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Social-Ecological Systems Meta-Analysis Database: Variables

Variable TypeOrdinal
Variable Component TypeActor
Variable KindInteraction
ThemeIncentives (learn about themes)
ProjectsSESMAD
QuestionHow visible are the effects of commons use to this actor group?
Select Options1 Low, 2 Medium, 3 High
Unit
Role
ImportanceFeedbacks between the ecological and social sub-systems inform ecological knowledge systems and adaptation responses (Gunderson and Holling 2002). The capacity of actors to respond appropriately to commons decline is therefore expected to be affected by their ability to see or detect change through feedbacks. Impacts on a commons can be more or less difficult to detect depending on the nature of the commons- e.g., static, mobile, under-water, atmospheric; the knowledge and instruments available for measurement and monitoring, and whether system change is linear or non-linear. Where systems respond in a non-linear way, changes to the commons from use may be disguised. The visibility of changes to resources will influence the willingness of actors to curtail or manage their impacts (Scheffer and Carpenter 2003).
Definition

"This variables describes how visible the effects of the use of this commons are to this actor group.

High: This actor group can clearly see the effects of its own use. For example, foresters can see the trees being cut down, and that there are less trees available after their harvest.

Low: It is very difficult or nearly impossible for this actor group to see the effects of its own use of the commons. Fishers usually cannot see the effect of their fishing. Similarly, farmers that use groundwater cannot see the depletion of an aquifer."

Sectors

Theory Usages

TheoryValue Used
Feedbacks and general resilienceMedium or High
Conditions for general resilienceMedium or High
Community-based natural resource management (CBNRM)High
Roving banditryLow
Technical solutions and shifting the burdenLow

