Mainstreaming nature-based solutions: What role do Communities of Practice play in delivering a paradigm shift?

King, Phoebe ORCID:, Martin-Ortega, Julia, Armstrong, Jennifer, Ferré, Marie and Bark, Rosalind H. ORCID: (2023) Mainstreaming nature-based solutions: What role do Communities of Practice play in delivering a paradigm shift? Environmental Science & Policy, 144. pp. 53-63. ISSN 1462-9011

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As the urgency to adapt to climate change intensifies, nature-based solutions (NBS) are receiving increasing attention. To mainstream NBS, a fundamental shift in environmental management is required. This study evaluates the role that Communities of Practice (CoP) can play as platforms to foster social learning to drive such a paradigm shift. A Natural Flood Management (NFM) CoP in Yorkshire, UK, was used as a case study. A unique research design combined opportunistic data collected prior to the inception of the CoP and purposive data collected during and after its formation. Opportunistic data captured information from stakeholders regarding NFM engagement and challenges around its instalment and delivery. Purposive data was used to examine the ability of a CoP to foster social learning, overcome the challenges identified prior to its establishment and evaluate the extent to which a CoP contributes to inducing a NBS paradigm shift, using a multi-loop social learning framework. Results demonstrate that the CoP was effective in delivering social learning and improving NFM instalment and delivery. While most evidence of social learning point to incremental rather than transformational changes, it did reveal abundant questioning of the current framing of flood management. Furthermore, the CoP seems to have encouraged some participants to re-think the current governance structures for NFM and the boundaries of current actor networks, raising promise that, if sustained in the longer term, the CoP could induce a paradigm shift. Further research should conduct longitudinal studies to examine the CoP’s development overtime and its potential for overcoming current constraints.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Acknowledgements: This work was funded by the UK’s Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), through the Yorkshire Integrated Catchment Solutions Programme (iCASP), grant reference NE/P011160/1. The authors are very grateful to all study participants who gave their time to make this research possible, as well as to iCASP project partners who supported this work, with special thanks to Dr Richard Grayson. The research received ethics approval from the Research Ethics Committee at the University of Leeds (Ref: AREA 17-091). Data availability: Data will be made available on request.
Uncontrolled Keywords: flood risk management,social learning,triple-loop learning framework,geography, planning and development,management, monitoring, policy and law,sdg 13 - climate action ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3300/3305
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Environmental Social Sciences
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2023 10:31
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2023 16:30
DOI: 10.1016/j.envsci.2023.03.003


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