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The ecosystem approach is a salient policy paradigm originating from a scientific understanding of the reality of complex ecosystem dynamics. In this article, we investigate how Swedish national marine policies and practice between 2002 and 2015 have changed towards an ecosystem approach. Government documents, the scientific literature, institutional changes, changes in legislation, pilot projects, and changes in science and public opinion were reviewed and combined with information from expert interviews. We found that changes in policy and practice have slowly stimulated the development of an ecosystem approach, but that limited political leadership, challenges of coordination, different agency cultures, and limited learning appears to be key barriers for further and more substantial change. We compare and contrast the Swedish national process of change with other documented experiences of implementing an ecosystem approach and find that several countries struggle with similar challenges. Substantial work still remains in Sweden and we provide suggestions for how to stimulate further and more substantial change at the national level.
Research news | 2018-08-14
New index reveals how climate risks are reinforced by global connectivity, leaving no country shielded from impact
General news | 2018-08-14
Event, Tuesday 11 September 2018 in partnership with ICF and the UN Climate Resilience Initiative A2R. A Global Climate Action Summit affiliate event
Research news | 2018-08-13
New analysis reveals connections between tax havens and resource degradation in both the Amazon rainforest and global fisheries
Research news | 2018-08-06
Keeping global warming to within 1.5-2°C may be more difficult than previously assessed
Research news | 2018-07-10
The World in 2050 initiative launches new report outlining synergies and benefits that render the goals achievable
Research news | 2018-06-27
Overfishing, fractured international relationships and political conflicts loom as fish migrate more unpredictably because of climate change. Here is how to deal with it