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Co-management and the co-production of knowledge: Learning to adapt in Canada's Arctic

Armitage, Derek; Berkes, Fikret; Dale, Aaron; Kocho-Schellenberg, Erik; Patton, Eva



Global Environmental Change



Co-management institutional arrangements have an important role in creating conditions for social learning and adaptation in a rapidly changing Arctic environment, although how that works in practice has not been clearly articulated. This paper draws on three co-management cases from the Canadian Arctic to examine the role of knowledge co-production as an institutional trigger or mechanism to enable learning and adapting. Experience with knowledge co-production across the three cases is variable but outcomes illustrate how co-management actors are learning to learn through uncertainty and environmental change, or learning to be adaptive. Policy implications of this analysis are highlighted and include the importance of a long-term commitment to institution building, an enabling policy environment to sustain difficult social processes associated with knowledge co-production, and the value of diverse modes of communication, deliberation and social interaction.

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