher-level. Among the most important factors for a meaningful adoption and gradual implementation is overcoming the initial discrepancy between the costs and benefits of conservation policies dividing the city and the countryside. A centralized governance offers distinct advantage in terms of bridging the divide between the countryside and the city while ensuring social partnership and cohesion between urban and rural populations over nature protection goals. Overall, resilient nature protection governance is likely to be centralized but one which allows the input of local stakeholders in both decision-making and especially at the stage of implementation. In addition, having open public access to land resources, including over privately owned lands, increases the likelihood of the implementation of conservation policies.   iii Preface This dissertation is an original intellectual product of the author, Elena Feditchkina Tracy. The field work reported in Chapters 4-6 is covered by UBC Behavioural Research Ethics Board number H09-02200.     iv Table of Contents Abstract	  ...................................................................................................................................................	  ii	  Preface	  ....................................................................................................................................................	  iii	  Table	  of	  Contents	  .................................................................................................................................	  iv	  List	  of	  Tables	  .........................................................................................................................................	  vi	  List	  of	  Figures	  ......................................................................................................................................	  vii	  List	  of	  Abbreviations	  ........................................................................................................................	  viii	  Acknowledgements	  ............................................................................................................................	  ix	  Chapter	  One:	  	  Introduction	  ...............................................................................................................	  1	  1.1	  Context,	  theoretical	  questions	  and	  main	  arguments	  ..................................................................	  2	  1.2	  Research	  methodology	  ........................................................................................................................	  20	  1.3	  Research	  framework:	  ideas,	  interests	  and	  institutions	  ...........................................................	  23	  Chapter	  Two:	  Decentralization,	  Centralization	  and	  Governance	  Resilience.	  A	  Theoretical	  Overview	  .......................................................................................................................	  35	  2.1	  Introduction:	  biodiversity	  protection	  as	  a	  policy	  domain	  .......................................................	  36	  2.2	  Nature	  protection	  governance:	  centralized	  and	  decentralized.	  ............................................	  41	  2.3	  Arguments	  for	  decentralization:	  better	  prospects	  for	  longue-­‐durée?	  ................................	  45	  2.4	  Critical	  responses	  to	  decentralization	  theses	  ..............................................................................	  64	  2.5	  Resilient	  governance:	  beyond	  decentralized/centralized	  institutions	  ..............................	  76	  2.6	  Theoretical	  model	  .................................................................................................................................	  83	  2.7	  Hypotheses	  ..............................................................................................................................................	  89	  Chapter	  Three:	  The	  Dependent	  Variable.	  The	  Method	  of	  Case	  Selection.	  .......................	  91	   v 3.1	  Chapter	  outline	  .......................................................................................................................................	  92	  3.2	  Biodiversity:	  definitions,	  rates	  of	  loss	  and	  global	  responses	  .................................................	  93	  3.3	  Global	  conservation	  goals,	  policy	  instruments	  and	  varying	  national	  performances	  ..	  105	  3.4	  The	  politics	  of	  the	  varying	  rates	  of	  habitat	  loss	  .......................................................................	  112	  3.4	  The	  selection	  of	  cases	  ........................................................................................................................	  119	  Chapter	  Four:	  New	  Zealand.	  A	  Battle	  to	  Save	  Unique	  Nature	  Diversity.	  .......................	  126	  4.1	  Introduction	  .........................................................................................................................................	  127	  4.2	  New	  Zealand’s	  ecological	  representativeness	  of	  protection	  ................................................	  132	  4.3	  New	  Zealand’s	  decentralized	  governance	  on	  nature	  protection	  ........................................	  150	  4.4	  Policy	  development	  1990-­‐2013:	  “Years	  of	  impasse	  and	  unresolved	  division”	  .............	  165	  4.5	  Conclusion:	  New	  Zealand’s	  fast	  adoption	  and	  slow	  implementation	  ................................	  231	  Chapter	  Five:	  Norway.	  Easing	  the	  Divide	  Between	  the	  City	  and	  the	  Countryside	  .....	  236	  5.1	  Introduction	  .........................................................................................................................................	  237	  5.2	  Norway’s	  ecological	  representativeness	  of	  protection	  ..........................................................	  245	  5.3	  Norway’s	  biodiversity	  protection	  governance	  .........................................................................	  253	  5.4	  Conservation	  policy	  development	  1990-­‐2013	  .........................................................................	  275	  5.5	  Conclusion:	  slow	  adoption	  and	  integrative	  implementation	  ..............................................	  313	  Chapter	  Six:	  British	  Columbia.	  Two	  Steps	  Forward,	  One	  Step	  Back	  ...............................	  317	  6.1	  Introduction	  .........................................................................................................................................	  318	  6.2	  British	  Columbia’s	  ecological	  representativeness	  of	  protection	  ........................................	  328	  6.3	  British	  Columbia’s	  biodiversity	  protection	  governance	  .......................................................	  337	  6.4	  Conservation	  policy	  development	  1990-­‐2012	  .........................................................................	  348	  Chapter	  Seven:	  Conclusion.	  Conditions	  for	  a	  Resilient	  Governance	  ..............................	  407	  Works	  Cited	  .......................................................................................................................................	  419	   vi  List of Tables Table	  2.1:	  A	  Centralization/Decentralization	  Matrix	  on	  Nature	  Protection	  Governance	  .................................................	  44	  Table	  2.2:	  Property	  Rights	  Bundles	  and	  The	  Classes	  of	  Rights	  Holders	  ......................................................................................	  48	  Table	  3.1:	  The	  Earth’s	  Major	  Biome	  Types	  ..............................................................................................................................................	  96	  Table	  3.2:	  Increase	  in	  the	  Protection	  of	  Biomes	  for	  Selected	  Resource-­‐dependent	  OECDs	  .............................................	  118	  Table	  4.1:	  New	  Zealand	  Biome	  Protection	  Score	  1990-­‐2010	  .......................................................................................................	  135	  Table	  4.2:	  New	  Zealand	  Ecoregiones,	  by	  WWF	  Habitat	  Types	  ....................................................................................................	  138	  Table	  4.3:	  Legally	  Protected	  and	  Semi-­‐Protected	  Areas,	  on	  Public	  and	  Private	  Land	  ......................................................	  140	  Table	  4.4:	  Land	  Classes	  and	  Their	  Representativeness	  in	  Protected	  Areas	  ...........................................................................	  143	  Table	  4.5:	  Indigenous	  Habitat	  Types,	  Not	  Legally	  Protected,	  by	  Threat	  Category	  .............................................................	  146	  Table	  4.6:	  Property	  Right	  Bundles	  for	  Privately	  Owned	  Lands	  ...................................................................................................	  152	  Table	  4.7:	  Policy	  Instruments	  for	  SNA	  Protection	  .............................................................................................................................	  157	  Table	  4.8:	  New	  Zealand	  Forest	  Plantation	  Ownership	  2008/09	  ................................................................................................	  177	  Table	  4.9:	  Number	  of	  New	  Zealand	  Farms,	  by	  Size	  ...........................................................................................................................	  177	  Table	  4.10:	  Area	  of	  Farm	  Land	  by	  Farm	  Land	  Type	  .........................................................................................................................	  177	  Table	  4.11:	  Stakeholders	  Position	  on	  the	  Proposed	  NPS	  on	  Indigenous	  Diversity	  2012	  ..................................................	  230	  Table	  5.1:	  Types	  of	  Land	  Cover	  in	  Norway	  ...........................................................................................................................................	  248	  Table	  5.2:	  Norway’s	  Land	  Cover	  Types	  and	  Their	  Protection	  Rates	  .........................................................................................	  250	  Table	  5.3:	  Vegetation	  Zones	  and	  Their	  Rates	  of	  Protection	  1995-­‐2004	  ..................................................................................	  252	  Table	  5.4:	  Structure	  of	  Ownership	  in	  Norway’s	  Forest	  Land	  ........................................................................................................	  255	  Table	  5.5:	  Property	  Right	  Bundles	  in	  Norway	  .....................................................................................................................................	  257	  Table	  5.6:	  Norwegian	  Designation	  of	  Protection	  and	  Their	  Protection	  Rate	  .......................................................................	  266	  Table	  6.1:	  Total	  BC’s	  Protected	  Areas	  on	  Different	  Scales	  and	  by	  Different	  IUCN	  Categories,	  2010	  ..........................	  331	  Table	  6.2:	  Protection	  Rates	  by	  BC	  Bioclimatic	  Zones	  1990	  ...........................................................................................................	  332	  Table	  6.3:	  Protection	  Rates	  by	  BC	  Bioclimatic	  Zones,	  2011	  ..........................................................................................................	  333	   vii  List of Figures Figure	  2.1:	  Environmental	  Health	  Vs	  Ecosystem	  Vitality	  Scores	  Among	  OECDs	  ....................................................................	  40	  Figure	  2.2:	  Decentralization/Centralization	  of	  Governance	  and	  Nature	  Protection	  Outcomes	  .....................................	  84	  Figure	  3.1:	  Terrestrial	  Biomes	  Conversion	  Rates	  ..............................................................................................................................	  101	  Figure	  3.2:	  Rates	  of	  Conversion	  Projections	  .........................................................................................................................................	  104	  Figure	  3.3:	  Growth	  in	  Nationally	  Designated	  Protected	  Areas	  1911-­‐2011	  ...........................................................................	  107	  Figure	  3.4:	  Terrestrial	  Biomes	  Meeting	  the	  10%	  Target,	  by	  Ecoregions	  ................................................................................	  110	  Figure	  3.5:	  Export	  of	  Natural	  Resources	  as	  Share	  of	  Total	  Export	  ............................................................................................	  114	  Figure	  3.6:	  Trends	  in	  Biome	  Protection	  Increase	  in	  Selected	  OECDs,	  1980-­‐2010	  ...............................................................	  121	  Figure	  4.1:	  New	  Zealand’s	  Sources	  of	  Export	  Revenues	  2011	  ......................................................................................................	  130	  Figure	  4.2:	  The	  Three	  Steps	  Process	  on	  Biodiversity	  Protection	  on	  Private	  Land	  by	  Local	  Authorities	  ...................	  157	  Figure	  4.3:	  Regulatory	  Instruments	  Used	  by	  Local	  Councils	  ........................................................................................................	  197	  Figure	  5.1:	  Norway’s	  Sources	  of	  Export	  Revenues	  by	  Sectors,	  2011	  .........................................................................................	  243	  Figure	  5.2:	  Biodiversity	  Pressures	  Measured	  by	  Impacting	  the	  Red-­‐Listed	  Species	  ...........................................................	  244	  Figure	  5.3:	  Increasing	  the	  Share	  of	  Protected	  Areas	  1980-­‐2011	  in	  Norway	  .........................................................................	  249	  Figure	  6.1:	  The	  Sectoral	  Profile	  of	  B.C.’s	  Export	  in	  2011	  ................................................................................................................	  327	      viii List of Abbreviations CBD    Convention on Biological Diversity FPC   Forest Practices Code FPTP   First Past The Post Electoral System  FRPC   Forest and Range Practices Code IUCN   International Union for Conservation of Nature MfE   Ministry for the Environment (New Zealand) MofE   Ministry of the Environment (British Columbia) MOA    Ministry of Agriculture NDP   New Democratic Party NEM    National Environmental Monitoring NPS    National Policy Statement  OECD   Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development OGMA  Old Growth Management Area PA    Protected Area RMA   Resource Management Act SNA   Significant Natural Area under the RMA (New Zealand) TLAs   Territorial Local Authorities (TLAs)  WCED  World Commission on Environment and Development WHA    Wildlife Habitat Area    ix Acknowledgements This dissertation would not be possible without the assistance and encouragement of my teachers, friends, and family. The unbinding support and of my advisor, Yves Tiberghien, helped through all the research stages. The intellectual guidance offered by Maxwell Cameron and Kathryn Harrison, my dissertation committee members, was critical especially at the beginning and during the final stage of the project. I am also thankful to the inspiring faculty members of UBC Political Science Department and wonderful teachers Lisa Sundstrom, Mark Warren, Richard Price, Alan Jacobs, Brian Jobs, Allan Tupper and Katia Coleman.   I thank my fellow classmates and university friends, for their comradeship during the long PhD journey, Daisaku Higashi, Hyunji Lee, Clare McGovern, Adam Bower, Beth Schwartz, Emily Beausoleil, Michael Cohen, Olga Beznosova, Nathan Allen and Andrew Jackson. Special thanks to the program staff, Josephine Calazan and Dory Urbano, for high professionalism and helpfulness. My good friends, Katya Yurasovskaya, Olga Rivkin, Francois Nadeau, Julia Brotea, Pam Huber and Vince Turgeon, I thank them for their intelligence, compassion, and for offering a couch to crush on, or an ear to listen to. Having good laughs was an important antidote to the many moments of despair common in a grad student life.  