Resilience thinking: Towards new conceptual models in Agricultural/Rural/Basin development…. and modeling Andre F van Rooyen
Complex systems Ostrom 2007Three aspects of decomposability of complex subsystemsare important:1. conceptual partitioning of variables into classes and subclasses.2. is the existence of relatively separable subsystems that are independent of each other in the accomplishment of many functions and development but eventually affect each other’s performance.3. that complex systems are greater than the sum of their parts.
What is resilience and why should we be concerned?The ability of a “system” (social-ecological or SES) torecover from shock/perturbation;3 defining characteristics:1. The amount change a system can undergo and still retain the same controls on function and structure;2. The degree to which a system is capable of self- organization and re-organization after shock/change3. The degree to which the system can learn/share knowledge and adapt. Walker et al. 2002
Folke et al. (2003) defined four clusters of factors, that interactacross temporal and spatial scales which increase the resilienceof SES• Learning to live with change and uncertainty• Nurturing diversity in its various forms• Combining different types of knowledge for learning• Creating opportunity for self-organization and cross-scale linkages
Back to Plant Ecology 101• Sustainability• Succession models – Linear models• Equilibrium systems• Disequilibrium• Hollings and Walker
Transitions can be caused by:• Grazing – Inefficient grazing systems – lack of infrastructure – Inappropriate water provision – Policy – open access systems• Fire• FrostObviously the opposite of these will normally have positiveimpact!
Stable degraded states• Some transitions are irreversible!• Caused by changes in soil, chemistry, structure• Plant spp composition changes and seed banks• Long lived unpalatable spp.Stable degraded states are often very resilientI.e. its very difficult to get out of these states.
Now, apply the same thinking to the whole system socio-ecological systems (SES)• How do the GD interact within the SES in your basin?• What are the specific barriers preventing regime changes?• What are the facilitating environments/conditions which could drive DES in you area forward?Think in terms of:• Technologies• Policies• Markets• Incentives• Environmental conditions/constraints/opportunities
Resilience management:• To prevent the system from moving to undesired system configuration when shocked of challenged/disturbed• To nurture and preserve the elements that enable the system to renew and reorganize itself following major chock or change
Fig. 1. A framework for the analysis of resilience insocial-ecological systems. Description of System Step 1 Key processes, ecosystem, structures and actors Exploring Step 2 Plausible Exploring external policies visions shocks 3-5 scenarios Step 3 Resilience analysis Better Integrated Theories Step 4 Stakeholder evaluation (processes and products) Policy and Management Actions
Development trajectories and a conceptual model of rural/agricultural development
• Berkes (2007 p.287) suggested: “the creation of platforms for dialogue and innovation, following a crisis, is key to the stimulation of learning to deal with uncertainties. It helps reorganize conceptual models and paradigms, based on a revised understanding of the conditions generating the crisis.”
Innovation systems/multi-stakeholder platforms… blah blah blah…(i) Learning to live with change and uncertainty: the IP evaluates strategies to cope with changing environments and capitalize on emerging opportunities;(ii) Nurturing diversity: by including a diversity of players and partnerships, the IP introduces diverse technologies to increase livelihood options;(iii) Combining different types of knowledge for learning: cross-scale dialogue between partners brings different types of knowledge and viewpoints and stimulates learning through the iterative evaluation of interventions;(iv) Creating opportunity for self-organization: the functioning of the IP promotes self-organization based on production or market interests.