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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 | 2017-10-19
The starting point for a rethink on how we produce our food
Research news | 2017-10-18
Beatrice Crona awarded fellowship in new leadership programme on global health
Research news | 2017-10-16
How investments in solar energy go beyond access to electricity to positively affect people’s life expectancy and years of schooling
Research news | 2017-10-12
Stockholm Resilience Centre acts as impact partner for their Global Solutions Program
Research news | 2017-10-11
How pro-environmental interest groups were able to push for reforms of the EU Common Fisheries Policy
Educational news | 2017-10-02
Introducing our new executive programme in resilience thinking