Innovative COEVOLVERS session at the 2023 Radboud Conference on Earth System Governance
Coordinated and led by professors Tatiana Kluvankova from the SlovakGlobe and Juha Hiedanpää from the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), a small team of COEVOLVERS researchers organised an Innovative Session titled “Nature-Based Governance? A coevolutionary perspective” at the 2023 Radboud Conference on Earth System Governance – Bridging Sciences and Societies for Sustainable Transformations. The 90-minute session included six presentations showcasing our work from the perspective of governance.
First, Juha as project coordinator, provided a short overview of the premise and objectives of our project. This was followed by Mia Pihlajamäki’s (Luke) presentation on Co-creation of Nature-based solutions in the seven COEVOLVERS Living Labs, and by three presentations highlighting tools developed to inspire self-governance and the inclusion of wide range of stakeholders including the most vulnerable humans and non-humans. COEVOLVERS overseas cousin and Advisory board member professor Marco Janssen, from the Arizona State University, gave a presentation on games as tools for stimulating self-governance, while Claire Hardy from the James Hutton Institute presented the Virtual Nature tool in the context of Scotland Living Lab (LL), and Martin Spacek from the CETIP Network, the Virtual commons tool in the context of Beskydy LL. The final presentation on Novel Nature Based Solutions (NBS) governance was given by Tatiana and was followed by her PhD student’s, Olena Shelvijska’s reflections on the presented COEVOLVERS approach.
During the discussion section of the session, we were able to elaborate how our LLs have developed and employed methods and tools to engage the more vulnerable stakeholders (human and non-human) that do not traditionally participate in NBS governance, providing space for the voices to be heard and opportunity to collect their data. Additionally how the tools are evaluated especially from the perspective of behavioural changes. It was a pleasant surprise to note the apparent interest towards umwelt analysis and ecological psychology among Earth System Governance scholars as well as the desperate needs to provide more practical tools for operationalising the inclusion of overlapping multispecies life-worlds in decision-making. Finally, we were also reminded about the importance of an exit strategy or legacy to ensure the continuation of the LLs after the COEVOLVERS project ends.