Enhancing the adaptive capacity of collaboratives through education and learning in South Africa
CITATION: Muller, K. 2014. Enhancing the adaptive capacity of collaboratives through education and learning in South Africa. African Journal of Public Affairs, 7(4): 57-68.
ABSTRACT: It is clear that the environmental issues facing us today are prime manifestations of complex or “wicked” public problems and, as such, natural resource governance has to be approached from a complexity science perspective. The rise of adaptive co-management as an approach to ecosystem management and the emergence of innovative and novel collaborative governance models are manifestations of this trend. What is not so clear, however, is how our understanding of complex adaptive systems, resilience thinking, adaptive management and governance should be translated in terms of the role institutions of higher learning must play in their teaching, research and community interaction endeavours. The questions this article wants to explore are: How can the adaptive capacity of socio-ecological systems be enhanced through education and learning, and what is (or should be) the role of institutions of higher learning in this regard? The opportunities and challenges for universities are reflected upon against the background of the emergence of collaborative environmental governance models in the Western Cape Province.