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Changing Socio-Ecological Dynamics in an African Peri-Urban Wetland: The Case of the Fisheries in the Densu Delta Ramsar Site

  • The rate and range of ongoing changes in social and ecological systems and particularly the global environmental degradation illustrates the need of holistic and sustainable approaches for the governance of natural resources to ensure their well-functioning for future generations (Rockström et al. 2009). The narrative of common pool resources system such as SES of small-scale fisheries, reports world-wide of stock collapse, environmental degradation and overexploitation (Cinner et al. 2013). In order to understand the complexity of system interactions in those resource systems, the consideration of local scale specific phenomena is of great relevance (Ostrom 2007b). The focus of this thesis consequently is the social-ecological system of a small scale fishery in a heavily urbanised coastal wetland on the fringes of Ghana ́s capital Accra. With the theoretical foundation of the social-ecological system (SES) theory (Folke et al. 2004; Berkes et al. 2003; G. S. Cumming 2011) and the social-ecological system framework (SESF) by Ostrom (2007a) and McGinnis & Ostrom (2014) as analytical tool, the study ex- amines the role of the fishers as focal actor group and the governance system based on traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) (Berkes et al. 2003). While the common narrative of system collapse is partly confirmed for the focal system, also contradicting findings about the diversity of the actor group, their sustainable and responsible exploitation of the deltas resources have been found, that rather illustrate the fishers as potential cooperation partners for the development of sustainable governance strategies (see Hollup 2000) than simply as bur- den to the system. However, the results also show that in order to achieve sustainable outcomes in the focal SES, so far unsuccessful top-down governance efforts have to work cooperatively with the fishers to challenge the multiple threats to the system from external perturbation and internal changes, in the long run.

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Author:Anna Larissa Celia Tyroller
Parent Title (English):WaterPower Working Paper
Series (Volume no.):WaterPower Working Paper Series (7)
Document Type:Working Paper
Date of completion:2019/11/28
Publishing institution:Universität Trier
Corporative Author:Governance and Sustainability Lab
Release Date:2019/12/20
GND Keyword:Feuchtgebiet; Fischerei; Ghana; Sozialökologie
Number of pages:94
Institutes:Fachbereich 6
Licence (German):License LogoCC BY-NC-ND: Creative-Commons-Lizenz 4.0 International

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