Fostering of social learning is generally considered an important governance instrument to build resilience in social-ecological systems. Empirical studies addressing the contribution of social learning to resilience are scarce however, and do not provide direct evidence but infer this contribution from the impacts of social learning on system governance and management. These impacts are found more frequently at the local level than at higher, regional or national levels, probably depending on the overlap between participants in social learning and actors in governance and management. Recent studies have shown that at higher levels a connection between social learning and policy can be achieved through bridging actors or organizations, and vertical linkages between governance levels. Conceptually and methodologically the study of social learning and its relation with resilience has advanced sufficiently to enable more rigorous and detailed empirical research. This should focus on how attempts to foster social learning within social-ecological governance systems can be made more effective and efficient, for example, through the use of new technologies to support the learning process or through the creation of permanent, informal multistakeholder learning spaces within formal policy structures.
- ADAPTIVE GOVERNANCE
- NATURAL-RESOURCE MANAGEMENT