Institute on the Environment, University of Minnesota
Date Written: November 2012
Enhancing the resilience of ecosystem services (ES) that underpin human well-being is critical for meeting current and future societal needs, and requires specific governance and management policies. Using the literature, we identify seven generic policy-relevant principles for enhancing the resilience of desired ES in the face of disturbance and ongoing change in social-ecological systems (SES). These principles are (P1) maintain diversity and redundancy, (P2) manage connectivity, (P3) manage slow variables and feedbacks, (P4) foster an understanding of SES as complex adaptive systems (CAS), (P5) encourage learning and experimentation, (P6) broaden participation, and (P7) promote polycentric governance systems. We briefly define each principle, review how and when it enhances the resilience of ES, and conclude with major research gaps. In practice, the principles often co-occur and are highly interdependent. Key future needs are to better understand these interdependencies and to operationalize and apply the principles in different policy and management contexts.
Biggs, Reinette and Schlüter, Maja and Schlüter, Maja and Biggs, Duan and Bohensky, Erin L. and BurnSilver, Shauna B. and Cundill, Georgina and Dakos, Vasilis and Daw, Tim and Evans, Louisa and Kotschy, Karen and Leitch, Anne and Meek, Chandra and Quinlan, Allyson and Raudsepp-Hearne, Ciara and Robards, Martin and Schoon, Michael and Schultz, Lisen and West, Paul, Toward Principles for Enhancing the Resilience of Ecosystem Services (November 2012). Annual Review of Environment and Resources, Vol. 37, pp. 421-448, 2012, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2163619 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev-environ-051211-123836