I am thankful to Rob Montgomery, for sharing a few secrets of ethnobotany in the midst of the temperate rainforest of British Columbia, stirring my interest in indigenous ecological knowledge. A silver lining of the research, indigenous knowledge, was not given the attention it truly deserved in the final writing-up, but it was always in the back of my mind. I have made a promise to myself to come back to this topic again later. I am also grateful to Floyd Favel, for revealing the spirituality of the art, theatre and politics of Canada’s First Nations peoples.  During my fieldwork, I relied on the helping hand of the people I met in the places I went to. In New Zealand, I am particularly grateful to Stephen Levine, the head of Political Science  x Department at the Victoria University of Victoria, Wellington, who sheltered me at the department and provided access to office and research facilities. Stephen also introduced me to New Zealand’s political life including a very generous invitation to a book launch reception hosted by NZ Prime Minister, John Key.  I owe to Fiona Barker for sharing her time with me in Wellington and for arranging interviews with environmental activists. I also benefited from the generosity and the openness of Jim Lynch, founder of the Kairori sanctuary. Jim and his wife hosted me in their beautiful home in Paraparaumu for dinner, while explaining the basics of New Zealand’s ecological systems and conservation approaches. Special thanks to Mojo Mathers, from the NZ Green Party, for introducing me to the office of the Party in Christchurch. I am greatly indebted to Morgan Williams, head of NZ Parliamentary Committee on the Environment for 10 years, and Wren Green, leading scientist on biodiversity, for finding the time for a quality talk with me on New Zealand’s conservation approach under the RMA and its limitations. Their first-hand expertise and insight on the topic was extremely valuable for developing an understanding of New Zealand’s most important decisions on biodiversity protection policy. I am also very thankful to Ken Piddington, first Director General of the Department of Conservation, for sharing his invaluable insights and for opening a few doors within the NZ conservation community.   During my fieldwork in British Columbia, my research benefited from the help of George Hoberg, UBC professor from Forestry Department, who suggested relevant people for interviews in B.C. government agencies and the conservation expert community. I thank Mike Harcourt, former BC Premier and Vancouver mayor, and now Director of UBC Centre for Sustainability, who invited me for breakfast to talk about his dramatic years as leader of the B.C. New  xi Democratic Party. I also sincerely thank John Cashore, former B.C. Minister of the Environment, for a lively meeting held in the foodcourt of the Lougheed Mall in the City of Coquitlam. I am also very thankful to Stephen Owen, Linda Coady, Jennifer Karmona for helping me to develop an understating of provincial nature protection politics.  While in Norway, I benefited from the good will of Christian Steel, Director of Sabima, a leading Norwegian environmental NGO, who introduced me to Norwegian biodiversity protection policy and opened up several important doors for further interviews, including in the Norwegian Ministry of the Environment. I am thankful to Eric Framstad, the research director of the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, for a patient introductory conversation with me about Norwegian nature diversity policy.  I thank Lars Gulbrandsen for organizing a meeting with leading researchers on biodiversity in the Fridtjof Nansen Institute, located outside Oslo. Sitting in the FNI’s office with a large window into a beautiful garden, harbouring the grave of the great Norwegian humanitarian and scientist, Fridtjof Nansen, was a very special moment in my entire fieldwork.  I would like to thank my first teacher, Svetlana Pavlovna Vyatkina who introduced me to the world of books and helped to develop a passion for knowledge. I will be always in debt to my parents who did not live to see the end of my education but who were always with me in my thoughts. I thank my grandfather Semyon Feditchkin, for his personal example of resilience to many of life’s circumstances and for keeping faith in me. Last but not least I am grateful to my husband, Mark Tracy, for providing solace and encouragement when most needed, and my baby daughter, Inga, whose miraculous arrival into this world marked the ending of dissertation fieldwork.  1  Chapter One:  Introduction ..unintended changes are occurring in the atmosphere, in soils, in waters, among plants and animals, and in the relationships among all of these. The rate of change is outstripping the ability of scientific disciplines and our current capabilities to assess and advise. It is frustrating the attempts of political and economic institutions, which evolved in a different, more fragmented world, to adapt and cope. It deeply worries many people who are seeking ways to place those concerns on the political agendas. (Our Common Future, Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development, UN, 1987)     2 1.1 Context, theoretical questions and main arguments Context: policy commitment, discontinuity and change It is more difficult to keep a promise than to make one; and keeping a promise when everyone else is defecting is even harder. World governments have failed their collective promise made at the Earth Summit in Rio in 1992, to prevent mass species extinction and ecosystems degradation, despite the fact that the importance of wildlife and healthy ecosystem for sustaining a livable planet has now been universally recognized. The continuing loss of planetary biological diversity, estimated to exceed the natural background species extinction rate by at least a thousand times (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment 2005), clearly poses a dilemma of collective action. To halt the loss of biological diversity being a global phenomena and occurring simultaneously at all levels, genetic, species and ecosystem, requires a coordinated response by all nations and societies. Yet with intensified global economic pressures in the international markets for natural resources, many nations have strong incentives to ignore this challenge. High opportunity cost of conservation – the economic pressures to turn Earth’s biodiversity resources into commodities traded in global markets – poses a formidable challenge for implementation of already adopted commitments. While no one would welcome the destruction of the Earth’s livable environment, the silent loss of ecosystem functions and species diversity has continued unabated and in some cases has even intensified.1 Two decades after the meeting in Rio, perhaps the highest inspirational moment for humanity if measured by the ambitiousness of the global environmental commitments, the empirical outcomes of the adopted global policies to protect the environment are bleak.                                                  1 The CBD Global Biodiversity Outlook 3 reports, that “species are on average at increasing risk of  extinction” and “many biodiversity-sensitive regions continue to decline.” (2010, p. 18)  3 What can help to sustain and to implement commitments to protect the Earth’s ecosystems beyond the high inspirational moments of global environmental conferences, when collective goals are established and pledges are made? In national political contexts, defined by frequent changes, fluctuations and unexpected shocks, the question of policy commitment, stability, and endurance is indeed a critical one. Political instability, crisis and change are correlated with increased deforestation or worsened environmental performance (Deacon 1994). Even regular democratic elections can be accompanied by significant shakeups of previously established policies. In many democracies, new government erases the policy blueprint made by its political predecessor. As succinctly summarized by Paul Steinberg, “Why should a factory owner take seriously air pollution regulations issued by a government agency unlikely to last through the next election?” (2012: 260).  Against this background, many voices have argued in favour of decentralized approaches to nature protection governance,2 especially in light of the growing disappointments with the adopted (but not implemented) national and international commitments, increasingly seen as “empty promises.”3 Is decentralized nature protection governance indeed more resilient than a                                                 2 The research deliberately employs the term “governance” instead of “institutions” or “government.”  Philippe Schmitter’s definition of governance appears most suitable, “a method/mechanism for dealing with a broad range of problems in which actors, private as well as public, sub-national and supra-national  as well as national, regularly arrive as mutually satisfactory and binding decisions by negotiation and  deliberating with each other and in cooperating in the implementation of these decisions” (2006, p. 36).  Schmitter notes that governance is not just about making decisions via deliberating and negotiation, but  also about implementing policies… “it is not just a goal itself, but a means for achieving a variety of  goals…” (p. 37). 3 See, for example, Philipp Pattberg and Aysem Mert. “The Future We Get Might Not Be the  Future We Want: Analyzing the Rio +20 Outcomes,” 2013.   4 centralized one in terms of eventually accomplishing established protection goals in the face of conditions of political and economic stressors? The argument for a higher resilience of decentralized environmental governance has been advanced by many voices representing different literatures. Political decentralization has been the most important programmatic slogan for scholars working within the intellection tradition of environmental political thought.  For green theorists, many of whom share the ideals of participatory democracy, decentralized, community-based approaches are preferable institutional solutions to environmental degradation sponsored by the modern or especially “modernizing” state (Goodin 1992), an alternative famously expressed as “small is beautiful’ (Schumacher 1975); “politics on the human scale” (Bookchin 1989); bioregionalism (Sale 1980), and many other heuristic slogans, including the most prominent, “think global, act local.”  In parallel with participatory democracy and green political thought theses, which emphasize the fairness and self-sufficiency of grass-root local approaches, a very different theoretical tradition, namely, neo-classical institutionalism, has advanced decentralized environmental governance on the grounds of its cost efficiency and overall effectiveness. Particularly, literature on governance through property rights has been very influential in intellectual and policymaking circles, with leading ground-breaking work developed by Elinor Ostrom on the self-regulatory governance models of environmental commons. Ostrom’s thesis in particular will be reviewed in the following chapter. The critical responses to the intellectual proponents of decentralization are grounded in the rich literatures of historical institutionalism, federalism and multi-level governance. Starting in particular with the “bringing the state back in” debate influenced by the Weberian state-centered tradition, these voices have questioned the need for decentralizing important state  5 functions, including that of environmental protection, on the ground of its questionable effectiveness. Perhaps in the context of strong societies - weak states common for the developing world (Migdal 1988), defined by a lower state capacity, where the central authority has little leverage or autonomy to successfully implement policies “beyond the capital city” (Herbst 2010; Nordlinger 1981; Krasner 1977; Huntington 1968), the devolution of environmental decision-making to the level of local communities indeed may be preferable.4 Yet in the context of the developed world defined by high levels of administrative and legal order, legitimate public authority, capable state institutions, and reliance on scientific and professional expertise, usually only available at the state level where the major research institutions are operating (Ansell and Gingrich 2003), the need for delegating environmental governance to local communities seems much less obvious. Moreover, the literature on federalism and economic interdependence suggests that decentralization may lead, at the limit, to a “race to the bottom” or yield overall suboptimal levels of protection (Harrison 2006; Schram 2000). In addition, political scientists have convincingly demonstrated that the projects of political decentralization are frequently driven by political motives unrelated to concerns about effectiveness or fairness of these policies, but rather prompted by the political rationality of blame avoidance or by the shifts in political ideas associated with the neo-liberal turn in public policy (Hall and Lamont 2013; Blyth 2001; Weaver 1986).                                                  4 Various theoretical lenses exist in state-society literature, to assess state capacity to adopt and deliver meaningful policies designed to preserve and expand the public good. For example, the states with persistent colonial institutional patterns of the Predatory State exploiting local peasants to enrich the political elite (Boone 1994); “Predatory state” vs “Developmental state” typology differentiating within the weak state model (Evans 1995).  6   Given these diverging arguments both for and against decentralization in nature protection governance, we will now turn to the empirical evidence on the implementation of nature protection policies since 1991 in three selected cases, to answer the following question: How does the concentration or dispersion of nature protection governance, broadly defined through decision-making and property rights over land ownership and use, impact on the resilience of adopted policy commitments in the face of inevitable political and economic change? Or perhaps the question on policy resilience has to be framed somewhat differently, going beyond the simple institutional dichotomy between the centralization and diffusion of political authority? Also, what are the institutional mechanisms that can help increase the likelihood of successful implementation of nature protection goals?  To answer these theoretical questions, very broadly framed, the researcher will focus on one particular environment policy domain – the Earth’s original habitats, representing the fourteen terrestrial biomes of our planet system, and their protection from destruction, overgrazing, or conversion to agricultural and urban lands.5 In many respects, this work will examine the political limits of conservation as following. When all “easy” ecoregions -  those defined by low use value - have been effectively protected, subsequent efforts to increase protection rates in the environment characterized by high use value face an enormous resistance. In fact, the existing national statistics on increasing national protection rates often suffer                                                 5 The Yale Environmental Performance Index (EPI) relies on Biome Protection as one of the measure of a country’s performance on biodiversity and habitat protection. The Biome protection is “the weighted percentage of biomes under protected status, where the weight is determined by the relative size of biome within a country. Countries are not rewarded for protecting beyond 17% (CBD target) of any given biome (ie., the scores are capped at 17% per biome) so higher levels of protection of some biomes cannot be used to offset lower levels of protection of other biomes.” (2012 Environmental Performance Index 2012) .  <http://www.epi.yale.edu/sites/default/files/downloads/Appendix1%2012.20.12.pdf>  7 additionality problem -- taking credits for protecting those ecoregions with little conversion pressures and low use value while leaving the ecoregions with high use values (and usually defined by higher diversity) outside of formally protected areas. To account for the challenge of a “low hanging fruit” in conservation politics, the dissertation will focus on conservation policy implementation in the regions with high political and economic stakes – productive lowlands suitable for agriculture, diverse native forests suitable for commercial logging, and the like.     Three political units are chosen for a careful examination of the implementation of nature protection policies in the last two decades: New Zealand, Norway and Canada. In the latter, due to Canadian formula of its federalism, the research will select the province of British Columbia where the governance over land use has been at the centre of political battles. Overall, for all three cases, conservation and nature protection have been very important for their political identity as world environmental leaders.6 In addition, it should be noted that the political cost of conservation is particularly acute in these societies since they developed their economies as “resource peripheries” based on specialized, export-oriented resource-extracting industries.   