Grasslands governance

Versiunea în limba română

A social network approach for assessing the sustainability of traditionally managed grasslands in a policy-driven management context- LandGov

Project number: PN-III-P4-ID-PCE-2016-0483

Contract number: 19/2017

Funding body: Executive Agency for Higher Education, Research, Development and Innovation Funding (UEFISCDI)

Budget: 849 159 RON

Period: 2017-2019

Research team

Laurentiu Rozylowicz, principal investigator

Viorel D. Popescu, principal investigator

Hartel Tibor, principal investigator

Andreea Nita, postdoctoral researcher

Cristiana Maria Ciocanea, postdoctoral researcher

Steluta Manolache, PhD student

Iulia Miu, PhD student

Abstract

Traditionally managed grasslands are vital arenas for social-ecological sustainability because of their significant coverage and potential to integrate food production with biodiversity conservation. However, the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) simplifies the management of grasslands, change traditional connections and disrupt traditional land use, leading to the rapid degradation of these landscapes. Network governance allows the analysis of informal and formal arrangements where independent people or organization work together for a common goal, such as management of grasslands. Our project centered on social network analysis will explore novel approaches for investigating changes in landscape management by contrasting two landscapes (Iron Gates Natural Park and Dobrogea, Romania) over time (during the communist period, transition period and EU membership). The main goal is to better understand the evolution of community networks dealing with the management of grasslands in the context of changes induced by the EU CAP. Using network governance and social networks methods, we will identify actors of grasslands’ governance, actors with leadership roles, analyze the performance of landscape governance in a policy-driven management context, and evaluate the perception of CAP measures influencing traditionally managed grasslands. The results will enable us to explore barriers and opportunities for successful governance by taking into account the influences of typical practices regarding landscape governance and performance and to understand how formal policy networks influence informal social networks. We hypothesized differences between the regions, especially related to network formation, leadership structure, evolution under CAP influence and resilience to degradation. The results will allow rethinking the landscape policies leading to planning and managing by taking into account past experiences, traditions, and public attitudes.

Aim and objectives

The goal of the project is to better understand the suitability of community networks for maintaining grasslands sustainability in the context of changes induced by the EU Common Agricultural Policy for rural development, by exploring novel approaches for the investigation of network structures in traditionally managed landscapes. Using Iron Gates Natural Park and Dobrogea (Romania) as case studies, the specific project’s objectives are: (1) to identify actors of grasslands’ governance (i.e., organisations, local people) and analyse management networks using social network metrics; (2) to identify actors or groups of actors with leadership roles, mainly those promoting sustainability of traditionally managed grasslands in a EU policy-driven management context (e.g., pioneer, sponsor, networker, steward, facilitator of a network); (3) to explore barriers to, and options for successful governance in traditionally managed grasslands in the context of CAP measures-driven management; (4) to understand how formal policy networks influence informal social networks using grasslands as case studies; and (5) to promote the use of social network analysis for studying land-use management practices in Romania and worldwide.

Activities

WP1 – Data collection for analyzing management policies and grasslands governance networks

Deliverables: Network data – grasslands governance networks, actors’ covariates (3 time periods × 2 regions); Database with the perception of governance performance in studied communities; Report and database on the ecological status of analyzed grasslands.

WP2 – Grasslands landscape governance at community and landscape scale

Deliverables: Report on main actors and management structures in the 2 study areas; Report on the difference between management regimes in two areas; Report on centrality and power of actors; Report on multilevel network analysis.

WP3 – Analysing the performance of landscape governance in a policy-driven management context

Deliverables: Analysis of the performance of networks at community and landscape levels; Identification of best practice case studies from social and ecological points of view; Characterisation of best practice studies using social network theory.

WP4 – Analysing the perception of Common Agricultural Policy measures influencing traditionally managed grasslands

Deliverables: Report on the perception of CAP measures influencing traditionally managed networks; Report on the effectiveness of social network for the assessment of landscape governance (pro and cons, future research needs).

WP5 – Dissemination of results, policies guidance, and project management

Deliverables: 4 articles in international journals, 2 articles in peer-reviewed Romanian journals; 6 presentations at international conferences; 2 presentations at Romanian conferences, Workshop entitled “Social network analysis and grasslands landscape governance”.

Results:

Articles:

Hartel T., Scheele B.C., Rozylowicz L., Horcea-Milcu A., Cogalniceanu D. (2019) The social context for conservation: amphibians in human-shaped landscapes. PeerJ Preprints 7:e27918v1

Hartel T., Scheele B.C., Vanak A.T., Rozylowicz L., Linnell J.D.C., Ritchie E.G. (2019) Mainstreaming large carnivore-human coexistence through institutional collaboration. Conservation Biology (in press)

Nita A., Hartel T., Manolache S., Ciocanea C.M., Miu I.V., Rozylowicz L. (2019) Who is researching biodiversity hotspots in Eastern Europe? A case study on the grasslands in Romania.  PLoS ONE 14(5): e0217638.