Case Usages

CaseInteraction TypeComponentValue UsedExplanation
Forests in IndonesiaGovernanceLarge Extractive Industries in IndonesiaHigh (3)Forest uses are highly visible to this actor.
Forests in IndonesiaGovernanceIndonesian "Adat" CommunitiesHigh (3)Changes in the forest are immediately visible to local forest users.
Central California National Marine Sanctuaries GovernanceCalifornia Academic Researchers Researchers do not use the commons.
Forests in IndonesiaGovernance"New Order" Indonesian Central Government (1965-1998) actor group does not use -= it regulates.
Forests in IndonesiaGovernanceIndonesian Local entrepreneursHigh (3)clearing of forest is highly visible to those living in proximity.
Forests in IndonesiaGovernanceIndonesian "Adat" CommunitiesHigh (3)visibility of resource conditions is high in forests used by local people.
Forests in IndonesiaGovernance"Reformasi" Indonesian Central Government (1998-2012) 
Forests in IndonesiaGovernanceCivil society organizations in IndonesiaMedium (2)This group is based outside of forest areas, and thus has a limited ability to observe forest conditions, but it also has access to some technology.
Forests in IndonesiaGovernanceIndonesian District GovernmentsHigh (3)Changes in the forest are highly visible at the district (fairly local) level
Atlantic Bluefin Tuna (ICCAT)GovernanceICCAT Contracting Parties Low (1)Effects are usually only observed indirectly through change in catches and/or scientific estimates. However, these are not perfect indicators of actual resource stocks.
Atlantic Bluefin Tuna (ICCAT)GovernanceICCAT Contracting Parties Low (1)
Forests in IndonesiaGovernanceLarge Extractive Industries in IndonesiaHigh (3)Changes in forest condition are highly visible.
Atlantic Bluefin Tuna (ICCAT)GovernanceICCAT Eastern MembersLow (1)
Montreal ProtocolGovernanceOzone Depleting Substance Industrial ProducersHigh (3)
Atlantic Bluefin Tuna (ICCAT)GovernanceICCAT Eastern MembersLow (1)
Montreal ProtocolGovernanceOzone SecretariatHigh (3)With scientific knowledge and monitoring technologies the Ozone Secretariat can easily observe the effects of human action on the commons.
International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine (ICPR)GovernanceRhine chemical firmsLow (1)Microscopic commons
Great Barrier Reef Marine ParkGovernanceGBR recreational fishersMedium (2)Recreational fishers would only see their effect if they snorkel or dive.
Great Barrier Reef Marine ParkGovernanceGBR government co-managersMedium (2)Damage to corals, for example from anchor damage or fishing with bottom gears in coral areas, is highly visible (if you are underwater to look at it) - broken, dead, or bleached corals. Depending on the extent of damage, recovery can range from a year to many years. Coded medium here because seeing the damage and effects of interventions require diving or use of ROVs.
Montreal ProtocolGovernanceOzone Nation States High (3)During the snapshot, nation states can clearly observe the effects of ODS emissions as a result of scientific knowledge.
Great Barrier Reef Marine ParkGovernanceGBR government co-managersMedium (2)Damage to corals, for example from anchor damage or fishing with bottom gears in coral areas, is highly visible (if you are underwater to look at it) - broken, dead, or bleached corals. Depending on the extent of damage, recovery can range from a year to many years. Coded medium here because seeing the damage and effects of interventions require diving or use of ROVs.
Great Barrier Reef Marine ParkGovernanceGBR recreational fishersMedium (2)Damage to corals, for example from anchor damage or fishing with bottom gears in coral areas, is highly visible (if you are underwater to look at it) - broken, dead, or bleached corals, and recovery can likewise be seen. But most fishers probably don't snorkel or dive to see damage to corals, so coded as medium.
Atlantic Bluefin Tuna (ICCAT)GovernanceICCAT Contracting Parties Low (1)Effects are usually only observed indirectly through change in catches and/or scientific estimates. However, these are not perfect indicators of actual resource stocks.
Atlantic Bluefin Tuna (ICCAT)GovernanceICCAT Western MembersLow (1)Effects are usually only observed indirectly through change in catches and/or scientific estimates. However, these are not perfect indicators of actual resource stocks.
International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine (ICPR)GovernanceICPR nations (1976-1986) 
Great Barrier Reef Marine ParkGovernanceGBR commercial fishersMedium (2)
Central California National Marine Sanctuaries GovernanceCalifornia Academic ResearchersLow (1)Researchers do not use the habitat, except for occasional research projects, but permits are allocated for such uses.
Montreal ProtocolGovernanceOzone Depleting Substance Industrial ProducersHigh (3)
Montreal ProtocolGovernanceOzone Nation States Medium (2)Can observe declines in ODS emissions by monitoring production by industrial producers
Wakatobi National Park GovernanceWakatobi managersNot Applicable
Macquarie Island Marine ParkGovernanceAustralian Toothfish FishersMissing
Galapagos Marine Reserve (GMR)GovernanceGMR managersNot Applicable
Wakatobi National Park GovernanceWakatobi managersNot Applicable
Wakatobi National Park GovernanceWakatobi managersNot Applicable
