Departmental Bulletin Paper Shifting paradigms in ecosystem based approach : An case of forest fi re history in United States and the science policy interface of them

Kohsaka, Ryo  ,  Huntsinger, Lynn  ,  Mori, Akira  ,  Uchiyama, Yuta

We review the paradigm shifts from an expert-led planning approach to a moreadaptive and“open”process symbolized in the term“ecosystem approach”or“ecosystembasedapproach”. This paradigm shift was caused in circumstances that expert-ledplanning did not perform effi ciently and various environmental problems were diffi cult tosolve without more open and adoptive approach. Yet, ecosystem approach has not beenestablished. For example, issues including participation of stakeholders remain. Role andsignifi cance of science policy interface was overlooked in the era of expert-led planning.It is necessary to elaborate the appropriate interface that make eff ective participationof stakeholders be possible. In this paper, the shift is illustrated and analyzed with theexample of historic perspective of the US forest fires. Implications for policy makingare drawn from the case how participatory approach can be accommodated with thescientific rigor. This historical analysis reveals that the current forests with frequentforest fires and strong drought stress in the US were formed in the contexts of theforest reserves mainly from early 20th century and the environmentalism includingprejudice on the pre-modern environmental managements. In recent years, synergies ofthe diff erent types of knowledges including traditional and indigenous knowledges areexplored. In this context, development of the methods for reflecting voices of variousstakeholders with those knowledges to environmental managements, and the methods toelaborate trust among the stakeholders are urgent issues.

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