Governance of ecosystem services on small islands: Three contrasting cases for St. Eustatius in the Dutch Caribbean

Nico Polman, Stijn Reinhard, L.K.J. van Bets, Tom Kuhlman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Natural ecosystems provide an attractive focus for tourism on small islands. However, at the same time tourism and other human actions can be detrimental to these ecosystems especially because governance of the ecosystem may be difficult due to the limited resilience of small island ecosystems. In this paper, we focus on the conditions under which self-governance will be the appropriate governance mechanism of ecosystem services on small islands. We apply Ostrom’s (2009) framework for common-pool resources in a social-ecological system, and select the relevant indicators for small islands. We scored these indicators for three cases (environmental issues) in St. Eustatius, a Caribbean island under Dutch rule. These cases show that self-organization of ecosystem services is not an outcome easily achieved. The unevenly distributed benefits of potential measures are found to decrease community support of measures that could reinforce these ecosystem services.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-284
JournalIsland Studies Journal
Volume11
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Fingerprint

ecosystem service
governance
Tourism
ecosystem
self-organization
tourism
ecological system
social system
resilience
self organization
environmental issue
resources
community
resource
indicator

Keywords

  • Caribbean
  • Ecosystem services
  • Environment
  • Governance
  • Self-organization
  • Small island

Cite this

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abstract = "Natural ecosystems provide an attractive focus for tourism on small islands. However, at the same time tourism and other human actions can be detrimental to these ecosystems especially because governance of the ecosystem may be difficult due to the limited resilience of small island ecosystems. In this paper, we focus on the conditions under which self-governance will be the appropriate governance mechanism of ecosystem services on small islands. We apply Ostrom’s (2009) framework for common-pool resources in a social-ecological system, and select the relevant indicators for small islands. We scored these indicators for three cases (environmental issues) in St. Eustatius, a Caribbean island under Dutch rule. These cases show that self-organization of ecosystem services is not an outcome easily achieved. The unevenly distributed benefits of potential measures are found to decrease community support of measures that could reinforce these ecosystem services.",
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Governance of ecosystem services on small islands : Three contrasting cases for St. Eustatius in the Dutch Caribbean. / Polman, Nico; Reinhard, Stijn; van Bets, L.K.J.; Kuhlman, Tom.

In: Island Studies Journal, Vol. 11, No. 1, 2016, p. 265-284.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Governance of ecosystem services on small islands

T2 - Three contrasting cases for St. Eustatius in the Dutch Caribbean

AU - Polman, Nico

AU - Reinhard, Stijn

AU - van Bets, L.K.J.

AU - Kuhlman, Tom

PY - 2016

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N2 - Natural ecosystems provide an attractive focus for tourism on small islands. However, at the same time tourism and other human actions can be detrimental to these ecosystems especially because governance of the ecosystem may be difficult due to the limited resilience of small island ecosystems. In this paper, we focus on the conditions under which self-governance will be the appropriate governance mechanism of ecosystem services on small islands. We apply Ostrom’s (2009) framework for common-pool resources in a social-ecological system, and select the relevant indicators for small islands. We scored these indicators for three cases (environmental issues) in St. Eustatius, a Caribbean island under Dutch rule. These cases show that self-organization of ecosystem services is not an outcome easily achieved. The unevenly distributed benefits of potential measures are found to decrease community support of measures that could reinforce these ecosystem services.

AB - Natural ecosystems provide an attractive focus for tourism on small islands. However, at the same time tourism and other human actions can be detrimental to these ecosystems especially because governance of the ecosystem may be difficult due to the limited resilience of small island ecosystems. In this paper, we focus on the conditions under which self-governance will be the appropriate governance mechanism of ecosystem services on small islands. We apply Ostrom’s (2009) framework for common-pool resources in a social-ecological system, and select the relevant indicators for small islands. We scored these indicators for three cases (environmental issues) in St. Eustatius, a Caribbean island under Dutch rule. These cases show that self-organization of ecosystem services is not an outcome easily achieved. The unevenly distributed benefits of potential measures are found to decrease community support of measures that could reinforce these ecosystem services.

KW - Caribbean

KW - Ecosystem services

KW - Environment

KW - Governance

KW - Self-organization

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