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Social-Ecological Systems Meta-Analysis Database: Variables

Variable TypeOrdinal
Variable Component TypeActor
Variable KindInteraction
ThemeKnowledge and uncertainty (learn about themes)
ProjectsSESMAD
QuestionWhat is the level of scientific knowledge this actor group has regarding the condition of this environmental commons?
Select Options1 Low, 2 Medium, 3 High
Unit
Role
ImportanceKnowledge of resource conditions is widely believed to be a requirement for sustainable management - i.e. if you don't know how the resources are doing, you cannot change management practices in response to changing resource conditions. Many presume that this knowledge must be based on systematic scientific monitoring (although others argue that local or traditional knowledge may also be important).
Definition

Scientific knowledge refers to systematized knowledge based on systematic inquiry. Generally, scientific knowledge refers to knowledge available in peer-reviewed publications or other highly reputable sources (e.g. such as some government reports), produced by scientists with formal training.

High: the condition of the resource is understood with a high degree of confidence by this actor group based on scientific information.

Low: This actor group has little or no scientific information about the resource (e.g., no or very few studies have been done to ascertain the condition of the resource).

Sectors

Theory Usages

TheoryValue Used
Social memory and general resilienceMedium or High
Conditions for general resilienceMedium or High
Uncertainty and depletion of natural resourcesLow
Numeric managementHigh
Individual transferable quotas (ITQs)High

