SOCIAL LEARNING AND ADAPTIVE CO-MANAGEMENT IN/FOR KOREAN VILLAGE GROVES

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Abstract

Village groves in Korea are similar to urban community forestry in the US in their small size of forest patches and the engagement of local people in forest management. Village groves, which can be considered as cases of human and nature interactions, are common in the rural landscape of Korea, but also vulnerable to rapid social-ecological changes. Considering village groves’ historical, cultural, and ecological values, better management and policy tools are needed to face the challenges brought by constantly recurring disturbances and increased human pressures and to guide toward more resilient social-ecological village groves systems. I first reviewed the literature on community forestry and related adaptive capacity in three East Asian countries, China, Japan, and Korea, to understand Korean village groves in the context of community forestry and to investigate the indicators of adaptive capacity along with disturbances in this region. Through a systematic review, I addressed the role of diverse knowledge systems, such as traditional and Western scientific knowledge, and civic traditions of self-organization in local communities that characterized adaptive capacity of this region.
Second, I explored the role of social learning for social-ecological resilience in the four village groves restoration projects using multiple-case studies. In applying the framework of social learning processes and outcomes to Korean cases, I found that multiple elements of social learning, including interaction, systems orientation, integration, and reflection, were present, but did not always lead to desired management outcomes viewed through the lens of multiple-loop learning. Third, I investigated how local people, their relational structures and functional roles in networks contributed to the development of adaptive co-management of village groves. Through a qualitative network analysis, I described the social relations of local people in four village groves restoration projects and multiple functions of bridging organizations that helped local people to achieve conservation outcomes and to improve village grove governance processes with multiple stakeholders, while contributing to emergent adaptive co-management. This dissertation shows how local efforts to restore village groves can change village groves from cultural landscapes to dynamic social-ecological systems. In this process, the fact that local people can serve not just as simple stewards, but also as agents of change for resilient village groves may provide implications for local resource management under similar conditions.

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2017-05-30
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Keywords
Environmental management; Social research; Natural resource management; adaptive capacity; bridging organization; Korean village groves; social-ecological resilience; social learning; Adaptive co-management
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Krasny, Marianne E
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Allred, Shorna B
Pfeffer, Max J
Degree Discipline
Natural Resources
Degree Name
Ph. D., Natural Resources
Degree Level
Doctor of Philosophy
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Government Document
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dissertation or thesis
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