Resilience, Adaptability and Transformability in Social–ecological Systems
System resilience is used in varying context that is always evolving and can be an imprecise concept. For the purpose of resource management, resilience is the capacity of a system to absorb disturbance and reorganize while undergoing change so as to still retain essentially the same function, structure, identity, and feedbacks. We analyze three related attributes of a social-ecological system to forecast its trajectory: resilience, adaptability, and transformability. Each of these three attributes have specific components to analyze, and the implication is that the dynamics for sustainability science needs to change focus from seeking optimal states and maximum sustainable yield, to resilience analysis, adaptive management, and adaptive governance. This shift in approach will provide a better scientific basis for sustainable development and sustainable science.
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Walker, B., C. S. Holling, S. R. Carpenter, and A. Kinzig. 2004. Resilience, adaptability and transformability in social–ecological systems. Ecology and Society 9(2): 5