Citation Jones E, Schuttenberg H, Gray T & Stead S (2015) The Governability of Mangrove Ecosystems in Thailand: Comparative Successes of Different Governance Models. In: Jentoft S & Chuenpagdee R (eds.) Interactive Governance for Small-Scale Fisheries: Global Reflections. MARE Publication Series. Switzerland: Amsterdam Univ Press, pp. 413-432. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-17034-3_22
Abstract The continuing loss of coastal-marine biodiversity and the over-exploitation of coastal fisheries in many parts of the world fuel debates about what governance arrangements can turn the tide on these declines. Using the governability framework, this chapter investigates the comparative strengths and weaknesses of self-governance and co-governance arrangements, by interrogating six case studies from a mangrove region in Thailand. Our examination of three successful and three unsuccessful case studies, identifies the characteristics that distinguish cases which were successfully able to continue long-term implementation of negotiated resource management arrangements: (1) trust and cooperation in governance interactions, which enables conflict resolution and informal sanctioning; and (2) stakeholders' perceptions that the solution was fair and legitimate. Our analysis also challenges three widely accepted "good practices" for managing natural resources: the need for extensive community engagement in designing solutions; the requirement for formal recognition of community-designed solutions; and the desirability of large inputs of funding from external donors. Our data showed that whilst these three good practices are desirable, they are not necessarily required for successful initiatives. We also offer observations about the influence of diversity, complexity, dynamics, and scale on governance outcomes.