Bringing Resilience to Wildlife Management and Biodiversity Protection

in Social-Resilience and Law. Craig Allen and Ahjond Garmestani, eds. New York: Columbia University Press. 2014

15 Pages Posted: 9 Jun 2014

See all articles by Melinda Benson

Melinda Benson

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Matthew Hopton

Government of the United States of America - Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Date Written: January 6, 2014

Abstract

Over the past few hundred years, human activities have increased species extinction rates by as much as 1,000 times background rates that were typical over Earth’s history. In the United States, estimates are that there are approximately 1,900 species listed as threatened or endangered, with potentially thousands more at risk. The challenge of addressing biodiversity loss and the inevitable but largely unknown consequences associated with it presents a “wicked problem” characterized by extreme complexity and radical uncertainty. The current approach to wildlife management and the wicked problem of biodiversity loss in the United States is the subject of this chapter. It examines the nature in which existing legal frameworks and institutions address these issues and the extent to which they are compatible with a resilience-based approach. After providing a working definition of resilience, it then provides a brief overview of relevant state and federal approaches to wildlife management and biodiversity protection in the United States. This chapter places particular emphasis on the Endangered Species Act (ESA), currently the strongest federal law capable of addressing biodiversity loss. It then explores the extent to which the ESA and other wildlife laws are compatible with resilience theory and provides some recommendations for legal and institutional reform based on a resilience-based perspective of social-ecological systems.

Keywords: Endangered Species Act, resilience

Suggested Citation

Benson, Melinda and Hopton, Matthew, Bringing Resilience to Wildlife Management and Biodiversity Protection (January 6, 2014). in Social-Resilience and Law. Craig Allen and Ahjond Garmestani, eds. New York: Columbia University Press. 2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2447123

Melinda Benson (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Matthew Hopton

Government of the United States of America - Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ( email )

Ariel Rios Building
1200 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Washington, DC 20460
United States

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