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*** Ph.D. Thesis/ Oral Defense ***
Jurisdictional Approaches to Sustainable Resource Use: A Conceptual and Computational Analysis
Marius von Essen
Monday, November 28, 12:00pm
Department of Earth System Science
Advisor: Dr. Eric Lambin
Tropical ecosystems play a vital role in climate regulation, biodiversity conservation, ecosystem services provision, and human livelihoods and culture. Yet, forest loss and degradation are ongoing in all tropical regions driven by the extraction of natural resources and the production of agricultural goods for domestic and global consumption. In response, attempts to halt deforestation have evolved since the 1950s, resulting in the patchwork of governance interventions we observe today. The most recent approach to reduce deforestation is composed of actors from multiple stakeholder groups in the form of public-private partnerships, implemented at the scale of landscapes or jurisdictions. These jurisdictional approaches have received growing attention from international forums over the past decade, and now cover over a third of the global tropical forests.
Jurisdictional approaches are formalized collaborations between government entities and actors from civil society and/or the private sector. Their rules and regulations pertain to the sustainable extraction and production of natural resources and are implemented at policy-relevant boundaries where they apply to all actors within the system. While conceptually promising and increasingly implemented on the ground, jurisdictional approaches have yet to be systematically analyzed and evidence for their fitness to reduce deforestation is sparse. The goal of this dissertation is to provide a first conceptual and computational evaluation of the effectiveness and equity of jurisdictional approaches to sustainable resource use.