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The Challenges of Collaboration in Environmental Governance

The Challenges of Collaboration in Environmental Governance

Barriers and Responses

New Horizons in Environmental Politics series

Edited by Richard D. Margerum and Cathy J. Robinson

Collaborative approaches to governance are being used to address some of the most difficult environmental issues across the world, but there is limited focus on the challenges of practice. Leading scholars from the United States, Europe and Australia explore the theory and practice in a range of contexts, highlighting the lessons from practice, the potential limitations of collaboration and the potential strategies for addressing these challenges.

Chapter 13: Towards a Joint Maintenance Approach for floodplain management in the Netherlands: tensions and possibilities

Jeroen F. Warner, Jan M. Fliervoet and Antoine J. M. Smits

Subjects: environment, energy policy and regulation, environmental governance and regulation, environmental politics and policy, politics and public policy, environmental governance and regulation


While multi-functional river rehabilitation has taken the limelight in today's water management, its follow-up phase, maintenance, has done so to a far lesser extent. A key challenge for today´s environmental management is the number and diversity of actors and sectors involved, each with their own perceptions, interests and resources. This chapter seeks to apply the gains made in the Joint Planning Approach (JPA), developed earlier at Radboud University, the Netherlands, to the maintenance stage of river planning. The application of that approach in the densely populated Netherlands is contrasted with an example of top-down, mono-functional maintenance in a floodplain area in the southwest. It is found that the approach brings considerable opportunities to integrate a fragmented field but that considerable challenges remain related to fragmented policies, building collaborative entities, and organizational constraints.

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