Rozylowicz L., Nita A., Manolache S., Popescu V.D., Hartel T. (2019) Navigating protected areas networks for improving diffusion of conservation practices. Journal of Environmental Management 230: 413-421.

Miu I.V., Chisamera G.B., Popescu V.D., Iosif R., Nita A., Manolache S., Gavril V.D., Cobzaru I., Rozylowicz L. (2018) Conservation priorities for terrestrial mammals in Dobrogea region, Romania. Zookeys 792: 133-158.

Manolache S., Nita A., Ciocanea C.M., Popescu V.D., Rozylowicz L. (2018) Power, influence and structure in Natura 2000 governance networks. A comparative analysis of two protected areas in Romania. Journal of Environmental Management, 212: 54–64.

Nita A., Ciocanea C.M., Manolache S., Rozylowicz L. (2018) A network approach for understanding opportunities and barriers to effective public participation in the management of protected areas. Social Network Analysis and Mining 8:31.

Manuscripts under review and in preparation

Hartel T., Nita A., Rozylowicz L., Values connecting people and nature: the case of scattered trees from ancient wood-pastures in Transylvania, Romania. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution (submitted)

Nita A., Rozylowicz L., Manolache S., Miu I., Hartel T., Grassland governance at landscape scale in Romania. (prepared for Land Use Policy)

Rozylowicz L., Popescu V.D., Manolache S., Nita A., Ciocanea C.M., Hartel T., Effectiveness of agri-environmental payments in reducing the loss grassland in Romania. (prepared for Science of the Total Environment)

Conferences:

29th International Congress for Conservation Biology (ICCB 2019), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 21-25 July 2019. Grasslands governance at community and landscape scale – a network approach. Nita A.

2019 Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting, Louisville, KY, SUA, August 11-16 2019. Grassland governance at a landscape scale in Romania. Rozylowicz L., Nita A., Popescu V.D., Manolache S., Miu I.V., Hartel T.  F1000Research 2019, 8:1522, https://doi.org/10.7490/f1000research.1117424.1

5th European Congress of Conservation Biology ECCB 2018, Jyväskylä, Finland,  June 12 – 15 2018. “Understanding how the scientific community influences grasslands’ management decisions – a social network approach”. Nita A., Hartel T., Pioarca-Ciocanea C.M., Manolache S., Miu V.I., Rozylowicz L.

5th European Congress of Conservation Biology ECCB 2018, Jyväskylä, Finland,  June 12 – 15 2018. “A social network approach for assessing the sustainability of traditionally managed grasslands in a policy-driven management context”. Rozylowicz L., Nita A., Manolache S., Pioarca-Ciocanea C.M., Miu V.I., Hartel T.

Conferința Anuala a Facultății de Geografie ,,Geography in The Romanian Centenary, November 17-18 2018, Abordări ale teoriei rețelelor sociale pentru înțelegerea guvernantei ariilor protejate in Romania. Manolache S., Nita A., Rozylowicz L., Miu I.V., Ciocanea C.M., Popescu V.D.

Conferința Anuala a Facultății de Geografie ,,Geography in The Romanian Centenary”, November 17-18 2018, Prioritizarea spațială a conservării siturilor Natura 2000 la nivel național: Iulia V. Miu.

XXXVIII Sunbelt Conference, June 26 – July 1, 2018, Utrecht Olanda, Exploring the patterns of scientific cooperation on Romania’s grasslands management. Manolache S., Nita A., Ciocanea C.M., Miu I.V., Rozylowicz L., Hartel, T.

Third European Conference on Social Networks – EUSN 2017, Mainz, Germany, 26-29 September 2017. Oral presentation: “ Evaluating and predicting the structure of Natura 2000 sites management through Ego Network Analysis”. Nita A, Rozylowicz L, Manolache S, Ciocanea C.M.

Ecology Across Borders: Joint Annual Meeting 2017, Ghent ICC, Ghent, Belgium, December 11 – 14 2017. Poster presentation: “ Achieving sustainability of traditionally managed grasslands in a policy-driven management context through a social network approach”. Nita A, Rozylowicz L, Manolache S, Miu I, Hartel, T.

Book Chapters

Nita A., Manolache S., Ciocanea C.M., Rozylowicz L. (2019) Real-World Application of Ego-Network Analysis to Evaluate Environmental Management Structures. In: Karampelas P., Kawash J., Özyer T. (eds) From Security to Community Detection in Social Networking Platforms. ASONAM 2017. Lecture Notes in Social Networks. Springer, Cham, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-11286-8_1

Other results

Mammals of Dobrogea – database (Miu et al. 2018) GBIF, the Global Biodiversity Information Facility, http://ipt.pensoft.net/resource?r=mammalsdobrogea

Reports:

Interim report 2017 (pdf file in Romanian)

Interim report 2018 (pdf file in Romanian)

Interim synthetic report 2018-2018 (Interim synthetic report 2017-2019)