Case Usages

CaseInteraction TypeComponentValue UsedExplanation
Forests in IndonesiaGovernanceLarge Extractive Industries in IndonesiaLow (1)This actor group does not seem to have pursued scientific knowledge of the commons.
Central California National Marine Sanctuaries GovernanceCalifornia Academic ResearchersHigh (3)Researchers are held to high standards and research is peer-reviewed.
Forests in IndonesiaGovernanceIndonesian District GovernmentsLow (1)
Forests in IndonesiaGovernanceIndonesian "Adat" CommunitiesLow (1)This group does not have scientific knowledge
Forests in IndonesiaGovernanceIndonesian Local entrepreneursLow (1)this group is not engaged with science.
Forests in IndonesiaGovernance"New Order" Indonesian Central Government (1965-1998)Low (1)There was little scientific knowledge of the system in this period.
Forests in IndonesiaGovernance"Reformasi" Indonesian Central Government (1998-2012)Medium (2)There is a modest amount of scientific knowledge about this system.
Seaflower MPAGovernanceCORALINAMedium (2)They do resource surveys/monitoring from time to time
Forests in IndonesiaGovernanceCivil society organizations in IndonesiaMedium (2)This group has some scientific knowledge of the resource, but in general scientific knowledge of this resource is limited.
Atlantic Bluefin Tuna (ICCAT)GovernanceICCAT Contracting Parties Medium (2)Scientific knowledge is highly contested.
Forests in IndonesiaGovernanceIndonesian "Adat" CommunitiesLow (1)This group is not generally engaged with science.
Forests in IndonesiaGovernanceLarge Extractive Industries in IndonesiaLow (1)This group does not possess very much scientific knowledge about this resource.
Atlantic Bluefin Tuna (ICCAT)GovernanceICCAT Contracting Parties Medium (2)
Atlantic Bluefin Tuna (ICCAT)GovernanceICCAT Western MembersMedium (2)
Atlantic Bluefin Tuna (ICCAT)GovernanceICCAT Eastern MembersMedium (2)
Atlantic Bluefin Tuna (ICCAT)GovernanceICCAT Eastern MembersMedium (2)
Montreal ProtocolGovernanceOzone Nation States High (3)
Montreal ProtocolGovernanceOzone Depleting Substance Industrial ProducersHigh (3)
Raja Ampat (National Act No. 32 2004)GovernanceRaja Ampat Artisanal FishersLow (1)Low formal education so coded as low. But significant training from International NGOs and also some involved in monitoring
Montreal ProtocolGovernanceOzone SecretariatHigh (3)
International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine (ICPR)GovernanceICPR nations (1976-1986) 
Great Barrier Reef Marine ParkGovernanceGBR government co-managersHigh (3)Many managers are highly educated, and the management agencies have partnerships with universities to better understand the condition of coral reefs
International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine (ICPR)GovernanceRhine chemical firmsHigh (3)The monitoring system was one of the main achievements of the early ICPR
Great Barrier Reef Marine ParkGovernanceGBR recreational fishersMedium (2)
Great Barrier Reef Marine ParkGovernanceGBR commercial fishersMedium (2)Scientific knowledge is widely available and the actor group is relatively well-informed.
Great Barrier Reef Marine ParkGovernanceGBR recreational fishersMedium (2)
Great Barrier Reef Marine ParkGovernanceGBR government co-managersHigh (3)Many managers are highly educated, and the management agencies have partnerships with universities to better understand the condition of coral reefs
Atlantic Bluefin Tuna (ICCAT)GovernanceICCAT Contracting Parties Medium (2)
Great Barrier Reef Marine ParkGovernanceGBR commercial fishersMedium (2)
Montreal ProtocolGovernanceOzone Depleting Substance Industrial ProducersLow (1)
Montreal ProtocolGovernanceOzone Nation States Low (1)
Wakatobi National Park GovernanceWakatobi managersHigh (3)High levels of scientific knowledge developed through monitoring and research (particularly through NGO involvement) - e.g. knowledge of species growth rates and morphology; coral cover; recruitment; sediment impacts etc
Central California National Marine Sanctuaries GovernanceCalifornia Academic ResearchersHigh (3)Researchers are held to high standards and research is peer-reviewed.
Macquarie Island Marine ParkGovernanceAustralian Toothfish FishersMedium (2)Scientific knowledge is generally good; but uncertainties remain.
Central California National Marine Sanctuaries GovernanceCalifornia Sanctuary Recreational UsersMedium (2)Whale watching boats and kayak companies include educational aspects to use. The Sanctuary provides scientific information to recreational users. However, not all user may know about or use such information.
Galapagos Marine Reserve (GMR)GovernanceGMR managersHigh (3)High scientific representation on the board through CDF
Wakatobi National Park GovernanceWakatobi managersMedium (2)Good knowledge of where and when they nest, but less scientific knowledge of the migratory routes of turtles outside of the wakatobi MPA
Wakatobi National Park GovernanceWakatobi managersHigh (3)High levels of scientific knowledge developed through monitoring and research (involvement of NGOs)
