A new book presents seven principles for enhancing the resilience of ecosystem services in social-ecological systems, for instance in agricultural landscapes. Photo: T. Henriksson/Azote


Ecosystem services

Seven principles for building resilience

Cambridge University Press publishes book featuring ten Centre researchers

Story highlights

Book provides an in-depth review of current knowledge around how resilience can be applied

Chapters are structured around seven key principles for building resilience

Book builds on a 2012 publication in the journal Annual Review of Environment and Resources

No less than ten Centre researchers contribute to a new Cambridge University Press book about resilience and ecosystem services. The book "Principles for Building Resilience: Sustaining Ecosystem Services in Social-Ecological Systems" provides an in-depth review of current knowledge around how resilience can be applied in the management of social-ecological systems and the ecosystem services they provide.

A matter of principle
With contributions from scholars around the world and across disciplines, the chapters are structured around seven key principles for building resilience: maintain diversity and redundancy; manage connectivity; manage slow variables and feedbacks; foster complex adaptive systems thinking; encourage learning; broaden participation; and promote polycentric governance.

"Although a definitive set of principles for enhancing the resilience of social-ecological systems does not yet exist, our review suggests that there is sufficient knowledge to come up with a preliminary list of principles to provide practical guidance"

Oonsie Biggs, co-editor

Together with Centre colleague Maja Schlüter and Michael Schoon from Arizona State University, she has edited the book which is written for researchers, lecturers, practitioners and graduate students, and all those working at the core of resilience science and in the broader fields of sustainability science, environmental management and governance.

Nuances and interactions
The seven principles in the book build on a 2012 publication in the journal Annual Review of Environment and Resources. Read more about the 2012 publication and watch an interview with Maja Schlüter.

"These principles should not be viewed as universally beneficial in any and every system. They all require a nuanced understanding of how, when, and where they apply, as well as how they interact with or depend on other principles," Maja Schlüter explains.

The book goes through the seven principles, one chapter at the time, assessing the evidence in support of each principle, while discussing their practical application and outlining further research needs. Read more about the book here.

Stockholm Resilience Centre has also produced a popular summary of the book, where each principle is presented along with an example of how it has been applied. Read more and download the summary here

related info

Citation

Biggs, R. M. Schlüter, M.L. Schoon (eds). 2015. Principles for Building Resilience - Sustaining Ecosystem Services in Social-Ecological Systems. Cambridge University Press.

Read more about the book here

Read more and download the summary "Applying resilience" here

Oonsie Biggs' research focuses on regime shifts — large, abrupt, long-lasting changes in the dynamics of coupled social-ecological systems that can have dramatic impacts on human economies and societies.

Maja Schlüter studies the links between the social and ecological systems and how they affect the resilience and governance of Social-Ecological Systems (SES).

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Stockholm Resilience Centre is a collaboration between Stockholm University and the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

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