Main argument  An examination of how nature protection goals have been implemented in New Zealand, Norway and British Columbia in the last two decades suggests that in the environments defined by high conservation costs (including opportunity cost) decentralized governance is unlikely to produce effective nature protection outcomes in a long-run. Effective conservation in these regions                                                 6  New Zealand is the birthplace of the world’s first green party, the Value Party (1972), British Columbia has the reputation of Canada’s most environmental province, and Norway is perhaps the most active political entrepreneur in advancing the objectives of the UN Convention on Biodiversity on the international level.   8 implies real and costly restrictions on resource use practices. The political bargain of making an effective and resilient governance necessitates addressing the question of who will pay for these economic costs and whether these costs can be shared by a larger group of players, stakeholders and the public, and not just by local communities or industries. Local level governments are not positioned to do the task of such a large coordination, cost sharing and redistribution. Such complex governance tasks belong to higher levels of political authority.  Furthermore, it will be demonstrated that an enduring and resilient nature protection governance, the one which eventually accomplishes the established policy goal in the face of inevitable external fluctuations and stressors, is a centralized one which, however, has very well functioning mechanisms allowing the input of local stakeholders along all steps of the policy-making cycle. The interplay between the city and the countryside for implementing nature protection objectives is not dichotomous or zero-sum; whereas city dwellers are the ones making the initial (and necessary) political push for establishing protected areas and sustainable land use measures, it is the rural dwellers who need to have the right motives and incentives available to them for a meaningful and long-term implementation of these goals. A decentralized governance on its own does not provide such incentives but instead fragments the governance while keeping the city and the countryside wide apart.  By contrast, centralized nature protection combined with significant elements of decentralization can effectively mobilize the support of urban dwellers, fund new income opportunities for rural communities to decoupling their livelihoods from the exclusive reliance on natural resources, and provide important policy coordination and scientific expertise. Having the elements of decentralized, bottom up governance can help better engage local voices in  9 decision-making and implementation therefore improving legitimacy and public acceptability, which is a necessary element of resiliency in any policy.   More specifically, an analysis has revealed several notable institutional patterns in state-society relations that have either facilitated or undermined the resilience of nature protection governance.    New Zealand  New Zealand represents perhaps the most politically difficult combination of economic and ecological factors for an effective adoption and implementation of conservation measures. It has a very high cost of conservation, largely due to the endemism and vulnerability of New Zealand species, the reliance of New Zealand’s economy on agricultural exports (with land use change being the highest pressure on biodiversity), a high share of property ownership over land, and a particular configuration of property rights excluding the right of open access to privately owned resources.    In reforming its environmental governance in the early 1990s, New Zealand adopted the most decentralized biodiversity and habitat protection governance among OECDs. Thus New Zealand merged environmental protection decisions with land use decisions by devolving decision-making and implementation authority from central to local levels and by ensuring the maximum input of local stakeholders and property owners in those land protection decisions. The resulting innovative governance model applies to two thirds of New Zealand’s territory (privately owned land) and has incorporated many ideals of green participatory democracy. Yet over time, this decentralized governance, without nationally established standards, has proved to be ineffective, with no advancements made to halt the catastrophic loss  10 of unique species and habitats. Several efforts to introduce national-wide coordination on biodiversity protection over New Zealand’s privately owned land have also failed. The existing decentralized governance created powerful vested interests and entrenched positions, blocking government’s attempts to adopt mandatory protection measures across the entire country. Today, New Zealand’s biodiversity protection framework is highly biased towards the protection of high elevation areas, publically owned, whereas the rate of protection over New Zealand’s privately owned lands – characterized by high opportunity cost of conservation - remains critically low, below one percent. The existing network of protected areas, covering more than 33 percent of the country’s territory, is mostly in publically owned high elevation areas with low productive (and conservation) values.   Norway Norway adopted, in contrast to New Zealand, the centralized nature protection decision-making model, despite the fact that the country has a high rate of private ownership over land resources.  At the first glance, the Norway’s nature protection regime seems to represent a very different story: very slow adoption and slow implementation of environmental policies. However, in the Norwegian case there exists a wider network of support among different interest groups acting on different political levels and in different sectors, as well as between different parties, illustrated in the famous Red-Green coalition which brought together all the pieces of the biodiversity protection regime under one, all-embracing, national Nature Diversity Act (2009), supported by urban labour and the rural countryside. Yet the underlying story of Norway’s biodiversity protection, uncovered through a careful examination of the increases made in protecting conservation values located in the productive lowlands, coniferous forests, revealed a  11 similar pattern with that observed earlier in New Zealand: Norwegian protected areas have so far remained largely biased towards high elevation/low productivity lands. The politics of trying to increase protection in low elevation areas, especially in the productive coniferous forests via establishing mandatory nature reserves (referred to as “forced conservation”), was met with strong local opposition coming from property and forestry owners. Norwegian biodiversity protection policy has hit a serious limitation in terms of the very low political acceptability of command-and-control conservation measures among forest owners, and was unable to advance conservation objectives further without running into a full-blown legitimacy crisis. Although the record of Norway’s protection in the productive lowland is better than that observed in New Zealand, the representativeness of its protected areas lacks the inclusion of the important lowland conifer forests defined by higher species diversity. In both cases, the main obstacle to advancing conservation goals has been opposition from local landowners, farmers in New Zealand and forestry owners in Norway, unwilling to allocate their land with high conservation values under mandatory protection status. This obstacle could not be overcome, neither with the centralized governance of “forced conservation” observed in Norway, nor with the decentralized and participatory local governance of New Zealand based on voluntary approaches. In both cases, conservation efforts have failed to advance beyond 1-2 percent.    British Columbia Our third empirical case, Canada’s British Columbia, followed a very different policy route and in the early 1990s adopted a very centralized governance over biodiversity and habitat  12 protection, congruent with B.C. property rights regime defined by an extensive public ownership of the land (95 percent of its territory being publically owned) and a political tradition of the strong role of the executive in decision-making. The ambitious policy mandate adopted in 1991 by the B.C. New Democratic Party was in part successfully implemented within a ten year period after its adoption while the party was still in power. The implementation was not without challenges, however, as the government ran into strong opposition from very powerful industries, labour unions and, surprisingly, from some environmentalists whose expectations exceeded what the government of the day proposed to do. The conflict between the government and the environmental movement was a mixed blessing for policy resiliency: on the one hand, it helped derail the government which introduced these initiatives and helped its political opponent with a much weaker environmental mandate. On the other hand, the traditional conflictual relationship between the government and the provincial environmental movement, common for a pluralistic system of interest representation, helped sustain the nature protection policy from derailing when a new party came into power in 2001, a conservative Liberal party, took office and attempted to erase the previous policies made by the NDP, including policies related to biodiversity protection. The B.C. society signaled, through the work of environmental NGOs and their successful public awareness campaigns, including in overseas consumer markets important for the provincial revenues, that such moves would be highly unpopular. Nature protection policy has partly endured through the 2000s, although the government of the day significantly weakened its implementation on the ground by cutting its budget and the staff working for it. The advances made in establishing protected areas in the last decade represent the efforts and initiatives started in the early 1990s by a left-leaning government and a sustained effort beyond its time in power by civil society:  environmental  13 NGOs, First Nations and industry acting under strong consumer pressures and the voluntary regimes adopted by forestry industry and First Nations under the Ecosystem Based management (EBM) designation. However, this regime also hit a wall over the protection of conservation values located in provincial privately owned lands (about 5 percent of total territory) containing sites of critically endangered species and their habitats.   British Columbia’s biodiversity protection governance has demonstrated important elements of resilience, suggesting state-society patterns existing outside of formal policy commitments: 1) a de-coupling of constituencies supportive of conservation measures from a resource-based economy; 2) the emergence of a strong environmental movement, including professional NGOs with a global reach linking regional, national and international supporters, consumers and producers; and 3) strong political leverage available to Indigenous groups, through an institutionalized government-to-government decision-making framework, and a willingness of Indigenous people’s to protect unique nature diversity for future generations, as an essential part of their self-government and self-determination project. Patterns and generalizations Comparing and contrasting the three case studies, Norway, New Zealand and British Columbia, this thesis will demonstrate an alternative explanatory model based on the concept of resilience, borrowed from other related disciplines. By definition, resilient nature protection governance is one that can carry on its commitment over time, in the face of inevitable political and economic ups and downs. It will be argued that resilient nature protection governance should exhibit two important institutional characteristics, namely, redundancy and slack. Borrowed from the disciplines of ecology and institutional economics, redundancy (or ‘institutional redundancy’) denotes the existence of many supportive linkages cutting across various interest groups,  14 constituencies and political parties (bottom up/ top down), and across the political and economic spectrum. And ‘slack’ denotes the delay in responding to immediate political or economic stressors, certain ‘air-gaps’ existing in the system and allowing for delays in response to various external stressors, for example, via decoupling the political support of local communities for nature protection from exclusive economic dependency on primary natural local resources. Overall, it appears that the bottom-up decentralized approaches are higher on ‘redundancy’ whereas the top-down central governance approaches are higher on ‘slack,’ as explained in more detail in the conclusion. Why is it so?  The presence of slack in the top down, centralized governance system, usually in the form of underutilized resources, was succinctly conceptualized by Albert Hirschman in his seminal work Exit, Voice and Loyalty (1970), as the source of both institutional inefficiencies criticized by the protagonists of laissez-faire markets but also of great institutional potential serving as important buffers in the times of unexpected shocks or crises. Specifically, Hirschman theorized the undervalued importance of having some ‘slack’ in the system (i.e., economy or a political organization) for the long-term operational success, the unused resource to which organizations can resort to use, for example, having a “Plan B.” Consequently, having some slack in a system appears to be necessary for realizing new and creative solutions when political actors are confronted with new and unexpected risks, crises and shocks.   It can be argued that the very existence of such slack is a function of a large institutional structure or hierarchy: “It assumes not only that slack has somehow come into the world and exists in given moments, but that it is continuously being generated as a result of some sort of entropy characteristic of human, surplus-producing societies” (1970: 14).  One of the many possible examples of organizational slack available at a higher political level is the availability of  15 various and versatile professional expertise and resources, generally unavailable at the local or community level unless there are established government structures to do the work (as will be demonstrated in the case of Norway).    Another example of ‘slack’ is decoupling of local incomes from the immediate reliance for their livelihoods on extracting local resources. The centralized nature protection governance occurring at a higher political level than the regulated activity in question has more degrees of freedom in regulating over this forest or that lake than locally-based nature protection governance. The re-distribution of revenues coming from the reliance on natural resources is possible only from a higher level of government – for example, in the form of compensation of local forest owners for fencing off their productive areas of their forests. These re-distribution instruments, being an important component in many nature protection policies and de-coupling, are generally unavailable at the immediate community level governance.    Yet the bottom-up local nature protection arrangements, by their very design, have their own source or advantage, namely more redundancy defined as the multiplication of the same function separately performed by different agents - an important feature of a governance system reinforcing resilience. Friedrich von Hayek, whose work will be briefly assessed in the next chapter, provided perhaps the most convincing theorizing on the superiority of locally-based decisions over the ones made by a central regulator (Hayek 1945). Actions conducted by various actors in an uncoordinated manner are likely to replicate one another while creating similar or even same measures performed by different agents (thus ‘redundancy’), often unaware of each other’s actions. In the case of derailing of nature protection commitment by one actor, for example a local community, does not undermine the efforts of all; whereas in the case of a very centralized governance, the decision of a central regulator to abandon a previously made policy  16 course is likely to derail the entire effort.   