Galapagos Marine Reserve (GMR)GovernanceGalapagos Artisan FishermenLow (1)Likely low scientific knowledge, most poor and have recently migrated to the Galapagos.
Galapagos Marine Reserve (GMR)GovernanceGMR managersHigh (3)Input from Charles Dariwn Foundation (scientific research NGO) - part of PMB until 2008 and then involved through advisory role.
Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) Marine National MonumentGovernanceNWHI Monument Co-Trusteeship High (3)Trusteeship includes scientific organisations, e.g. NOAA
Great Australian Bight Marine Park (GABMP) (Commonwealth Waters)GovernanceGABMP (Commonwealth Waters) Director of National Parks High (3)This actor group would have access to available scientific knowledge, including from research institutes (CSIRO), but would also be limited by the current state of knowledge on Australian sea lions
Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) Marine National MonumentGovernanceNWHI Monument Co-Trusteeship High (3)Includes scientific organisations, e.g. NOAA
Central California National Marine Sanctuaries GovernanceNational Marine Sanctuaries Office of NOAAHigh (3)The Sanctuary uses the best available science and takes part in collaborative peer-reviewed research on the humpback whale.
Wakatobi National Park GovernanceWakatobi Bajau fishersLow (1)The Bajau generally have low levels of formal educational achievement (Chou 1997)
Wakatobi National Park GovernanceWakatobi Bajau fishersLow (1)The Bajau generally have low levels of formal educational achievement (Chou 1997)
Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) Marine National MonumentGovernanceNWHI Monument Co-Trusteeship High (3)high scientific knowledge because of involvement of scientific organisations - NOAA, USFWS
Galapagos Marine Reserve (GMR)GovernanceGalapagos Tourism SectorMedium (2)As all tours need to involve a naturalist guide, assume some scientific knowledge within the group.
Wakatobi National Park GovernanceWakatobi Bajau fishersLow (1)The Bajau generally have low levels of formal educational achievement (Chou 1997)
Macquarie Island Marine ParkGovernanceMacquarie Island ManagersMedium (2)
Macquarie Island Marine ParkGovernanceMacquarie Island ManagersMedium (2)Light-mantled albatross have been studied on Macquarie Island and other areas to get a sense of population trends and life history characteristics. Although there are a number of important gaps; groups have some scientific knowledge of the major threats to the species.
Galapagos Marine Reserve (GMR)GovernanceGMR managersHigh (3)Input from Charles Dariwn Foundation (scientific research NGO) - part of PMB until 2008 and then involved through advisory role.
Galapagos Marine Reserve (GMR)GovernanceGalapagos Tourism SectorMedium (2)Through their accumulated knowledge of working in the area and involvement of CDF researching sharks they likely have some scientific knowledge and many may be educated naturalists/guides. Dive guides knowledge used to assess perceptions of shark abundance/populations
Raja Ampat (National Act No. 32 2004)GovernanceRaja Ampat ManagersHigh (3)Scientific NGOs coded as part of the management actor - assume they share their knowledge
Raja Ampat (National Act No. 32 2004)GovernanceRaja Ampat TourismMedium (2)
Raja Ampat (National Act No. 32 2004)GovernanceRaja Ampat ManagersHigh (3)Scientific NGOs included as management actor so assuming they share knowledge high scientific knowledge among the management actor group
Raja Ampat (National Act No. 32 2004)GovernanceRaja Ampat ManagersHigh (3)Scientific NGOs included as management actor so assuming they share knowledge high scientific knowledge among the management actor group
Raja Ampat (National Act No. 32 2004)GovernanceRaja Ampat Artisanal FishersLow (1)Generally low formal education so coded as Low, although International NGOs have conducted (and continue) extensive education campaigns in the area.
Raja Ampat (National Act No. 32 2004)GovernanceRaja Ampat Artisanal FishersMedium (2)Significant training from International NGOs and also involved in monitoring so assume some level of scientific understanding
Macquarie Island Marine ParkGovernanceAustralian Fisheries Management AuthorityMedium (2)The AFMA has fairly strong knowledge about the population dynamics of toothfish resources, although important gaps remain.
Macquarie Island Marine ParkGovernanceAustralian Fisheries Management AuthorityLow (1)AFMA as a participant in various fisheries organizations has invested in the study of seabird bycatch mitigation measures. However, they do not explicitly study the conditions of light mantled albatross themselves.
Great Australian Bight Marine Park (GABMP) (Commonwealth Waters)GovernanceGABMP (Commonwealth Waters) Commercial FishersLow (1)Basic scientific knowledge on southern right whales is provided to commercial fishers upon approval of their fishing permit. Migratory patterns and impacts of environmental changes on southern right whales are less understood and this type of information is not provided to fishers with their permit.
