Tompkins E., Adger W.N, Brown. K.. 2002. Institutional networks for inclusive coastal management in Trinidad and Tobago.. Environment and Planning.


Investigates the role of institutional networks in integrated and inclusive coastal zone management.

Geographic Focus: 


Key Findings: 

The article distinguishes between two forms of institutional networks, spaces of dependence and spaces of engagement. In this framework, the immediate spaces of dependence are augmented and expanded across scales through spaces of engagement. This framework was applied to a case study examining institutional networks within coastal zone resource management in Trinidad and Tobago. Successful integrated and inclusive coastal management was dependent on the ability to initiate change at all relevant institutional scales through modifying or adapting spaces of dependence and engagement. However, change in management styles and power structures, along with cultural perceptions and even constitutional change will or may be required to realise integrated and inclusive coastal management. Institutions need both the ability and the desire to adopt the necessary roles and changes. This will require a significant paradigm shift to enable the effective use of networks at different scales.


The barriers to effective adaptive learning in complex systems management should not be underestimated. The necessary changes to current institutional structures and processes are profound, and will need a concerted and determined approach to effect the institutional changes needed at some of the deepest levels of governance.