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And second, as one area of development, he will discuss whether changes in social-ecological systems better reflect a gradual or a punctuated equilibrium view of evolutionary development. Current resilience theory has four basic tenets:
i) are self-organising with centripetal dynamics,
ii) have multiple stability domains,
iii) change over time through four phases of an adaptive cycle, and
iv) function at multiple scales with critical cross-scale (panarchy) effects.
Theory development is being shaped by the interplay between theoretical research and its application to resource use issues. It involves questions relating to critical transitions and how to identify them; multiple, interacting thresholds; “evolution" vs. “equilibrium" in system dynamics; governance and the evolution of rules, to name some.
Issues driving application of resilience (feeding back to theory) include climate change, globalisation, how to approach ‘development´ in regions of worsening human wellbeing, and others; all of which call for guidelines on how to do a resilience assessment.
About Brian Walker
Brian Walker is Science Program Director of the Resilience Alliance and an Honorary Fellow in CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, Australia, where he was Chief of the Division of Wildlife and Ecology for 15 years.
Born in Zimbabwe, he had his tertiary education in South Africa and Canada, was a Charles Bullard Fellow at Harvard, lectured at the University of Zimbabwe and was Professor of Botany and Director of the Centre for Resource Ecology at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.
He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering and a Foreign Member of the Swedish Academy of Forestry and Agriculture.