Galapagos Marine Reserve (GMR)GovernanceGalapagos Charles Darwin FoundationHigh (3)CDF is an international scientific organization http://www.darwinfoundation.org/en/about-us/
Seaflower MPAGovernanceCORALINAMedium (2)They do resource surveys/monitoring from time to time
Heard and McDonald Islands Marine ReserveGovernanceAustralian Toothfish FishersMedium (2)Fishers have scientific knowledge about toothfish, but there remain many gaps in the understanding of their life history, distribution and population dynamics.
Svalbard Nature ReservesGovernanceSvalbard Resource ManagersMedium (2)The group has moderate level of scientific knowledge about the polar bear population status and trends (detailed knowledge simply does not exist). However, the managers are informed on proxies such as cub production, body mass, den distribution, etc.
Macquarie Island Marine ParkGovernanceAustralian Toothfish FishersLow (1)
Heard and McDonald Islands Marine ReserveGovernanceAustralian Antarctic DivisionMedium (2)This would be ranked as low to medium. Low based on the lack of recent data (from the last decade) on the status of the light-mantled sooty albatross population at HIMI. But medium based on historic knowledge and trends.
Great Barrier Reef Marine ParkGovernanceGBR recreational fishersMedium (2)
Great Australian Bight Marine Park (GABMP) (Commonwealth Waters)GovernanceGABMP (Commonwealth Waters) Director of National Parks High (3)This actor group would have access to available scientific knowledge, including from research institutes (CSIRO), but would also be limited by the current state of knowledge on southern right whales.
Great Barrier Reef Marine ParkGovernanceGBR government co-managersHigh (3)
Falkland Islands squidGovernanceFalkland Islands Government (FIG) Fisheries ManagersHigh (3)Management is strongly informed by science, managers include peer-reviewed scientists
Central California National Marine Sanctuaries GovernanceCalifornia Groundfish FishermenMedium (2)Many fishermen point to scientific findings, and have an understanding of the science behind regulation decisions. The fishermen's association uses science in their publications as well. Some fishermen perceive stocks to be much better than scientific surveys indicate.
Svalbard Nature ReservesGovernanceSvalbard TourismLow (1)In terms of the population status of polar bears, this group has low level of scientific knowledge (but overall the level of scientific knowledge is low-moderate). In terms of the behaviour of individual bears, tourism operators have a high degree of knowledge about what signs to look for to gauge a bear’s behaviour (aggressive, curious, complacent, etc).
Svalbard Nature ReservesGovernanceSvalbard Shrimp FishersMedium (2)Most fishermen have reasonably knowledge about the biology of shrimp and other fish. Since they are effectively conducting surveys every time they trawl, they are likely to have a reasonable scientific knowledge of the status of the shrimp population.
Great Australian Bight Marine Park (GABMP) (Commonwealth Waters)GovernanceGABMP (Commonwealth Waters) Director of National Parks High (3)Many managers are highly educated, and the management agencies have partnerships with research institutes. Although, much is still unknown about the SBT: spawning frequency and length, movement and congregation, spatial dynamics and their ecological role.
Seaflower MPAGovernanceSeaflower artisanal fishersMedium (2)Some members of this actor group participate in environmental monitoring and have access to scientific data.
Great Barrier Reef Marine ParkGovernanceGBR commercial fishersNot Applicable
Cenderwasih National ParkGovernanceCenderwasih managersHigh (3)Understanding of species and endemicity improved by expeditions by NGOs, records of reef locations and compositions fairly well documented, but changes over tiem not always reported (at least online).
Svalbard Nature ReservesGovernanceSvalbard Resource ManagersHigh (3)Population estimates, range extent and breeding patterns are well studied. As are linkages to prey depletion
Great Barrier Reef Marine ParkGovernanceGBR government co-managersHigh (3)This group is informed with the latest science of measurements about proxies of the population status (number of nesting females, number of eggs, hatchling success, etc).
Great Australian Bight Marine Park (GABMP) (Commonwealth Waters)GovernanceGABMP (Commonwealth Waters) Commercial FishersMedium (2)Access to available scientific knowledge on SBT through Convention for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna, which conducts stock assessments. But there remain many gaps in the understanding of their spawning frequency and length, movement and congregation, spatial dynamics and their ecological role.
Cenderwasih National ParkGovernanceCenderwasih fishersLow (1)Generally low formal education
