• systems thinking;
  • integrating science and management;
  • information management;
  • collaborative learning;
  • adaptive management


Achieving more sustainable land and water use depends on high-quality information and its improved use. In other words, better linkages are needed between science and management. Since many stakeholders with different relationships to the natural resources are inevitably involved, we suggest that collaborative learning environments and improved information management are prerequisites for integrating science and management. Case studies that deal with resource management issues are presented that illustrate the creation of collaborative learning environments through systems analyses with communities, and an integration of scientific and experiential knowledge of components of the system. This new knowledge needs to be captured and made accessible through innovative information management systems designed collaboratively with users, in forms which fit the users' ‘mental models’ of how their systems work. A model for linking science and resource management more effectively is suggested. This model entails systems thinking in a collaborative learning environment, and processes to help convergence of views and value systems, and make scientists and different kinds of managers aware of their interdependence. Adaptive management provides a mechanism for applying and refining scientists' and managers' knowledge. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.