Aside from these theoretical generalizations, it is clear from the empirical cases that de-centralized nature protection governance overall is less resilient than one incorporating the elements of both centralized and decentralized governance. Also, as we will discuss in the next chapters, decentralized nature protection may be overall ineffective for the reasons assessed in the literature on federalism and economic interdependence: decentralization may yield “race to the bottom” logic among local-level governments competing for attracting business investors by reducing regulatory costs including nature protection measures. Moreover, biodiversity, especially when defined through ecosystems and their functions, represents public good resources. Decentralizing biodiversity governance to local levels could be compared to the hypothetical case of decentralizing national defence: local levels are ill suited to deal with a mandate to deliver a service where the benefits go well beyond their borders.   More specifically, the following patterns have been identified in the process of analyzing the empirical evidence discussed in the subsequent chapters:  1.Bridging the divide between the countryside and the city is perhaps the most important background institutional condition for carrying out nature protection policies long enough so that they can have a meaningful effect. As demonstrated in all three studied cases, resilient nature protection governance depends on a higher level of partnership between the city and the countryside including indigenous people. Decentralized governance arrangements can be counter-productive insofar as they can increase the likelihood of polarization between the country and the city given the discrepancy in the concentration of costs carried out by the countryside and the wide diffusion of benefits enjoyed by all, the countryside and the city. In  17 fact, centralized governance is likely to be a necessary (but not sufficient) condition to overcome these cleavages: it is much easier to narrow the discrepancies in the costs and the benefits of nature protection policies between the city and the countryside from a higher level of governance. As it will be demonstrated in chapter five, the successful adoption of a very ambitious nature protection policy in Norway was made possible by a very broad coalition government (the Red-Green coalition) representing both urban labour, urban middle class and rural property owners.     2.The important role of urban dwellers for nature protection. The second important finding is that having urban support for nature protection policies is key, especially at the initial stage, when nature protection policies are farmed, articulated and adopted. In many cases, local communities – dwellers of the land – have indeed more direct stakes as compared to urban dwellers in protecting the local environment and, as a result, their motifs to safeguard the immediate environment are more existential and hence stronger. However, the role of urban dwellers, a very powerful force measured in votes and economic purchasing power, should not be underestimated. It was the support of urban dwellers that sustained the biodiversity protection commitment in the case of British Columbia’s nature protection governance, including the help of urban consumer pressures coming from oversees countries. Thus the influence of the urban middle class was not only national but also international in its scope. Likewise, the positive impact of urban dwellers on nature protection policies has been observed in the context of New Zealand’s decentralized governance: territorial local authorities (TLAs) with a higher proportion of urban dwellers and with higher population densities, have had on average a higher  18 implementation record of nature protection measures (i.e., significant natural areas in local land use plans), as compared to TLAs defined by less population density. These findings, in fact, are consistent with the literature on federalism and interdependence examined in chapter two suggesting that large urban centres tend to have higher protection standards as compared to smaller local governments defined by under-performing policy postures which can be explained by the logic of the “race to the bottom” (Shipan and Volden 2008).     Overall, the empirical evidence employed in this thesis suggests that urban support is necessary for initiating effective national nature protection policies, and is more easily secured through centralized governance. Several mechanisms can be identified for explaining the impact of urban dwellers on sustaining nature protection regimes, including the one provided by Ronald Inglehart’s post-material values hypotheses. The empirical findings of this thesis point out that not having a direct dependence on natural resources for livelihoods (ie.e., decoupling of livelihoods from natural resources) is perhaps the strongest motive for enduring conservation governance.     3. De-coupling of local incomes from direct reliance on natural resources for livelihood  The prospects of governance resilience over protecting species and their habitats also increase when the incomes of local communities are decoupled, at least to some degree, from sole reliance on natural resources. This is especially in cases where the pressures to converge biodiversity resources into traded commodities are the strongest -- when local communities are exposed directly to trading the derivatives of biodiversity-based resources in international markets. As international competition drives the production cost to the bottom, which frequently necessitates cutting the cost of environmental protection, decoupling of local incomes may be an  19 important enabling tool for biodiversity protection, as previously suggested by literature in environmental economics (OECD 2001; Havlik 2008).  New Zealand’s farmers, being directly exposed to international trade in agricultural commodities (with the New Zealand’s government cutting its agricultural subsidies in the 1980s) are under a lot of pressure to cut down on environmental costs and to intensify land use practices. Not surprisingly, the rapid intensification of New Zealand’s agriculture in the past decade, prompted by the increasing demand for its diary products in growing Asian markets, has been detrimental for New Zealand’s species and habitat diversity.   Norway has demonstrated an example of a higher tolerance for nature protection among local landowners, which can be explained by the redirecting of state revenues to offshore oil and gas and created the new sources of national revenues unrelated to its own renewable resources, including forests. As many Norwegian forest owners have gained professional occupations unrelated to land use activities, including in the very big public service, their support for species and their habitats has also increased.   4. The importance of free and open public access  It appears that the full property rights bundle characterized by the effective exclusion of outsiders from accessing the land, is more detrimental to nature protection than otherwise. Contrary to Ostrom’s hypothesis (to be outlined in the next chapter), the right to exclude others from accessing privately owned land does not improve an owner’s motivation to better care for the environment in any significant way, but rather blocks access to the land to conduct ecological surveys or to monitor the status of species and their protection. Contrasting New Zealand and Norway has revealed that the public right of free access anywhere, including over privately  20 owned forests and pastures, for example, for recreational purposes, has improved nature protection outcomes rather than constrained them.   1.2 Research methodology The comparative logic of macro-causal analysis At the outset, this thesis will utilize a widely accepted method in comparative politics research, namely, John Stuart Mill’s method of difference and similarities based on selecting cases with an eye to the variation in agreement and disagreement between dependent and independent variables. This method implies case selection based on a high level of similarity in their political institutions as well as the high degree of their exposure to international trade in natural resources (variables held constant) yet showing diverging results on the variable selected as the “dependent,” namely the pace of implementation of nature protection policies in the last two decades. The logic of case selection will be explained in more detail in chapter three.    The method of case selection is routinely used for in the “logic of macro-causal analysis” (Skocpol & Somers 1980), an approach to comparative historical analysis that allows one “to validate causal statements about macro-phenomena for which, inherently, there are too many variables and not enough cases” (182). As pointed earlier by Barrington Moore on the merits of this method, “comparisons can serve as a rough negative check on accepted historical explanations” (1966: 13). To this end, the dissertation uses historical comparison to check the increasingly accepted claims on the assumed advantages of decentralization for nature protection governance. Why did New Zealand have significant difficulties with implementing nature protection objectives over privately owned lands as compared to Norway, a country with a very similar share of private ownership over land resources? Directly comparing the implementation  21 of nature protection in New Zealand and Norway allows us to identify possible causal factors responsible for the variation in their nature protection outcomes, namely the strong role of central government and the right of public access – both conditions are present in Norway and absent in New Zealand.   The evidence collected in the process of field research is laid out in a chronological manner, organized in a sequential way as a lineage of policy developments shaped by the players identified, apriori, as relevant actors in shaping the outcomes on nature protection. The method of process-tracing helps address the challenge of under-determination, or the “degree of freedom” problem when there are not enough cases in the research to test a number of identified hypotheses (George & Bennett 2005).   Another methodological challenge is the question of unit homogeneity common for many comparative research projects involving complex and multi-faceted variables such as “society” or “country,” endowed with very different political, natural and human resources, cultural traditions, national histories and so forth, and therefore representing qualitatively different cases to be truly comparable.7 The homogeneity of these cases has to be to some degree assumed and ensured in the process of case selection via choosing cases with overall comparable institutional conditions, similar levels of socio-economic development as well as the degree of openness to international trade in natural resources. Yet even this process does not completely solve the problem: juxtaposing the three distinct societal trajectories of policy development and trying to derive simple and clear analytical arguments from these very different descriptive accounts                                                 7 King, Keohane and Verba contend that units are homogenous “when the expected values of the  dependent variables from each unit are the same when our explanatory variable takes on a particular  value” (1994, p. 91).  22 indeed poses a challenge in terms of deriving universal inferences from these observations. Such a comparison will be nevertheless attempted, via moving back and forth between variables identified as “causal” and observed across geographical and political space: between the selected cases and within these cases, between institutions and actors, and across time, over the course of key decisions occurring between 1990 and 2010, and ever beyond. Overall, these generalizations are contingent upon a specific set of conditions identified prior to the process of case selection –that is, the countries with well established institutions of democratic accountability and the policy-making process influenced by regular election cycles. Consequently, the findings may have a limited applicability both substantially (with a set of cases with certain characteristics) and historically (in a time period defined by a high openness of most countries to international trade, including trade in natural resources).   Expert-based interviews  The main method used for collection of original field data is expert-based, semi-structured interviews. Sixty people were interviewed over the course of eighteen months of field research, between January 2010 and July 2011, in the following geographic locations: Canada’s British Columbia (Vancouver and Victoria), New Zealand (Wellington and Christchurch), Norway (Oslo) and Japan (Nagoya, CBD COP-10 meeting). The interviewed subjects included a former provincial premier, four former ministers of the environment and conservation, one parliamentary commissioner for the environment, a national chair of the commission on the national biodiversity protection strategy, a constitutional lawyer, several chairs of key policy commissions on the environment, employees of public agencies working on nature protection (land use, forestry, agriculture and Indigenous issues), environmental lawyers, scientists- 23 biologists working for the government, scientist-biologists working for academic research institutions, international and national environmental NGOs, Indigenous peoples and their organizations, forestry owners, forestry companies and their associations, and last but not least, a farmer. The overwhelming majority of interviews were sit-down, face-to-face meetings based on semi-structured or unstructured scripts. Several interviews were conducted over the phone. Each interview lasted from thirty minutes to four hours in length. A few conversations continued via email and extended over several months. The interviews were supplemented with relevant policy documents, policy position statements, scientific studies, and media coverage – to unravel political contexts and policy-relevant public debate. Examining policy documents and media coverage separately on each of the three case studies enabled the researcher to reconstruct the historical sequence of events, debates, decisions and players that lead to the adoption and implementation of various policies.   1.3 Research framework: ideas, interests and institutions Timeframe: 1990-2012 The starting point for analyzing national biodiversity policy trajectories is the point of critical juncture (Pierson 2004, Mahoney 2001) for nature protection as a policy paradigm observed around the years of 1990-1991. The release of the Brundtland Commission Report in 1987, commissioned by the UNEP and prepared by the office of Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Brundtland, strongly resonated in many national policy-making circles, especially within OECD members, as well as global civil society, signaling the emergence of a new policy paradigm on sustainable development as a replacement for the previous paradigm framed in the language of  24 the limits to growth8 (Ehrlich 1968; Meadows et al 1972; Hardin 1977). The 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) solidified this ideational breaking point; from now on conservation policy objectives were addressed simultaneously with the objectives of equity and development.  (Laikre et al 2008). The difference between the new CBD paradigm and the previous paradigm, based on nature conservation viewed independently from human development goals, can be observed over at least two important dimensions: 1) the form of protection, from strict conservation to sustainable use, via incorporating the objective of social equity; and 2) the focus of protection, from preserving species diversity to embracing ecosystem diversity and genetic diversity, while also preserving ecosystem functions. The late 1980s - early 1990s were also characterized by an unprecedented salience of environmental issues in public policy discourse and opinion, observed across all studied cases and beyond. In fact, the 1992 Earth Summit marked a high point of new international cooperation and optimism noticeable not only in the domain of environmental protection but also in human rights, democratization and overall international cooperation all reflecting the spirit of the time – the end of the Cold War, the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the overall feeling of the “end of history” as famously coined by Fukuyama.  