Some of the main risks which may arise during the process, as well as some recommended strategies to mitigate them, are as follows:
Speeding up too fast the formalization process of the CitESS may hamper its governance and management if the proper grounds for effective cooperation are yet to be consolidated. For example, in places where the associative culture is not strongly rooted, opting for the associative form may be a premature and hazardous step. Prominent local actors may take the overall initiative and, while on the one hand this guaranteed ownership and positive boost to the process, on the other hand it may generate frictions when it comes to concretize (i.e. electing the governing board) a participatory governance that limits the concentration of decision-making power.
Coping strategy 1: Avoid premature formalization
It is recommended not to prematurely accelerate the formalization of the CitESS. Conversely, it is recommended to work first on creating and developing the concept, act, connect and mobilize actors and organisations and then, when and if this works, cautiously steer towards formalization.
Coping strategy 2: Choose a suiting legal form and membership
To avoid governance risks, it is suggested to consolidate a multi-sector membership of the Governing Board and opt for a legal form which can work well within the existing local culture. Strong leaders are needed to steer and boost the CitESS set-up but can hamper the CitESS governance if reluctant to share the decision-making power.