Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1016/j.envsci.2010.09.001
Title (Primary) Coping with change: responses of the Uzbek water management regime to socio-economic transition and global change
Author Schlüter, M.; Hirsch, D.; Pahl-Wostl, C.
Journal Environmental Science & Policy
Year 2010
Department OESA
Volume 13
Issue 7
Page From 620
Page To 636
Language englisch
Keywords Water management regime; Transition; Adaptive capacity; Informal institutions; Central Asia; Uzbekistan
Water management in Uzbekistan (Central Asia) is facing tremendous challenges. They are rooted in past and present environmental degradation, the socio-economic transition after the breakup of the Soviet Union, and the impacts of climate change. The Uzbek government has initiated reforms in the agricultural and water sectors to steer the socio-economic transition and address the threats of increasing water scarcity and decreasing agricultural productivity. However, despite the urgency of the problems and massive international assistance changes to the water management regime have only been minimal so far. In this paper we identify major structural barriers for adaptation of the water management regime through an analysis of two recent policy processes. Both processes address pressing water management issues such as “coping with extreme events” and “providing water for ecosystems”. They were analyzed using the Management and Transition Framework as well as a group model building exercises with stakeholders on the national, regional and local levels. The analyses reveal a lack of vertical integration across administrative levels of the formal system and a still prevailing strong centralization of water management. Moreover the water management regime is strongly influenced by informal institutions that shape the outcomes of policy processes. The interactions guided by informal institutions provide an informal link between different administrative levels of the regime. However, those informal networks and the social capital embedded in them rather prevent needed changes. The resulting combination of top down institutional change initiated by socio-economic transition and bottom-up consolidation of the existing status quo via informal processes and networks prevents social learning. It also slows down an adaptation process that potentially could lead to a transition towards a more adaptive regime.
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Schlüter, M., Hirsch, D., Pahl-Wostl, C. (2010):
Coping with change: responses of the Uzbek water management regime to socio-economic transition and global change
Environ. Sci. Policy 13 (7), 620 - 636