Social-ecological resilience

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Social-ecological resilience: A cornerstone of UNDP’s work in building nations that can withstand crisis

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  • Explanation of UNDp
  • Northern Botswana example of resilience – fishing replacing income after cattle culling
  • Yesterday, we discussed how resilience could fit in a vulnerability assessment framework.Under this interpretation of the IPCC framework, one can therefore look for indicators of ecosystem resilience as one would look for indicators on exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity.The concept, the steps and guidance on this is being prepared by UNEP-WCMC for this project and you should have 2 documents on this. Feedback on these two documents would be greatly appreciated to ensure that they are useful to the project.
  • Social-ecological resilience

    1. 1. Social-ecological resilience:A cornerstone of UNDP’s work in buildingnations that can withstand crisis Caroline Petersen Brown Bag Lunch, UNDP HQ, August 2012
    2. 2. • Resilience: the ability of a system to absorb disturbances while retaining the same basic structure and ways of functioning • Disturbances: armed conflict, resource scarcity, natural disasters, economic recession, food price spikes, or climate change • Shocks and stressesThemes emerging:• Resilience vs resistance• Importance of environmental factors
    3. 3. Disaster • Feeling full effects of a disturbance recovery Resilience but recovering quickly and fully Climate • Feeling fewer effects from same change Resistance disturbance adaptation Climate Disaster changeprevention Avoidance • Disturbance prevented – no effects mitigation
    4. 4. Supporting servicesProvisioningservicesRegulatingservices Cultural services
    5. 5. • Many of 1.2 billion people living in severe poverty• Food, fuel, shelter, medicines, clea n water, grazing, harvesting forest products• Nature as a buffer – droughts, landslides, floods, and coastal erosion• Most vulnerable to loss, degradation and climate change effects – poverty, disaster
    6. 6. A society with healthy, diverse and functioning ecosystems:• is more resilient to external disturbances than one in which natural ecosystems are destroyed or degraded• has defense mechanisms against natural variability, increased climate-induced variability, and human-induced disasters• has a strong base from which to support sustainable development for all its members
    7. 7. If natural ecosystems are destroyed or degraded society becomesvulnerable:• Communities may suffer intensified poverty, hunger and material hardship• Farmers’ livelihoods may be eroded, e.g. loss of pollinators in natural habitats• Loss of ecological infrastructure can leave people vulnerable to natural and climate change-induced disasters, e.g. landslides• Safety net and buffer effects crucial for politically fragile states, e.g. post-conflict or fledgling democracy
    8. 8. Tree PatchRESILIENCE: The capacity of a system to Landscapeabsorb disturbance and reorganize while undergoing change so as to still retainessentially the same function, structure, identity and feedbacks Household Village Nation
    9. 9. ResilienceCondition of natural resourcesManagement of natural resourcesPeople’s management capacitySocial and economic institutions
    10. 10. IPCC Vulnerability framework ExposureVulnerability to Sensitivityclimate change Adaptive capacity Resilience- Holling, Walker & Salt- Swedbio / Stockholm Resilience Centre- Resilience Alliance
    11. 11. ability to Resilienceadapt toand benefitfrom Adaptabilitychange Transformability
    12. 12. The capacity of a system to absorb disturbance and reorganize whileResilience undergoing change so as to still retain essentially the same function, structure, identity and feedbacks
    13. 13. Latitude The maximum amount a system can be changed before losing its ability to recoverResistance The ease or difficulty of changing the system – how resistant it is to being changedPrecariousness How close the current state of the system is to a limit or thresholdPanarchy How much the system is influenced by states and dynamics at scales above and below Walker, B., Holling, C.S., Carpenter, S.R. and Kinzig, A. (2004) “Resilience, Adaptability and Transformability in Social-ecological Systems, Ecology & Society 9 (2): 5
    14. 14. r - Growth and exploitationK - ConservationΩ - Collapse and releaseα - Reorganisation
    15. 15. The capacity to create a fundamentally new system when ecological, economicTransformability or social conditions make the existing system untenable
    16. 16. Basin of attraction for Regime 1: lots of grass, few shrubs, plentiful livestock ΩBasin of attraction for Regime 2:little grass, many shrubs, few livestock
    17. 17. The collective capacity of humanAdaptability actors in a system to manage resilience
    18. 18. • Prevent the desirable basin from shrinking (L)• Stay in the desirable basin (R)• Move away from the threshold (Pr)• OR… Facilitate a transition to another basin