Many national governments found themselves at a new cross-road: the public and the rapidly emerging environmental NGOs demanded meaningful actions in reversing the mainstream policy paradigm defined by industrial and often nationally-sponsored resource extraction prevalent throughout the entire twentieth century, to embrace a new paradigm on                                                 8 IUCN and UNEP which prepared the ground for acceptance of a ground-breaking new international  policy which introduced new vision of the problem and new sets of policy solutions to them, key of which  were the IUCN World National Park Conference of 1982, the Brundtland Commission Report, and the  UNEP Working Groups of Experts.  25 sustainable development. At the same time, resource-based industries, including forestry and agriculture, suddenly found themselves on the defensive, and under the new public and, most importantly, consumer pressure demanding that they change their practices and incorporate new standards of sustainable management. Our understanding of nature protection – the “whats” and the “hows” –has also gone through some dramatic transformations. Protected areas, being among the first public policy tools in the politics of conservation, were first created primarily for the protection of scenic values and wilderness (late 1880s). However, almost a century later, by the early 1970s, protected areas fulfilled many other various objectives, such as scientific research as well as resource preservation for future economic use. By the early 1990s, the repertoire of protected areas expanded again, to now include the protection of ecosystem functions, such as the production of biomass or cross-pollination, as well as traditional cultural, spiritual and medicinal activities of local communities (including Indigenous peoples). And a decade later, these objectives were enlarged again, to include climate change adaptation and mitigation objectives (e.g., UN-REDD programmes on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation). In short, the single purpose of protecting large and intact wilderness areas was augmented with many new objectives and a shifting of the main emphasis from wilderness protection to the protection of ecosystem functions.9 Relevant actors and their positions  In the domain of nature conservation, the number of relevant players is numerous whereas their                                                 9 The ecosystem approach emerged as a central tool in the implementation of the Convention of  Biological Diversity. It was adopted as early as the 1995 COP CBD meeting held in Jakarta as the  “primary framework for action.” The central role of the ecosystem approach is reflected in all  Convention’s programmes, goals and strategic plans. See CBD (2004).  26 positions are diverse and defined by a very wide spectrum of interests. The following sub-section will attempt to outline the scope of relevant actors involved in shaping national nature protection policies and their implementations, including resource-extracting industry and their associations, forest owners, farmers, environmental groups, scientists, Indigenous peoples, as well as urban and rural dwellers broadly construed.  The interest positions of these actors will be assessed in a broader political context shaped by electoral cycles, the partisanship of a government in power and the overall interest representation institutions. The list is not exhaustive, however, and potentially can include even more players in the politics of nature protection policies.   Issue salience and electoral cycles In mature democracies, among main motives guiding the preferences of politicians is their desire to be re-elected (Downs 1972), prompting elected officials to pay very close attention to public opinion, especially prior to an election. Green policies, being perhaps the least important among the broad mix of public concerns, rarely reach the top three in terms of their salience in the public debate. Environmental scholars observe only a handful of brief periods of time when environmental issues drove strong public sentiment thus providing politicians with more electoral incentives to pay closer attention: in the early 1970s (giving a strong boost to international documents and conferences), the late 1980s – early 1990s (the Brundtland Commission and the Earth Summit in Rio), and again in 2005-06 around the time of the Kyoto Protocol’s entering into force. After the 2008 economic crisis, the salience of environmental issues hit a new low, scoring in various opinion polls below economy, security, health and other crucial policy concerns.   But even at times when environmental issues are salient, the public is less likely to pay  27 attention to species and habitat protection issues as compared to other environmental concerns. In fact, green policies “proper” are arguably the most difficult to tackle as compared to those issues with a more immediate impact on human health: air and water pollution, the environmental burden of disease, regulation of pesticides and pollutants, nuclear energy regulation, and the like. As well, societies had their own domestic points around a particular issue or value. In the case of British Columbian environmental movement, strong public opposition to destructive resource extractive practices galvanized around clear-cutting in the totemic old-growth coastal temperate rainforests during the 1980s, resulting into a full-blown legitimacy crisis prompting the provincial government to adopt a new policy course in the early 1990s. In New Zealand the environmental movement emerged as a reaction to building a dam on Manapouri Lake, giving rise to the world’s first Green party in 1972. However, Norway did not have a full-blown legitimacy crisis associated with an environmental problem on a magnitude similar to that observed in British Columbia or New Zealand. It appears that Norwegian environmental politics has been less driven by public conflict and contestation, partly due to very different state-society relations defined by the corporatist model of interest representations (to be discussed in chapter five). Yet the fluctuating salience of environmental issues vis-à-vis the cycles of economic growth mattered in terms of the support of conservation policies in the all cases studied.   The public: urban/rural divide The urban-rural divide argument is built on several assumptions, central of which is the existence of diverging sets of preferences between urban populations and rural groups. Nature  28 conservation policies pose a sharp equity dilemma, as their costs and benefits are unevenly distributed and often are separated spatially, between urban and rural dwellers. The costs of conservation tend to be locally concentrated whereas the benefits are more widely diffused among local, regional and even global communities (Bagnoli et al 2008). Higher percentages of urban dwellers who support conservation policies have been widely acknowledged (Leveque et all 2003, Bocking 2001) and consistent with Ronald Inglehart’s post-modern values thesis. Indeed, throughout most of human history, human survival has been the main concern. It is only recently that some societies have managed to escape from the constraints of subsistence-based living, which has given rise to new possibilities in personal development and a greater care for the environment. The rise of environmentalism observed primarily in Western democracies during the 1960s-1970s, was enabled by material prosperity and social stability and an  “unprecedented sense of security, as the foundation for such post-modern values to flourish” (Inglehart 2000).  The greater support for environmental issues among urban dwellers has been empirically observed by many sociologists and political scientists for a long time  (Lower & Pinher 1982; Jones and Dunlap 1992; Coan and Holman 2008; and many others). For example, the formation of the National and Provincial Park Association of Canada in 1963 was accompanied by rapidly expanding preferences among growing urban populations for Parks and outdoor recreational activities as a response to growing material prosperity and more time available to the growing urban middle class for leisure activities “in nature”.10 The growing demand for recreational parks was also accompanied by the massive exodus of rural dwellers into big cities.  Theoretically, urban populations have a disproportional political and economic leverage                                                 10 Visits to National Parks: from 5 million in 1960s to 19 million in 1970s. A number of provincial parks  grew from 8 in 1954 to 108 in 1970 (Bocking 2001).  29 over rural populations. This leverage can be measured by 1) Purchasing power including for products of biodiversity, 2) Willingness to pay for environmental services (WTP), and 3) Sheer voting power in democratic elections. Therefore, conservationist NGOs build their political leverage via gaining support of urban dwellers (for example, purchasing power of green consumers) and influencing public opinion, especially prior to elections.  Yet the rural groups have their own source of leverage, and frequently have an organizational advantages over the numerous and busy urbanites. The agricultural and rural labor force currently contains approximately 22 percent of the world’s population and accounts for 46 percent of its total labor force, especially in the developing countries (MA 2005: 5). In the developed countries, the share of rural dwellers is estimated around 15 percent.  Rural dwellers frequently enjoy the support of well-organized resource-extracting industries, such as forestry companies, forest owners and farmers associations, using the great political leverage of local job creation and generating national revenues from trading in international markets for primary resources. The concentration of rural interest in smaller and well-organized groups, such as forest owners associations or farmers alliances, gives  these groups a mobilization advantage vis-a-vis large, potentially powerful yet amorphous urban constituencies (Olson 1965).     Industry Well-organized politically, the primary resource-based industries, including forestry, agriculture or mineral industry, have had a significant influence on policymaking outcomes, usually by employing the powerful “jobs vs the environment” calculus and in routinely threatening to  30 relocate, should national regulations become “too draconian”. The fact that most powerful resource-extracting industries have global reach and therefore can effectively exercise such a threat grants them additional lobbying leverage.  Within these industries, however, an important distinction has to be made between the interests of business and labour. For example, in Norway, the forestry industry includes many small forest owners who frequently inherent their land (and business) thus business and labour frequently coincide (“family business”); whereas in British Columbia the industry is dominated by big corporations with a global reach and people recruited as paid labour. In New Zealand, where forestland is privately owned, the industry consists of a big corporate element as well as local and indigenous forestry owners.   Environmentalists  In the past, nature protection was done under the banner of a relatively limited group of activists, “conservationists,” with specific, often narrowly defined, interests  – botanists and ornithologists, poets and artists, mountaineers, hunters and hikers, many of whom romanticized the untouched wilderness either for its aesthetic values or for unspoiled hiking and hunting. With the rise of the environmental movement in the 1960s, a much wider audience joined the conservation movement. Some of newly formed environmental groups became very powerful players in environmental politics, including “The Big Three”: the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Conservation International (CI), and the Nature Conservancy (TNC), controlling about 50 percent of all funds available for conservation efforts worldwide. These organizations are reported to have gradually shifted their initial reliance on private funds to relying more on transfers from public bilateral and multilateral donors (Bagnoli et al 2008: 133). Among other  31 big environmental groups with global outreach are Greenpeace International, Friends of the Earth, Sierra Club, and others. However, the degree of international influence of a country’s environmental NGOs can vary quite significantly. In British Columbia, the most influential environmental groups have a strong international outreach and rarely rely in their work on a local membership base or on membership fees. By contrast, New Zealand’s most influential environmental groups, Royal Forest and the Bird Protection Society, relies on a very wide national membership and has a very wide base among the voters. Finally, Norway’s most influential environmental NGOs have enjoyed a close partnership with the government and have received government funding. These NGOs can work as quasi-government agencies, for example in collecting nation-wide relevant ecological data.  None of the environmental NGOs, however, are comparable in financial leverage to resource-extracting industries and corporations. Neither do they have the political clout of a job creating industry. Perhaps the biggest source of political leverage available to environmental groups is in their ability to frame the public discourse and to influence public opinion, a very important function in democracies where political actors have to pay attention, sometimes unwillingly, to what the electorate thinks and wants. Recently, environmental NGOs have developed another strategy of political pressure, via influencing consumer choices in oversees markets, replicating the boomerang effect logic described by Keck and Sikking in their influential book, Activists Beyond Borders (1998).   Yet, when compared to other advocacy groups and NGOs focusing on human rights or fairness issues, environmentalists  “lack a human face” and therefore their influence on the public fluctuates along with economic cycles. When the economy is doing well, people begin to  32 pay attention to a broader spectrum of issues, including the messages coming from green NGOs. In the times of economic crisis, however, environmental calls are accepted by the public with a greater indifference if not hostility.    On average, environmental NGOs became very skilled in framing the public debate, often speaking from the position of the high moral ground, perhaps not as economically pragmatic but nevertheless influential for shifting social values and directing public perceptions.11    Indigenous peoples The dramatic rise of Indigenous self-governance movements in the past few decades has prompted a greater recognition of Indigenous rights across many democratic societies (Scholtz 2006). This movement was also consequential for adopting new resource management regimes in these societies based on co-management arrangements between the state and Aboriginal peoples. In some cases, Indigenous peoples formed alliances with environmental groups to battle against resource-extracting industries operating on Aboriginal peoples’ traditional lands. This alliance was sustained by important commonalities in the worldview of Aboriginal peoples and many environmentalists - the spiritual worldview of Indigenous peoples, defined by wholism and the intrinsic values attributed to nature, is close to the philosophy of deep ecologism (Naess 1973, Leopold 1949) in which humans, other species, their habitats and the larger ecosystems, “mountain and rivers”, are given equal moral worth.   In some cases, the Indigenous political self-determination movement has amounted to very powerful political outcomes. In 2004, the Maori in New Zealand formed their own political party which now acts as a veto-player in New Zealand’s Parliament under the current multi-party                                                 11 For a discussion on the role of environmental groups in shaping public values and perceptions, see Julia  Afforlderbach, ENGOs and Environmental Bargains, PhD Thesis, 2008.   