Separating adaptive maintenance (Resilience) and transformative capacity of social-ecological systems

Samuel Gregory Wilson, Leonie J Pearson, Yoshihisa Kashima, Dean Lusher, Craig Pearson

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78 Citations (Scopus)


Many rural communities are vulnerable social-ecological systems (SES) that must do more than become resilient to future environmental and social shocks: they must transform to achieve sustainability. We aimed first to conceptually explore the proposition that SES characteristics (identity, feedbacks, structure, and functions) necessary for transformation may be distinct from those necessary for adaptive maintenance or resilience, and second, to propose metrics that may be used to assess these two types of system changes. We did this by interrogating literature and by investigating two rural towns in Australia using a combination of quantitative methods and focus groups to interrogate community social networks, capitals (human, natural, built, and social) and future scenarios.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1 - 11
Number of pages11
JournalEcology and Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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