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Can we take the pulse of environmental governance the way we take the pulse of nature? Applying the Freshwater Health Index in Latin America

Derek Vollmer, Maíra Ometto Bezerra, Natalia Acero Martínez, Octavio Rodríguez Ortiz, Ivo Encomenderos, Maria Clara Marques, Lina Serrano-Durán, Isabelle Fauconnier & Raymond Yu Wang

Ambio

November 15, 2020

Quantitative assessments have long been used to evaluate the condition of the natural environment, providing information for standard setting, adaptive management, and monitoring. Similar approaches have been developed to measure environmental governance, however, the end result (e.g., numeric indicators) belies the subjective and normative judgments that are involved in evaluating governance. We demonstrate a framework that makes this information transparent, through an application of the Freshwater Health Index in three different river basins in Latin America. Water Governance is measured on a 0–100 scale, using data derived from perception-based surveys administered to stakeholders. Results suggest that water governance is a primary area of concern in all three places, with low overall scores (Guandu-26, Alto Mayo-38, Bogotá-43). We conclude that this approach to measuring governance at the river basin scale provides valuable information to support monitoring and decision making, and we offer suggestions on how it can be improved.

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CITATION

Vollmer, D., Bezerra, M. O., Martínez, N. A., Ortiz, O. R., Encomenderos, I., Marques, M. C., Serrano-Durán, L., Fauconnier, I., & Wang, R. Y. (2020). Can we take the pulse of environmental governance the way we take the pulse of nature? Applying the Freshwater Health Index in Latin America. Ambio. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13280-020-01407-8

 

 

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