Already adaptive? : an investigation of the performance of Swedish moose management organizations

Sammanfattning: The primary aim of this thesis has been to explore the significance of institutions, specifically property rights, on the establishment of adaptive management systems for natural resources. Another goal has been to contribute to how institutional theory and, in particular, theories of institutional change can be utilized to explain the presence or absence of adaptive management systems. In addition, the importance of conflicting interests regarding management of natural resources, and the effects of these conflicts on establishing adaptive management systems is examined. In Sweden, conflicting interests exist between hunting and the forestry industry. This is because moose cause grazing damage which results in economic losses to the forestry industry, whereas hunters prefer large moose populations to optimize hunting opportunities. Changes in the Swedish official policy have stipulated that formal institutional prerequisites for local adaptive management systems are in place regarding moose management, because landowners have gained increased management rights, including the right to decide moose population size. A quantitative study of Swedish Moose Management Units has revealed that these units are not particularly adaptive. A few hypotheses were stipulated relating to issues such as conflicting interests. The first hypothesis was that the devolution of management rights of moose took place without accompanying restructuring of the public administrative moose management system, and that this has led to isolated MMUs, a hypothesis data support. The second hypothesis was that conflicting interests between hunters and the forestry industry would result in the extent of adaptive management aspects being less when the ownership structure predominantly consists of forestry companies. Empirical analysis showed that there were small statistically- significant differences that could be explained by ownership structure. However, the hypothesis that private ownership would entail more aspects of adaptive management was rejected. The final hypothesis was that neither the forestry industry nor the hunter would achieve the size of moose population desired, and data findings supported this. If the Swedish state is going to implement adaptive management of natural resources, the role of the public administration has to be examined. This study indicates that the "traditional role" of the CABs does not seem conducive to implementing adaptive management. In addition, the study also indicates the importance of changed legislation to promote adaptive management and achieve a balance between flexibility and predictability. Further research concerning the effects of conflicting interests on establishing adaptive management is warranted.