Opdam, P., Coninx, I., Dewulf, A., Steingröver, E., Vos, C. & Van der Wal, M. (2016). Does information on landscape benefits influence collective action in landscape governance? Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 18: 107-114.
There is general understanding that collaboration is a key element in the governance for a sustainable environment. In this context knowledge utilization has become a popular research topic. However, the role of information content in enhancing collaboration has been rarely addressed. We consider two types of information on mutual dependencies between actors that result from ecological interdependencies in the landscape: information on landscape sites providing multiple benefits to a range of stakeholders, and information on how these benefits depend on coordinated landscape–level management. Our survey of recent literature indicates that although there is a sound theoretical basis for the assumption that such information would enhance collaboration, the issue has been the subject of little empirical research thus far. We found some supporting studies demonstrating social network building and collective action, but none of them separated the effect of the information content from the effect of the organized social learning process. To increase understanding of the potential for informational governance of landscapes resources, we argue there is a need to integrate recent advances in the analysis of social network building in environmental management with emerging insights in knowledge utilization and spatial interdependencies of landscape benefits.