33 electoral system. In British Columbia, Indigenous people successfully launched their land claims over a significant portion of the province, based on the unextinguished Aboriginal title to the land, and have made the government listen to their voices over land-related matters, including over conservation policies. In both cases, New Zealand and British Columbia, Indigenous peoples became very powerful players in land-based environmental politics. In fact, New Zealand’s current policy on biodiversity protection is directly linked with the politics of the Maori’s sovereignty agenda, due to the recent re-interpretation of the 1980 Treaty of Waitangi, the founding Treaty between the Indigenous people and the Crown, in which the Maori claimed stewardship over the entire flora and fauna of New Zealand.12 The dissertation outline This dissertation proceeds as follows. The second chapter discusses the relevant theoretical debates on the impact of decentralization on biodiversity protection governance and offers several hypotheses for empirical testing, based on the discussed literature. Chapter three is methodological, with the main objective being to introduce and to define the outcome selected for this research, namely the increases in the representativeness of protection 1990-2010. The second section of this chapter deals with the logic of case selection and explains the rationale behind choosing New Zealand, Norway and Canada’s British Columbia as case studies. The subsequent three chapters, four, five and six, present empirical stories on the development of                                                 12 The Wai 262 claim, the most complex claim ever heard by New Zealand’s Tribunal and released in July  2011, is extremely consequential for New Zealand’s domestic biodiversity policy. According to the Wai  262 claim and Maori’s interpretation of the Treaty, the Indigenous peoples gave the Crown governance to  enact laws and policies but retained their right to their lands, villages and taonga and tino rangatiratanga. Taonga implies that Maori retained their stewardship over kin relationships, which included landscapes, waters, plants, wildlife and cultural works. Tino rangatiratanga is contrasted with  the western principle of property, defined in exclusive terms. See Jessica Lai, 2012.  34 biodiversity protection policies in these societies. The last chapter, seven, offers an analysis of the results and possible implications of the findings for the direction of future nature protection policies.  35 Chapter Two: Decentralization, Centralization and Governance Resilience. A Theoretical Overview     36 	  2.1 Introduction: biodiversity protection as a policy domain Addressing environmental problems, such as restoring the ozone layer via limiting the emissions in the atmosphere of chlorofluorocarbons, or improving fresh water quality via establishing high environmental standards in regional agriculture or production, takes significant amounts of time and therefore requires some stability in implementing necessary measures.13 In the domain of nature protection, keeping a policy commitment is particularly hard, for at least three reasons. Firstly, nature protection requires long-term policy commitments, with time horizons extending well beyond political or economic cycles. Secondly, the level of human commitment to the concerns of the non-human world is not strong. Thirdly, the wide discrepancy between the concentrated costs and the diffused benefits creates severe political oppositions with the potential to derail a policy course. Let’s briefly consider these three concerns in more detail. Longer time horizons of nature protection policies  If we take the regular standard of political cycles ranging from four to five years in electoral democracies, to perhaps a few decades in authoritarian systems contingent on the life span of a dictator in power, the range of ecological cycles are much wider depending on the scale and the focus of nature protection. For a forest to reach a state of maturity it may take over a hundred years or longer and require a stable protection regime carried out over several generations. It is fair to say that cutting an old growth forest is an irreversible action for a given generation of                                                 13 Restoring the planetary ozone layer, under the environmental regime implemented under the Montreal  Protocol, is perhaps the most successful example of the world’s collective action to tackle a global  environmental challenge.  See UNEP. 2005 http://ozone.unep.org/Public_Information/ press_backgrounder.pdf.   37 people as most of them would not live long enough to see its restoration to the state of maturity even if such policy is adopted. Thus, on average, ecological regenerative cycles are much longer than political cycles limited by regular elections or business cycles conditioned by economic ups and downs. This in turn suggests a fundamental mismatch between the short cycles of politics and longer ecological cycles.14  The challenge of shallow commitment The depth of commitment to protect the environment is inevitably shallow, as compared to commitments to improve human economic or social conditions. Species and their habitats are not part of the social contract, although some ground-breaking theoretical work is emerging in political theory to suggest a change in the way modern humane society should treat animals (Kymlicka and Donaldson 2013; Singer 2009). Overall, however, the needs of species and their habitats are addressed in the public debate almost entirely in terms of their utility values for the economy or human health and wellness. Although some environmentalists and scientists try to appeal to the moral imperative or aesthetic values in calling for better protection of ecosystems, species or individual animals, these voices often have little economic leverage and therefore are dwarfed in the policy debates. In fact, the public commitment to nature protection remains very shallow. Of course, few if any would welcome environmental degradation or the destruction of species. Yet the actual behavioural change required to reduce the biggest threats to species and their habitats pertaining to land use activities is costly, especially for the groups depending on                                                 14 The mismatch between the cycles governing the political and the biological world was mentioned by  scientists-biologists and ecologists during expert –based interviews, in all three cases, New Zealand,  Norway and British Columbia. Based on the interviews, it was most frequently mentioned reason for  policy failure.    38 biodiversity resources and their derivatives for the livelihoods and profits. The latter brings us to the third obstacle to a successful long-term implementation of nature protection policies – the wide discrepancy between the costs and benefits of such policies as borne out by different constituencies and groups.  Discrepancy in the costs and the benefits of nature protection  Conservation policies are perhaps among the most difficult to adopt politically: the costs are immediate, high and spatially concentrated whereas the benefits are postponed in time and widely dispersed. For example, the protection of the northern spotted owl in the American Pacific Northwest was very costly for the local forestry industry in terms of lost revenues and jobs from lower timber production whereas the benefits of preserving the owl belong to humanity and future generations, in saving a unique planetary species and its magnificent habitats the old growth temperate rainforests. Much of these benefits are not usually measured in economic terms and therefore can be considered intrinsic.   A mismatch between concentrated environmental protection costs and widely diffused benefits (Olson 1971), as well as the unstable and fluctuating levels of public support over nature protection (Downs 1972), which rarely if ever reach the salience of regular bread-and-butter policy concerns, creates strong disincentives for politicians to run on “an ecosystem of species protection” platform or even to mention it among other, more human-centred, issues without being ridiculed by political opponents. In fact the inclusion of such issues in the election public debates are very rare occurrences and are predicated on the level of politicization of land use issues, if they occur at all.   39 Whenever nature protection does become a salient issue in public political debates, prompting politicians to react and propose new policy actions, it is often framed in the terms related to human health or economic concerns rather than preserving species and ecosystems as such. Green politics proper – framing the issue of nature conservation in terms of its intrinsic values - remains in the margins of the policy agenda even at times of high environmental salience.15 There exists a fundamental divide, within environmental policies, between human-related environmental concerns and green environmentalism proper. The Yale Environmental Performance Index (EPI) annually conducted by the Yale Centre for Environmental Law & Policy, breaks down all measurements and indicators into two broad dimensions, Environmental Health and Ecosystem Vitality.16  Among industrially developed countries, on average the level of policy implementation on environmental health, which includes indicators on water and air pollutions, is significantly higher than on ecosystem vitality, which includes indicators on habitat and species protection (figure 2.1). One of the factors behind this lag between brown and green policy outcomes may be explained by the fact that environmental policies with a direct and visible impact on human wellness as opposed to those designed to protect species and their habitats in the wilderness, generate different political supports and oppositions. Health-related environmental concerns are                                                 15 Political arguments based on intrinsic values of species and habitats are very rare in public debates,  with a very few exceptions worldwide (see, for example, Bolivia’s Law of the Rights Of Mother Earth  adopted in 2010). Instead, most green debates are framed around the economic values of ecosystem  functions or our moral responsibility for future generations. 16 Ultimately, all environmental issues including biodiversity loss impact on human well-being in one  way or another, yet the links are not well known or well understood. The most recent research shows how  the decline in species diversity negatively impacts on ecosystem crucial functions – and through them  would also have impact on human health and economy. See TEEB 2009.  40 more widely supported than species or ecosystem-related concerns. The leaking water from the Fukushima’s damaged nuclear plant is more likely to generate strong public concern and prompt policy actions if it is shown to impact on human health rather than on the ocean’s biological diversity and on marine ecosystems. Figure 2.1: Environmental Health Vs Ecosystem Vitality Scores Among OECDs  Source: Feditchkina 2013b, figure constructed based on Yale EPI dataset 2011. The score indicates the proximity to the internationally established target.   Based on these and perhaps other policy-specific characteristics not accounted for in this discussion, biodiversity protection poses a particular challenge for sustaining a nature protection regime long enough to see the desired policy outcomes  – regenerated and restored ecosystems, increased species populations and halted biodiversity loss. With this in the background, the question of what institutional arrangement can help safeguard a biodiversity protection commitment from derailing, given the de-facto condition of weak individual motivations, has a 0	  20	  40	  60	  80	  100	  120	  Australia Austria Belgium Canada Chile Czech Republic Denmark Estonia Finland France Germany Greece Hungary  Iceland Ireland Israel Italy Japan Korea Luxemburg Mexico Netherlands NZ Norway Poland Portugal Slovak Republic Slovenia Spain Sweden Switzerland Turkey UK US Environmental Health Performance Score Ecosystem Vitality Performance Score  41 special practical importance. The question also fits within distinct theoretical literatures on institutionalism, federalism, localism, multi-level governance and environmental protection.  The following section will proceed in three parts. First, we will examine the theoretical underpinnings for decentralized nature protection governance ranging from broad social theories, to anthropology, to economics, to resource management. Then we will consider the critique of decentralized environmental governance from theoretical and empirical points of view. In the third section, we will look at the proposed intervening variables in the governance framework which can take the discussion beyond centralized/decentralized approaches, namely the institutional arrangements which can help enhance resilience in nature protection measures. Two dimensions of resilience governance will be suggested, namely slack and redundancy. Finally, the section will conclude with the four working hypotheses offered for testing.   2.2 Nature protection governance: centralized and decentralized.  How does the concentration or diffusion of power impact on the likelihood of a policy to endure for a long time, and in the face of political and economic pressures and changes, to be successfully implemented?   Decentralization is a very broad concept and serves as a proxy for delegation, devolution, deregulation, subsidiarity, and other processes, changing the distribution of power between political units or actors, implying usually several political levels of authority. For the purpose of this thesis, de-centralization is defined as the formal delegation of decision-making to local actors operating at the local level of political authority (eg., communities, regions or municipalities) and away from the central government.    42 Based on reviewing the literature on historical institutionalism and neo-institutional economics (North 1990; Esping-Andersen 1990; Lijphart 1999; Agrawal and Ostrom 2001; Iversen & Soskice 2006), at least two dimensions can be used in measuring the degree of governance decentralization: the first dimension is decision –making and the second dimension is property rights.  a) Devolution to lower levels of government  As a very broad concept, for the purpose of this research, political decentralization will be broadly defined as the devolution of decision-making from central government to local institutions, local communities and municipalities. The decision-making over nature protection, for example in adopting regulations over the protection of certain species or their habitats, can be vested either with a central government or by local governments. An example of centralized decision-making can be found with the government of Norway’s adoption of the Nature Diversity Act (2009), a blanket state regulation made and “imposed” by central government on the entire country. By contrast, an example of a very de-centralized decision-making on biodiversity protection can be found in New Zealand where environmental decision-making was devolved to the local level government. Consequently, every region in New Zealand has developed its own unique strategy and standards on deciding what needs to be protected locally (outside of the national protected areas) and implementing these decisions.  b) Tenure rights over land resources 17 Naturally, land ownership and land tenure rules affect the extent of government’s ability to impose regulations (Cashore and McDermott 2007, Hoberg et al 2001). Lands can be publically                                                 17 Agrawal & Ostrom 2001.  43 or privately owned by individuals or by a collective (“common-pool”, or “community ownership”). Exclusive ownership is only one dimension of land tenure regimes, usually defined by the complex arrangements in various management rights given to authorized users.  A highly centralized property rights regime denotes the high share of public control over property rights with respect to land and natural resources, and a low level of integration denotes a very high share of private property over land resources and their management. For example, in British Columbia, where the 95 percent of provincial land is publicly owned, with land use decisions vested with government. Forest companies do not own the land they are harvesting. However, they may enjoy some authority over the rights and responsibility over the managements of these lands depending on the type of license sold to them by government.  By contrast, New Zealand’s land tenure regime is defined by the high share of private ownership over the land especially commercially viable and productive lands (most of New Zealand’s publically owned territory coincides with high elevation areas unsuitable for commercial development and inaccessible to logging and agricultural activities). Forest companies and agricultural producers tend to have both exclusive ownership rights and management/authorized user rights. In some cases, forest companies lease their land from the Maori tribes.  