Unravelling how collaboration impacts success of invasive species management.

Published online
16 Mar 2024
Content type
Journal article
Journal title
People and Nature

Abeysinghe, N. & O'Bryan, C. J. & Guerrero, A. M. & Rhodes, J. R. & McDonald-Madden, E.
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Invasive species cause severe threats to biodiversity and the economy, but often across multi-actor landscapes. Therefore, collaboration among multiple actors across landscapes is often essential for managing invasive species. Deciding whether to collaborate depends on available resources and potential benefits. As such, it is vital to identify how different factors can influence the outcomes of collaborations. We developed and tested a conceptual model that integrates potential process factors and performance measures for outcomes of collaborative invasive species management. We surveyed professionals engaged in invasive species management in Queensland, Australia. We first assessed their perception of the presence of process factors and perception of the performance measures of collaborative invasive species management projects using descriptive methods. Then we tested the associations between process factors and performance measures using structural equation modelling. While confirming that a good collaboration of stakeholders (e.g. communication and trust) is essential to enhance performances, our results suggest that the way collaborative projects are structured (e.g. ability to participate in decision-making, having shared goals) also significantly influences the performance of the projects, especially in achieving goals. Furthermore, results suggest that achieving long-term collaborations and outcomes is directly influenced by the extent to which stakeholders support or oppose the collaboration. As such, our study contributes to a significant research gap by establishing a connection between the collaboration process and its outcomes. We conclude that decision-makers should give equal importance to both designing favourable collaborative project structures and fostering collaborations with stakeholders through different means to enhance the benefits of collaboration in invasive species management.

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