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Title: Water Governance in Mediterranean Farming Systems through the Social-Ecological Systems Framework—An Empirical Case in Southern Portugal
Authors: Guimarães, Maria
Esgalhado, Catarina
Issue Date: 2022
Citation: Taiana Homobono; Maria Helena Guimarães; Catarina Esgalhado; Lívia Madureira. "Water Governance in Mediterranean Farming Systems through the Social-Ecological Systems Framework—An Empirical Case in Southern Portugal". Land 11 2 (2022): 178-178. 10.3390/land11020178
Abstract: Water governance is a major challenge in the Mediterranean context. Any action to drive water governance towards sustainability needs to be grounded in a holistic understanding of such challenges. Therefore, a first step towards the improvement of water governance is a grounded understanding of what is at stake, who are the actors involved, and how they interact. To achieve this level of understanding, we propose the use of the social–ecological Systems (SES) framework. This framework was developed to grasp the complexity of issues related to the sustainable use of public goods such as water. This study looks at water governance in the farming sector of three municipalities in the Alentejo and Algarve, in the south of Portugal. Data were collected using a literature review and 22 semi-structured interviews with territorial actors (i.e., public administration, non-governmental associations, private sector, decision-makers, and farmers). By using the SES framework, we provide an integrated characterization of water governance in the case study and identify the implicated factors. Between these factors, and focusing on the overlap between literature and actors’ perspectives, are (1) the lack of integrated and supported strategies for development, and (2) lack of communication between the actors that need to congregate efforts towards sustainable use of water resources. The study found few examples of collective efforts and long-lasting networks of collaboration, especially between science and practice. We conclude by arguing that place-based tailored policies are needed. Such policies should promote communication and collective actions between researchers, local organizations, public administration, and farmers.
Type: article
Appears in Collections:MED - Publicações - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais Com Arbitragem Científica

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