    19. 19. The capacity to create a fundamentally new system when ecological, economicTransformability or social conditions make the existing system untenable
    20. 20. Management interventions Reduce Eutrophic farmingFreshwater Too many inputs Regime shift lake Regime A Regime B nutrients B lake Impacts of shift from A to Evidence Source of evidence upstream Reduced access to ObservationsFreshwater Non- Eutrophic recreation, reduced drinking Strong experimentseutrophication eutrophic water quality, risk of fish loss models Reduced grazing for cattle, ObservationsBush Open Closed reduced mobility, increased Medium experimentsencroachment grassland woodland fuelwood models Yield declines, salt damage Harvesting Observations High Bush Low Closed to infrastructure and biomass for OpenSoil salinization productivity productivity ecosystems, contamination Strong experiments encroachm woodland of drinking water models energy grassland Reef ObservationsCoral reef Diverse ent dominated by Reduced tourism, fisheries, Strong experimentsdegradation coral reef biodiversity macro-algae models Fishery decline, loss of ObservationsCoastal hypoxia Non-hypoxic Hypoxic marine biodiversity, toxic Strong models algaeRiver channel Old channel New channel Damage to trade and Strong Observations Connectingposition infrastructure models Rainfall Observations protectedCloud forest Vegetation Spatial No spatial Woodland Medium Productivity declines, areaspatchiness pattern changes pattern erosion experiments modelsWet savanna- Wet Dry savanna Loss of productivity, yield Medium ModelsDry savanna savanna or desert declines, droughts/dry spells Loss of productivity, reduced ObservationsCloud forest Cloud forest Woodland Medium runoff, biodiversity loss models
    21. 21. Original state Altered state High biodiversity Low biodiversity Coral-dominated NPP Algae-dominated NPP Medium productivity High primary productivity High economic value Low economic valueDiscussion: what are the management interventions to prevent this shift?
    22. 22. Useful to know about thresholds / tipping points at which:• one regime shifts to another• pull of alternate basin of attraction is strongerImplications for management regimes in conservation,agriculture, rangeland
    23. 23. Desertification in the Sahel:Shift from open acacia scrub with perennial grasses shifted to a mosaic of bare groundand unpalatable shrubsManagement model to avoid tipping points for soil fertility:• 3/8 of arable land left fallow• 1/3 ratio of vegetation grazed to total vegetation in wet season• economic sustainability measured as a minimum threshold for the basic needs of household members
    24. 24. Shifting cultivation in SE Asia & Africa:Shift from tropical rainforest via repeated cycles of “slash-and burn”to unproductive grasslands But can shift back to productive forest: • No more than 8 crop cycles • Applying compost, growing legumes, planting trees
    25. 25. Institutional and social resilience• Capacity building political, judicial, disaster response• Clearing debris, building houses• Cash for work scheme - 300,000• Climate change adaptation strategies• Renewable energy sourcesEcosystem resilience• Managing watersheds• Reforestation – 400 ha• Green jobs in water and soil conservation• Check weirs, gabions, gulley erosion, river training, dam rehabilitation
    26. 26. • Soil erosion• Food insecurity• Water pollution – disease• Landslides• Floods• Saltwater contamination of groundwater• Drought• Impact of hurricanes
    27. 27. Land use Change Prior to 1940’s intact Miombo & Acacia woodland, low Restoration population density resulting in 0.3 million ha of Clearance for cash cropping, woodland restored agricultural land, increased across 850 villages populationTsetse flyeradication Governance changesprogramme (“villagization”) resulting ininitiated loss of traditionalwoodland management institutionsclearance Tipping point reached 1985 If no restoration 1985: Tanzania President strong likelihood Nyerere declares Shinyanga as of system failure the “desert of Tanzania< 1940’s 1950’s 1960’s 1970’s 1985 1986 - ongoing 2004
    28. 28. • Building on communities’ traditional knowledge and risk spreading strategies – forage reserves, crop altitudes, forest clearing prohibitions• Increasing communities’ adaptive capacity to reduce vulnerability to CC impacts – GLECRDS, engineered and natural solutions• Biodiversity conservation work – ecosystem resilience at landscape scale e.g. through Protected Area systems• Sustainable land management work on reducing degradation and increasing productivity of land
    29. 29. • How can we provide governments with technical advice and support in accessing financing in ways which promote social-ecological resilience at appropriate scales?• What what strategies can promote -  Social resilience and adaptive capacity  Ecosystem resilience and prevention of undesirable regime shifts  Desirable regime shifts?• How can we achieve a more integrated understanding of resilience in UNDP’s work?

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