Galapagos Marine Reserve (GMR)GovernanceGalapagos Artisan FishermenHigh (3)Lower sea cucumber densities are clearly evident to fishers, and it has been noted that fishers find it harder to find sea cucumber, size landing declined, and the fishery became closed.
Galapagos Marine Reserve (GMR)GovernanceGMR managersNot Applicable
Raja Ampat (National Act No. 32 2004)GovernanceRaja Ampat Artisanal FishersLow (1)Over-fishing of long-lived species such as grouper and snapper can lead to dramatic declines in populations, but effects are not immediately seen
Great Australian Bight Marine Park (GABMP) (Commonwealth Waters)GovernanceGABMP (Commonwealth Waters) Director of National Parks Not Applicable
Galapagos Marine Reserve (GMR)GovernanceGalapagos Tourism SectorLow (1)Sharks are long-lived and highly migratory. But effects will be easier seen by dive tourism than other actors through more regular direct encounters.
Galapagos Marine Reserve (GMR)GovernanceGalapagos Tourism SectorMedium (2)Trampling of nests is not a very visible impact, but boat strikes can be highly visible- can see carapace damage on turtles when diving or while female turtles are nesting at night.
Central California National Marine Sanctuaries GovernanceNational Marine Sanctuaries Office of NOAA Managers do not use this habitat.
Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) Marine National MonumentGovernanceNWHI Monument Co-Trusteeship Not Applicable
Wakatobi National Park GovernanceWakatobi Bajau fishersHigh (3)Damage to corals, for example from blast fishing, is highly visible - broken, dead, or bleached corals, and recovery can be seen. Bajau live above reef flats, and spear fish and dive so can probably see the damage to corals fairly easily, so coded as high.
Wakatobi National Park GovernanceWakatobi Bajau fishersLow (1)no real visibility of success ameliorating pressures on turtles. In addition, Bajau conceive time as consisting of a series of unrelated events, without reference to backward or forward causal linkages, e.g. future catches will be determined by future effort, not any present-day activity (Clifton and Majors 2012)
Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) Marine National MonumentGovernanceNWHI Monument Co-Trusteeship Not Applicable
Wakatobi National Park GovernanceWakatobi Bajau fishersLow (1)Over-fishing of long-lived species such as grouper and snapper can lead to dramatic declines in populations, but effects are not immediately seen. In addition Bajau conceive time as consisting of a series of unrelated events, without reference to backward or forward causal linkages, e.g. future catches will be determined by future effort, not any present-day activity (Clifton and Majors 2012)
Central California National Marine Sanctuaries GovernanceNational Marine Sanctuaries Office of NOAANot Applicable
Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) Marine National MonumentGovernanceNWHI Monument Co-Trusteeship Not Applicable
Macquarie Island Marine ParkGovernanceMacquarie Island ManagersMissing
Macquarie Island Marine ParkGovernanceAustralian Fisheries Management AuthorityMissing
Macquarie Island Marine ParkGovernanceMacquarie Island ManagersMissing
Galapagos Marine Reserve (GMR)GovernanceGMR managersNot Applicable
Raja Ampat (National Act No. 32 2004)GovernanceRaja Ampat Artisanal FishersHigh (3)Damage to corals, for example from blast fishing, is highly visible - broken, dead, or bleached corals, and recovery can be seen, especially in an area that has generally good coral cover. Most people live near reefs and can probably see the damage to corals fairly easily, so coded as high.
Galapagos Marine Reserve (GMR)GovernanceGalapagos Charles Darwin FoundationNot Applicable
Raja Ampat (National Act No. 32 2004)GovernanceRaja Ampat ManagersNot Applicable
Raja Ampat (National Act No. 32 2004)GovernanceRaja Ampat TourismNot Applicable
Raja Ampat (National Act No. 32 2004)GovernanceRaja Ampat Artisanal FishersLow (1)no real visibility of success ameliorating pressures on turtles.
Raja Ampat (National Act No. 32 2004)GovernanceRaja Ampat ManagersNot Applicable
Raja Ampat (National Act No. 32 2004)GovernanceRaja Ampat ManagersNot Applicable
Central California National Marine Sanctuaries GovernanceCalifornia State and Federal Fisheries AgenciesNot Applicable
Macquarie Island Marine ParkGovernanceAustralian Fisheries Management AuthorityMissing
Svalbard Nature ReservesGovernanceSvalbard TourismNot Applicable
Great Australian Bight Marine Park (GABMP) (Commonwealth Waters)GovernanceGABMP (Commonwealth Waters) Commercial FishersNot Applicable
Seaflower MPAGovernanceCORALINANot Applicable
Galapagos Marine Reserve (GMR)GovernanceGalapagos Charles Darwin FoundationNot Applicable
Svalbard Nature ReservesGovernanceSvalbard Resource ManagersLow (1)Difficult to access - limited by sea ice, and when female bears have left their maternity dens - research usually takes place for one month of the year (April). Takes long time for population to recover.
Great Australian Bight Marine Park (GABMP) (Commonwealth Waters)GovernanceGABMP (Commonwealth Waters) Director of National Parks Not Applicable
Central California National Marine Sanctuaries GovernanceCalifornia Groundfish FishermenLow (1)While largely unseen, destruction of the habitat is felt in declining stocks. Visibility is difficult in marine environments, but declining catches and declining catch portfolio diversity is a quite visible effect.