Finally, Norway is more similar to New Zealand than to British Columbia on its land tenure regime characterized in Norway by a high share of private land ownership. Roughly 85 percent of Norwegian forest lands is privately owned, with the remaining 10 percent owned by government and 5 percent by mill and paper forestry industry. Norwegian family forestry relies on small-scale operations and usually combines forestry with other sources of income and professional occupation. Most families own their forests for many generations, encouraged by  44 Norwegian law on inheritance adopted to encourage long-term family ownership, to ensure a greater stewardship for the land.18  The two-dimensional matrix shown in table below attempts to capture important variations in nature protection governance in terms of the degree of centralization/decentralization of a country’s nature protection regime. Table 2.1: A Centralization/Decentralization Matrix on Nature Protection Governance  Centralization of decision-making  Land ownership LOW HIGH MOSTLY PRIVATELY OWNED New Zealand Norway MOSTLY PUBLICALLY OWNED  British Columbia  Based on this measurement matrix, New Zealand appears to have the most decentralized nature protection governance, with nature protection decision-making devolved to the local level of government and its property rights regime defined by a low presence of public ownership, responsible for only about 30 percent of New Zealand’s territory, mostly in the unproductive high elevation areas. Thus, the overwhelming majority of New Zealand’s productive lowland is privately owned. Norway is a mixed case with highly centralized environmental decision-making process vested in the hands of the central government but has a very fragmented property rights regime defined by a low share of public ownership in the productive lowlands, similar to that observed in New Zealand. Finally, British Columbia represents the most centralized case of biodiversity protection governance defined by both centralized nature protection decision-making and a high share of public property over provincial lands over 95 percent of provincial                                                 18 Interview with the Norwegian Forest Owners Federation, June 9, 2011, Oslo.  45 territory is being in public ownership (Crown land).  2.3 Arguments for decentralization: better prospects for longue-durée? Many voices have been articulated, among scholars and policy practitioners alike, in favour of decentralized environmental governance, and these voices have been increasing in the last decade due to the failure on the international level to adopt, coordinate and implement effective national and international environmental regimes on climate change and biodiversity protection (the recent targets of the Convention on Biodiversity, to halt biodiversity loss by 2010, were not met). Thus, the UN-sponsored policy-related literature has been enthusiastically promoting participatory and community-based governance on ecosystem protection on the ground that they are more effective and equitable (Kothari 2008). For example, the CBD Secretariat described de-centralization as one of the twelve principles of the promoted ecosystem approach, as follows: “Decentralized systems may lead to greater efficiency, effectiveness and equity. Management should involve all stakeholders and balance local interests with the wider public interest. The closer management is to the ecosystem, the greater the responsibility, ownership, accountability, participation, and use of local knowledge” (CBD Secretariat 2004: 10). The overwhelming majority of these research projects on decentralized ecosystem governance are concerned with biodiversity protection in the developing world where decentralized solutions are perhaps the only way to go given low state policy capacity. Also, biodiversity protection of species and their habitats is very site-specific. The support of local people, local dwellers of the land, is naturally an important enabling condition for the long-term success of nature protection efforts. Moreover, local support can serve as an important buffer in case such commitments adopted at the national level becomes weaker, for example, as a result of a new government coming into power and reversing the policies made by  46 its predecessor – a frequent occurrence in the Westminster parliamentary democracies such as Canada. In those cases, strong local support can be the only source of a sustained commitment to preserving regional ecosystems even under the absence of regulations or incentives from a central regulator. 19 How can local governance and decentralized property rights impact on biodiversity protection governance? At least three theoretical schools can be identified as directly linked with the arguments for the supremacy of decentralization/ local stewardship for biodiversity protection, namely, green participatory democracy, common property rights, and local/indigenous knowledge.  Property rights as a mechanism of local governance  Perhaps the most powerful voice for decentralization and community-based resource management comes from the work of Elinor Ostrom and her ground-breaking studies on self-governing through property rights (1990; 1999; Agrawal and Ostrom 2001). Among others, Ostrom’s work addresses the question of institutional endurance – the property rights arrangements that enable local communities to maintain a sustainable governance over fisheries, water or forests during a very long period of time and without a third-party enforcer (the state).   Working within the tradition of neo-classical economics advanced by Friedrich von Hayek and Ludwig von Mises, Ostrom has argued that decentralized solutions, defined as                                                 19 The opposition of British Columbia’s First Nation communities to the Canada’s national government  intention to build a pipeline, Keystone XL, across their traditional lands, which would impose high new  risks for regional biodiversity, is an example when local actors play an important role in carrying out the  conservation mandate in the face of rapidly diminishing support for this mandate at higher political levels  resulting from coming in power of a conservative party almost solely focusing on economic growth  policies often at the expense of the environment. CBC News, “First Nations Say They Will Fight  Oilsands, Pipeline,” March 20, 2013.   47 relationships among actors with respect to things like natural resources, can be both effective and efficient if they are based on clearly specified property rights and can effectively exclude others from access, withdrawal, management and alienation (Agrawal & Ostrom 2001: 488). A clear specification and delineation of property rights creates new incentives for herdsmen to become better stewards of land, because ownership, individual or communal, confers new incentives unavailable for the users of publicly owned resources. For example, incentives to better care for the land for future generations may arise from the security and the stability of private property rights. These incentives would be largely absent when people had to follow regulations on resource use imposed by a third party (government) (Coase 1960; Andersen & Donald 1991; Ostrom 1999). Stable expectations associated with secure property rights enable a long-term environmental management by motivating local farmers to put some restraint on their harvesting activities, in the expectation that their children will be able to reap the long-term benefits from conserved fisheries or clean lakes (Ostrom 2000: 183).  Moreover, a complete specification of property rights would help resolve the challenge of environmental externalities, internalize costs associated with them and thus create new incentives for resource owners to conserve the resources for future generations. According to the proposed argument, fully implemented property rights imply the full-cost pricing for environmental externalities that should reflect the full social opportunity cost. In the context of environmental externalities, this requires the removal of evident and hidden subsidies harmful to the environment, including agricultural subsidies or even subsidized consumption associated with Keynesian policies (Andersen and Donald 1991).  At least two important logical observations follows from Ostrom’s thesis: first, the de-centralization process involves devolving authority, in which decision making could be  48 conceptualized as “different combinations of property rights” (Ostrom 2000: 488). Secondly, property rights could be understood on a greater continuum, going beyond public vs private dichotomy and based on inclusion/exclusion criteria. Instead, the type of uses could include access, withdrawal, management, exclusion, alienation and access whereas the classes of users could consist of owner, proprietor, claimant, authorized user and authorized entrant (Table 2.2). The distinction between private individual, private collective (common property regimes) and public (state, Crown), could be added as the third dimension.  Table 2.2: Property Rights Bundles and The Classes of Rights Holders  Owner (individual, collective or public)  Proprietor Claimant Authorized user Authorized Entrant Access X X X X X Withdrawal X X X X  Management X X X   Exclusion (decisions on exclusion) X X    Alienation X     Source: Adopted from Ostrom (1999) and Ostrom and Agrawal (2001).  Full ownership includes decision-making over the full spectrum of rights, from the right to alienate the land, such as selling, to the right of management including management rules such as, for example, environmental standards to the right of withdrawal including harvesting of the resources such as timber, and to the right of access to the resources. New Zealand’s freehold title on land approximates this ideal as it provides a complete and exclusive property rights bundle to the land owner, from the right of exclusive access (the public has no tight to access privately owned land) and all the way to the right of alienation. In contrast, the Norwegian land ownership bundle is not so exclusive, as it limits the owner on the right of access since the public has the  49 right of free access anywhere, including over privately owned resources such as forests and pastures).  The status of an authorized user confers the right to harvest resources but does not grant a say in establishing managing rules or in deciding on inclusion/exclusion criteria, although this right is granted to the claimant status. For example, in British Columbia, some forest companies use a land use license, issued by government, that allows them to not only harvest forests (the right of withdrawal) but also to establish some (although limited) management rules. In comparison, Norwegian foresters have a greater property rights bundle because many of them also own the resources on the land.  The least entitled class of rights holders, “authorized entrant”, may, or may not, exist in the property rights bundle. For example, in Norway, people have the right of free access anywhere, including over someone else’s private land, to enjoy a scenic view or collect wild mushrooms without requesting an owner’s authorization whereas in Canada or the US such activity would be deemed illegal and called “trespassing.”  In the most centralized governance arrangement, all allocation of property rights is made by the central regulator (the state). Local actors and local level governments have to follow the rules established at some distant, central, level of authority. By contrast, the most decentralized governance arrangements imply that the decisions over the majority of the property rights bundle are all made at the local level, directly by local actors (landowners) or with their direct input (local councils), without involving a third party enforcer. Yet the extreme cases of centralization and decentralization are very rare. Resource management governance usually represents mixed cases. For example, the state can own a forest and have the authority to make decision in regards to exclusion and management while delegating the operational-level property rights to local  50 communities. The reverse examples are also possible, when a forest can be privately owned but nevertheless open for public access and withdrawal (for example, scientific research), for example privately owned conservation areas. Some bundles of rights arrangements allow for co-management decisions, when both the central government and the local actors (e.g., indigenous communities) co-share the authority in decision-making over management. The characteristics of a property rights regime that would encourage sustainable management of natural resources under a decentralized governance of common-pool resources, for Ostrom, includes eight principles with the most important ones being the stability of resource ownership rights, collective-choice arrangements allowing resource appropriators to participate in the decision-making process (the grass-roots elements), and the effective exclusion of external parties from access, withdrawal, management, exclusion and alienation (1990). A greater exclusion has been linked with a higher likelihood of better resource governance without third party enforcement. Consequently, open public access to what is privately owned is an obstacle to effective governance, according to this model.  Accordingly, some ambiguity to the right of exclusion, for example when the public at large can enjoy the right of free access to privately owned territory, can do the opposite – discourage the collective or private owners from taking a better care of what exclusively belongs to them. “…Such limited property rights do not establish strong incentives for sustainable management…therefore, decentralization can be said to have occurred only when governments devolve property rights over resources that conform to the collective and constitutional levels” (Agrawal & Ostrom 2001: 492).  To sum up the position of Ostrom in regards to centralization-decentralization debate, decentralization of environmental governance can be efficient and effective when the full bundle  51 of rights is transferred to the local level of property owners (individual or collective), which should create additional local incentives to become better stewards of natural resources. The efficacy of command-and control tools “imposed” by a third-party enforcer (e.e., the central government) is inferior in terms of resiliency than the self-motivated actions of the holders of property rights: the intentionality of self-motivated actors would be more enduring than those coerced by an external force. The role of a central government in such a decentralized system would be the role of a fair arbiter – to ensure the sanctity of a contract but ultimately not interfering in either the pricing of environmental externalities (market based approaches) or impinging upon property rights by issuing, for example, command and control policies. In addition, the new local incentives to protect    The proposition of the importance of exclusion of others from the bundle of property rights will be directly explored in the next two chapters of this thesis, namely in the case of New Zealand and Norway. Both cases have a similar share of privately owned lands and resources but have notably different bundles of property rights in regards to the right of access.  Green participatory democracy and self-sufficiency “If there is anything distinctive about green politics…it must surely be its emphasis on decentralization”(Goodin 1992: 147). The principle of participatory democracy remains central in the philosophy of many variants of the environmental movement including social ecologists and grass-root environmentalists. Participatory decision-making with citizens deciding directly on the matters of conservation, via the institutions of the local government, has been particularly attractive for green theorists because of its high normative ground. Those affected by decisions should have input into making them - an important normative argument made by the  52 practitioners of green politics and participatory democracy.20 In addition, there is an important practicality in participatory democracy pertaining to nature protection: the personal involvement of people in governing over their own affairs can be a source of increased commitment and motivation not available to larger national constituencies voting through the representative electoral process. And this personal engagement in the decisions and their consistent implementation appears to create additional resilience among local actors to carry on the nature protection decisions should they participate in them.  Some green scholars go further to problematize the logic of the modern state based on the hierarchical command-and control system, as the vehicle of domination, exploitation and eventually self-destruction for human and ecological systems. When domination of “human over human” is abandoned, and de-centralized, autonomous and democratic communities are established instead, the true sustainable relationship between humans and nature can be achieved and sustained (Bookchin 1991). Aside from its high normative ground, participatory decision-making also serves a very practical purpose, policy legitimization, which can improve the prospect of implementation and make the adopted policies more acceptable among local communities, interest groups and stakeholders.21 Indeed, the establishment of protected areas against the approval of local                                                 20 See, for example, the statement of the Green Party of Canada on participatory democracy, “we strive  for a democracy in which all citizens have the right to express their views, and to be able to directly  participate in the environmental, economic, social and political decisions which affect their lives.”  