Cenderwasih National ParkGovernanceCenderwasih managersMedium (2)Understanding of species and endemicity improved by expeditions by NGOs, but data on compositions, dynamics and changes over time does not appear to be available (at least online).
Galapagos Marine Reserve (GMR)GovernanceGalapagos Charles Darwin FoundationHigh (3)Scientific research NGO - has contributed most of the scientific knowledge on the GMR
Svalbard Nature ReservesGovernanceSvalbard TourismMedium (2)Population estimates, range extent and breeding patterns are well studied. As are linkages to prey depletion. It is likley that tourism operators have good knowledge of birds as these are popular viewing species and information will be passed on by the Govenor and through the AECO.
Great Barrier Reef Marine ParkGovernanceGBR fisheries managersHigh (3)This group is likely well informed with the latest science of measurements about proxies of the population status (number of nesting females, number of eggs, hatchling success, etc).
Galapagos Marine Reserve (GMR)GovernanceGalapagos Charles Darwin FoundationHigh (3)Scientific research NGO - has contributed most of the scientific knowledge on the GMR
Cenderwasih National ParkGovernanceCenderwasih fishersLow (1)Generally low formal education
Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) Marine National MonumentGovernanceNWHI ResearchersHigh (3)Scientists
Heard and McDonald Islands Marine ReserveGovernanceAustralian Antarctic DivisionMedium (2)This would be ranked as low to medium. Low based on the lack of recent data (from the last decade) on the status of the King Penguin population at HIMI. But medium based on historic knowledge and trends.
Great Barrier Reef Marine ParkGovernanceGBR commercial fishersHigh (3)
Central California National Marine Sanctuaries GovernanceNational Marine Sanctuaries Office of NOAAHigh (3)The Sanctuary is expected to incorporate the best available science.
Central California National Marine Sanctuaries GovernanceCalifornia State and Federal Fisheries AgenciesHigh (3)Managers are required to use the best available science in their activities. Scientists at NMFS and CDFW frequently advise the management bodies and conduct research surveys for management purposes.
Svalbard Nature ReservesGovernanceSvalbard Resource ManagersHigh (3)This group conducts their own research and monitoring of the shrimp stocks each year. Supplementing these observations with records from fishing boats about the hours & locations trawled provide good scientific information.
Great Barrier Reef Marine ParkGovernanceGBR fisheries managersHigh (3)
New Zealand squidGovernanceNew Zealand Fishery ManagersLow (1)Don't know much about the biological aspect. Know much more about sea lion interaction. Don't know spawning sites, don't know if catching before spawning. A lot of assumptions. Know are two species and general characteristics of species and what depths mostly found at.
California squidGovernanceCalifornia market squid fishermenHigh (3)Many are well connected with scientists and reports. While some unknowns exist (where juveniles go), fishers well acquainted with current scientific knowledge.
Heard and McDonald Islands Marine ReserveGovernanceAustralian Fisheries Management AuthorityMedium (2)The AFMA has access to the best available knowledge on HIMI toothfish, however significant gaps remain in the knowledge of HIMI toothfish life history, population dynamics, etc.
New Zealand squidGovernanceNew Zealand Arrow Squid FishersLow (1)Biology of squid less known. Make a lot of assumptions. More scientific knowledge about interactions.
California squidGovernanceCalifornia Department of Fish and Wildlife Market Squid ManagersHigh (3)Many managers are Masters of Science or Ph.D.s. Heavily studied fishery after the 1980s boom.
Great Australian Bight Marine Park (GABMP) (Commonwealth Waters)GovernanceGABMP (Commonwealth Waters) Commercial FishersLow (1)There is limited knowledge on Australian sea lions and it does not appear this is a priorty species communicated to commerical fishers
Seaflower MPAGovernanceSeaflower artisanal fishersMedium (2)Some members of this actor group participate in environmental monitoring and have access to scientific data
Falkland Islands squidGovernancePatagonian Squid TrawlersHigh (3)Fishermen work closely with observers and report conditions. Fishing association websites show clear indication in support of best available science.
Heard and McDonald Islands Marine ReserveGovernanceAustralian Fisheries Management AuthorityLow (1)AFMA has access to the knowledge that is available about light-mantled albatross, but in general, knowledge about their population status and trends is not well known and is outdated in many locations. AFMA does have thorough information on seabird interactions via working with the industry and other organizations (e.g., CCAMLR, Tuna commissions, etc.).
Heard and McDonald Islands Marine ReserveGovernanceAustralian Toothfish FishersLow (1)There is limited information on light mantled albatross, globally, and even less known about the population at HIMI.