Macquarie Island Marine ParkGovernanceAustralian Toothfish FishersMissing
Heard and McDonald Islands Marine ReserveGovernanceAustralian Antarctic DivisionMissing
Falkland Islands squidGovernanceFalkland Islands Government (FIG) Fisheries ManagersNot Applicable
Great Barrier Reef Marine ParkGovernanceGBR recreational fishersMedium (2)Recovery takes years to decades if there is high compliance to fisheries regulations and MPA rules
Central California National Marine Sanctuaries GovernanceCalifornia Sanctuary Recreational UsersMedium (2)Individuals may observe visible effects when whale behavior changes, but the broader tourism industry's influence on whale observing may be less visible (e.g. gradually increasing or decreasing populations).
Great Barrier Reef Marine ParkGovernanceGBR government co-managersNot Applicable
Cenderwasih National ParkGovernanceCenderwasih fishersLow (1)Over-fishing of long-lived species such as grouper and snapper can lead to dramatic declines in populations, but effects are not immediately seen
Seaflower MPAGovernanceSeaflower artisanal fishersMissingNO DATA
Great Barrier Reef Marine ParkGovernanceGBR commercial fishersLow (1)Since there are not direct population estimates of green turtles, it is difficult to assess population level effects of bycatch.
Great Barrier Reef Marine ParkGovernanceGBR government co-managersLow (1)Since turtles are long-lived, slow reproducing species, changes in management strategies may take years before outcomes can be determined.
Heard and McDonald Islands Marine ReserveGovernanceAustralian Toothfish FishersMissing
Great Australian Bight Marine Park (GABMP) (Commonwealth Waters)GovernanceGABMP (Commonwealth Waters) Commercial FishersMedium (2)Effects are observed through change in catches, scientific estimates and the lowering TAC. However, these are not perfect indicators of actual resource stocks. Stocks had already dramatically declined before this snapshot so further declines are likely to be less obvious to observe.
Cenderwasih National ParkGovernanceCenderwasih managersNot Applicable
Svalbard Nature ReservesGovernanceSvalbard TourismNot Applicable
Great Barrier Reef Marine ParkGovernanceGBR fisheries managersLow (1)Since turtles are long-lived, slow reproducing species, changes in management strategies may take years before outcomes can be determined.
Galapagos Marine Reserve (GMR)GovernanceGalapagos Charles Darwin FoundationNot Applicable
Svalbard Nature ReservesGovernanceSvalbard Shrimp FishersMedium (2)From a single trawl event, it would be difficult to distinguish between a poor trawling location (stocks can change location each year) and a depletion of the fishery. Aggregate data from many fishermen over time are more useful in determining the trends.
Cenderwasih National ParkGovernanceCenderwasih fishers 
Great Barrier Reef Marine ParkGovernanceGBR commercial fishersMedium (2)Changes are difficult to see given the size of the reef. However these actors function within a context of high management capacity, and have access to technologies and information to help them track their impacts.
Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) Marine National MonumentGovernanceNWHI ResearchersNot Applicable
Heard and McDonald Islands Marine ReserveGovernanceAustralian Toothfish FishersMissing
Great Australian Bight Marine Park (GABMP) (Commonwealth Waters)GovernanceGABMP (Commonwealth Waters) Director of National Parks Not Applicable
Heard and McDonald Islands Marine ReserveGovernanceAustralian Antarctic DivisionMissing
Great Barrier Reef Marine ParkGovernanceGBR commercial fishersMedium (2)Damage to corals, for example from anchor damage or fishing with bottom gears in coral areas, is highly visible (if you are underwater to look at it) - broken, dead, or bleached corals, and recovery can likewise be seen. But most fishers probably don't snorkel or dive to see damage to corals, so coded as medium.
Cenderwasih National ParkGovernanceCenderwasih managersNot Applicable
Svalbard Nature ReservesGovernanceSvalbard Resource ManagersNot Applicable
Svalbard Nature ReservesGovernanceSvalbard Resource ManagersNot Applicable
Great Barrier Reef Marine ParkGovernanceGBR fisheries managersNot Applicable
Heard and McDonald Islands Marine ReserveGovernanceAustralian Fisheries Management AuthorityMissing
California squidGovernanceCalifornia market squid fishermenMedium (2)Availability subject to multiple factors, overfishing only one of them.
New Zealand squidGovernanceNew Zealand Fishery ManagersNot Applicable
Falkland Islands squidGovernancePatagonian Squid TrawlersMedium (2)While overfishing can lead to a crashed population, catch-ability depends on a number of other factors (environment, Illex predation)
New Zealand squidGovernanceNew Zealand Arrow Squid FishersLow (1)Have not seen evidence of use effect.
California squidGovernanceCalifornia Department of Fish and Wildlife Market Squid Managers Managers do not use commons
Great Australian Bight Marine Park (GABMP) (Commonwealth Waters)GovernanceGABMP (Commonwealth Waters) Commercial FishersNot Applicable
Seaflower MPAGovernanceSeaflower artisanal fishersNot Applicable
Heard and McDonald Islands Marine ReserveGovernanceAustralian Fisheries Management AuthorityNot Applicable
Seaflower MPAGovernanceCORALINAMissingNO DATA