https://www.greenparty.ca/party/values/participatory-democracy. Accessed May 9, 2014.  21 In fact, political acceptability is perhaps the most important non-economic criteria in conducting cost- benefit analysis of a proposed policy. The electoral calculus prompts politicians to pay a particular close  attention to whether a proposed policy is popular or not among key constituencies or interest groups,   53 communities and against their interests has been linked with increased local contention, conflict over land use, and ineffective implementation of conservation measures.22 The legitimization and the internalization of a particular policy objective by local actors – that is, the normative acceptance of the goal as worthy of pursuit –is perhaps the most crucial for any policy to succeed. No policies can be sustained long-term without the commitment of the communities affected by them.23  In addition to social ecologists advancing the argument of fairness, deep ecologists including Arne Naess (1973) and Kirkpatrick Sale (1985), have advanced localism on the grounds of self-sufficiency coming from a direct link between community livelihoods and the natural environments from which these livelihoods arise. Many deep ecologists share the Naess’ vision of “biospherical egalitarianism,” with decentralized decision making establishing a direct link between the human and the non-human world, which is assumed to be most important for biodiversity protection:  from afar, from outside the local region in which that form has obtained an ecological equilibrium… Local autonomy is strengthened by a reduction in the number of links in the hierarchical chains of decisions - local board, municipal council, highest sub-national decision-maker, a state-wide institution in a state                                                                                                                                                        whereas the cost of the policy usually comes second.  22 See, for example, Western, David and Michael Wright, “The Background of Community-Based  Conservation.” In Natural Connections: Perspectives in Community-Based Conservation, 1994, Western,  Washington, DC: Island Press.  23  For example, “UNEP Grassroots Solutions to Climate Change”, under the MDG, supports the  community-based programs in the developing world based on grassroots efforts in ecosystem  management, climate change adaptation, water, and other sustainability issues, linking them with another  UN programme, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). See UNEP, Seeds of Knowledge:  Contributing to Climate Change Solutions, 2012.  54 federation, a federal national government institution, a coalition of nations, and a global institution (Naess 1973: 98). Interestingly, for Naess, the reduction of institutions involved, including global ones such as multilateral environmental regimes, is a necessary condition for establishing an effective local governance.  For both social and deep ecologists, affirming the advantages of de-centralized, community-based decision making, and establishing local autonomy for sustainability is the precondition for biodiversity protection to endure in the long-run. Yet they seem to differ on the role of democracy: for social ecologists, participatory democracy is a fundamental governance mechanism, whereas for deep ecologists, living within the carrying capacity of a bioregion (self-sufficiency) is more important than democracy or other forms of governance, which can also include “aristocracies, theocracies, principalities, margravates, duchies and palatinates as well” (Sale quoted in Dobson 1991: 81). Both social and deep ecologists agree that decentralization presents a more enduring prospect for environmental governance, mobilizing local supports and providing better incentives to local populations, via empowering people (participatory democracy) and establishing a direct link between human and the non-human world (biospherical egalitarianism).  The advantages of local and indigenous knowledge  Another perspective in the literature advocating the superiority of decentralized environmental governance is related to the role of knowledge, a fundamental component in policy-making.  Who has the claim to relevant expertise? What is the link between the expertise and policy-making? And how is this knowledge legitimized as worthy of being treated as credible and  55 relevant? Although policies are rarely a mirror image of scientific findings as they are shaped by political ideas, interests and institutions (North 1990, Hall 1993), the production of knowledge plays an important role in all stages - in agenda setting, policy formulation, policy adoption, policy adjustments and implementation.  It would appear that biodiversity governance poses a particular challenge for collecting accurate and comprehensive data, and deriving knowledge from it, given the insufficient status of the science of taxonomy as the majority of the Earth’s species have not been discovered or named yet. In addition, the interconnectedness of the elements of the ecosystems, species and genetic flows enhances knowledge complexity. Moreover, the debate about what constitutes  relevant expertise on nature protection and biodiversity is influenced by the arguments made in favour of Aboriginal traditional knowledge (TK), positioned as an alternative paradigm to standardized, analyzed and codified scientific knowledge routinely used by central planners and government policy-makers. Thus the proponents of TK–based approaches to conservation, which include the majority of the world’s Indigenous peoples, argue that conservation regimes, in order to be effective, should incorporate crucial elements of traditional knowledge. Unlike scientific, and codified knowledge, TK is experiential (“tacit knowledge” or “wholistic knowledge”) and hence is inevitably lost in the translation from the personal level of understanding to the impersonal, codified, and scientific data.  This implies that certain aspects of local knowledge are unique to the local context and too uneducable to be standardized universal data. The following discussion will elaborate on the links between the local environment, local actors in the possession of an understanding about this environment, and how possessing such knowledge motivates its bearers to keep a stronger commitment to protecting the environment from overuse and degradation. Three theoretical  56 positions will be examined based on the work of economist Friedrich Hayek, political scientist James Scott and anthropologist Paul Nadasdy.   The value of tacit knowledge in decision-making: Friedrich Hayek   In his theoretical debate with Joseph Schumpeter, Friedrich Hayek, evoking the laissez-fair argument of Adam Smith, made a very powerful case against central planning over the allocation of social and economic resources and in favour of the self-regulating spontaneous order based on the incomplete, redundant locally produced data (1945). As the starting point, Hayek acknowledged two options of knowledge creation and utilization: - Centrally produced and based on all data derived from localities – “universal” or “scientific” knowledge;  - Locally produced, based on locally available (incomplete) information  – what he called as “tacit knowledge” implying the knowledge that is not fully comprehended and conceptualized.24 The fundamental difference, for Hayek, between the knowledge production made by a central agency (the state) and the knowledge produced in localities was that a locally situated observer did not see the whole picture and was guided only by the immediate conditions, observations and motifs; whereas a centrally situated observer (for example, a government official) while attempting to take too many variables into account, inevitably failed to make                                                 24 Michael Polanyi offers a fascinating discussion of tacit knowledge which he defines through contrasting subsidiary awareness with focal awareness and concludes that tacit knowledge, being the  function of subsidiary awareness, influences and directs focal awareness from which we derive  articulated knowledge claims. See, for example, Michael Polanyi, The Tacit Dimension, London:  Routledge, 1966.  57 optimal decisions, because information, coming from many different locales, was never complete. For Hayek, the order emerging from the multiplicities of decentralized local decisions produced a spontaneous, self-governing equilibrium more efficient than the one consolidated by a central planner. The central planner was trying to do the impossible, albeit in a very scientific way: to collect and analyze all relevant information in producing a blanket policy solution. For Hayek, it was not only the very high volume of relevant data which served as an obstacle to producing an efficient centrally-planned order, but also the quality of locally-based knowledge, hard to quantify, what he called “tacit knowledge,” embedded in the personal practices, skills, institutions and habits, often available as intuitive hunches.  Hayek’s spontaneous order, or a rational outcome of many small and irrational decisions, is a reverse image of Hardin’s tragedy of the commons, or an irrational outcome of many small rational decisions. For Hayek, as for other defenders of the local knowledge hypothesis, acting on incomplete information does not constitute an obstacle to better collective outcomes but, in fact, produces a more enduring and resilient order due to its high redundancy, as the error in the one source of data does not undermine the efforts of all. On the other hand, if the central planner gets it wrong, than the whole system will take a wrong turn, and will eventually be ineffective and fail.   James Scott: the practical reason/knowledge of the poor  By reviving the spirit of Adam Smith’s invisible hand, Hayek’s thesis reverberated across many theoretical fields and theoretical perspectives, including among those not fully sympathetic to the general tenets of neo-classical economics.   58 Thus, political scientist James Scott, in his influential book Seeing Like a State (1998), a proponent of social anarchism rather than neo-liberalism, makes a powerful case for utilizing local tacit knowledge in political decision-making. Specifically, Scott diagnoses the “high modernist” scientific approach of the state as the main culprit behind planetary ecological damage. Scott argues that for the impersonal logic of a state planner, diversity including in nature diversity, such as old mature forests, poses a problem for governability, and therefore the planner prefers to see it replaced with clean and neat monoculture forest representing the ethos of perfect governability. “Forest science and geometry, backed up by state power, had the capacity to transform the real, diverse, and chaotic old-growth forest into a new, more uniform forest that closely resembled the administrative grid of its techniques.” (1998: 15). Not unlike another theorist of grass-root politics, Jane Jacobs (1961), describing the destruction of diverse, cultural and seemingly chaotic communities of old North American cities with the rationalism of new urban planning based on the separation of functions into residential neighbourhoods, business down-towns, and industrial areas, James Scott argues that the main culprits behind environmental degradation are top-down, high-modernist state policies and projects, or  “schemata,” as a set of oversimplified rules, always inadequate in the particularities and the diversities of local context. “No administrative system is capable of representing any existing social community, nor should it. State agents have no interest – nor should they – in describing social reality, any more than the scientific forester has an interest in describing the ecology of the forest in detail” (23).  Furthermore, Scott contrasts the scientific knowledge of central state agencies with the practical knowledge of local communities and Indigenous peoples, which he calls “metis,” borrowing from Aristotelian metis which can be translated as “cunning intelligence” representing  59 “a wide array of practical skills and acquired intelligence in responding to a constantly changing natural and human environment”  (1998: 313). He points out that some human activities required more reliance on metis than others, especially those based on utilizing a specific skill: fishing, sailing, hunting, farming and politics defined by working in unpredictable and changing circumstances: All farming takes place in a unique space (fields, soils, crops) and at a unique time (weather pattern, season, cycle in pest population) and for unique ends (this family with its needs and tastes). A mechanical application of generic rules that ignore these particularities is an invitation to practical failure, social disillusionment, or most likely both (1998: 318).  Being very congruent with local conditions rather than approximating some universal rules, practical local knowledge is never static, and, given the ever-changing circumstance of the background condition, cannot be replicated. The main purpose of such knowledge is to solve a local specific puzzle rather than to create a universal rule or standard, therefore it is always innovative in combining and re-combining different techniques. A peasant’s knowledge of the local environment, her/his astute observations, dependent on the results of his/her experience with creating a livelihood; his/her practical knowledge gained in everyday struggle and survival is superior to the cold-blooded knowledge of an expert who does not have such high personal stakes in the environment. The indigenous would have an immediate, life-and death interest to sustain the well-being of the life-giving environment: the fish stock of a river, mushrooms and berries in the forests and wild game in the bush. Together, the bearers of local knowledge form a community that “serves as a living, oral reference library for observations, practices, and experiments – a body of knowledge that an individual can never amass alone” (324).  60 Consequently, for Scott, local subsistence-based economies have a definitive advantage in terms of their reduced ecological footprint: the stakes are too high for the misuse of these life-giving resources. The hardship coming from living on the land and the practical wisdom learned from these experiences motivate local people to treat their environment with more care.   Indigenous knowledge and custodianship of nature  The science of anthropology, perhaps more convincingly than other scientific disciplines, has made a case for an ecological knowledge possessed by Indigenous peoples in terms of helping to sustain the integrity of the environment they are living in. 25 In political anthropology in particular, the focus has been on the utilization of indigenous knowledge for the political struggles of Indigenous peoples, a recognition of their special rights based on their unique forms of knowledge and intimate connection with the land uninterrupted throughout many generations.26 In the context of Indigenous politics, local knowledge, referred to also as traditional ecological knowledge (TEK), can be defined as knowledge and practices developed within the particular locality of an indigenous community, in the form of stories, songs, community rules, spiritual ceremonies, agricultural practices, traditional medicines, and other                                                 25 See, for example, Wade Davis, The Wayfinders: Why Ancient Wisdom Matters in the Modern World,  Toronto: Anansi Press, 2009; John Heinermann, Spiritual Wisdom of the Native Americans, San Rafaele,  Ca: Cassandra Press, 1989; Piers Vitebsky, “From Cosmology to Environmentalism: Shamanism as Local  Knowledge in a Global Setting,” in Shamanism; A Reader, by Graham Harvey, London and New York:  Routledge, 2003; and many other scholarly accounts on traditional ecological knowledge.   26 A strong case for the political status of Indigenous knowledge is made in the UN Declaration on the  Rights of Indigenous Peoples; and in the Article 8(j) on the Traditional Knowledge, Innovations and  Practices, of the Convention on Biological Diversity.  61 media, usually transmitted orally from generation to generation.27 What makes this knowledge advantageous for resilient ecological governance? Anthropolo