Sustainable Water Governance in the Brazilian Pantanal Biome: Challenges and Lessons


  • Emily Bell University of Georgia
  • Bruno Puga University of Paraíba Valley




conservation, integrated water resource management, monitoring, co-production, wetlands


Problems caused by land-use change and climate change transcend territorial boundaries, but often management of natural heritage sites can only influence what happens within the local area. Therefore, we need innovative conservation strategies that also transcend territorial boundaries. Hence, the approach to managing our natural heritage sites may need innovative strategies to ensure their effective conservation. This study examines the conservation approach in the Pantanal biome, which houses multiple centers of decision-making across Brazil, Bolivia, and Paraguay. Despite the region’s significant contribution in providing ecosystem services and playing an integral part in local cultural heritage and Native communities, Pantanal has suffered from a lack of clear rules and strategies, challenges in implementation, and, largely, capacity and coordination across different governance scales. This contribution synthesizes key challenges and potential opportunities through co-production and information sharing to ensure a socio-ecological approach to promoting the conservation and resilience of the Pantanal biome.

How to Cite

Bell, E., & Puga, B. (2024). Sustainable Water Governance in the Brazilian Pantanal Biome: Challenges and Lessons. Blue Papers, 3(1).





challenges, concepts and new approaches

Author Biographies

Emily Bell, University of Georgia

Emily V. Bell is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Administration and Policy at the University of Georgia (UGA), with appointments at the UGA Center for International Trade and Security and the River Basin Center. Her research examines local and regional environmental governance, focusing on coordination, policy learning, and collaborative processes. A key component of her work involves descriptive and inferential social network analysis to learn how water policy and management stakeholders mitigate hazards of natural disasters such as flooding and drought.

Bruno Puga, University of Paraíba Valley

Bruno P. Puga is an Assistant Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Paraíba Valley (Univap). His research interests lie mainly in the field of environmental governance, including water, forest, biodiversity, land use and climate change issues. He is interested in situations of collective action dilemmas, mainly linked to polycentric governance and the use of participatory instruments and knowledge co-production to overcome environmental challenges.


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