Stosch KC, Quilliam RS, Bunnefeld N & Oliver DM (2022) Catchment-Scale Participatory Mapping Identifies Stakeholder Perceptions of Land and Water Management Conflicts. Land, 11 (2), Art. No.: 300. https://doi.org/10.3390/land11020300
Competing socioecological demands and pressures on land and water resources have the potential to increase land use conflict. Understanding ecosystem service provisioning and trade-offs, competing land uses, and conflict between stakeholder groups in catchments is therefore critical to inform catchment management and the sustainable use of natural resources. We developed a novel stakeholder engagement methodology that incorporates participatory conflict mapping in three catchments with a short questionnaire to identify the perceptions of 43 participants from four key land and water management stakeholder groups: environmental regulators, water industry practitioners, the farm advisor community, and academics. The participatory mapping exercise produced heat maps of perceived conflict and land use competition, providing spatial detail of the complex combination of land use issues faced by catchment managers. Distinct, localised hotspots were identified in areas under pressure from flooding, abstraction, and urbanisation; as well as more dispersed issues of relevance at the landscape scale, such as from farming, forestry, energy production, and tourism. Subsequent regression modelling linked perceived conflict to land cover maps and identified coastal, urban, and grassland areas as the most likely land cover types associated with conflict in the study catchments. Our approach to participatory conflict mapping provides a novel platform for catchment management and can facilitate increased cooperation among different catchment stakeholders. In turn, land and water management conflicts can be recognised and their underlying drivers and likely solutions identified in an effort to better manage competing demands on catchment resources.
integrated catchment management; stakeholder engagement; land use conflict; ecosystem services
Land: Volume 11, Issue 2