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Resilience Thinking: Sustaining Ecosystems and People in a Changing World

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Resilience Thinking: Sustaining Ecosystems and People in a Changing World Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Increasingly, cracks are appearing in the capacity of communities, ecosystems, and landscapes to provide the goods and services that sustain our planet's well-being. The response from most quarters has been for "more of the same" that created the situation in the first place: more control, more intensification, and greater efficiency. Resilience Thinking offers a different way of understanding the world and a new approach to managing resources. It embraces human and natural systems as complex entities continually adapting through cycles of change, and seeks to understand the qualities of a system that must be maintained or enhanced in order to achieve sustainability. It explains why greater efficiency by itself cannot solve resource problems and offers a constructive alternative that opens up options rather than closing them down.

In Resilience Thinking, scientist Brian Walker and science writer David Salt present an accessible introduction to the emerging paradigm of resilience. The book arose out of appeals from colleagues in science and industry for a plainly written account of what resilience is all about and how a resilience approach differs from current practices. Rather than complicated theory, the book offers a conceptual overview along with five case studies of resilience thinking in the real world. It is an engaging and important work for anyone interested in managing risk in a complex world.

About the Author

Brian Walker is past Chief of Australia's CSIRO Division of Wildlife and Ecology and is currently the Program Director of the Resilience Alliance. He spent the first 30 years of his professional life studying how ecosystems function, and the last 10 studying the dynamics of linked social-ecological systems.David Salt is a science writer and editor with 18 years experience writing and producing popular science magazines and newsletters for a wide range of audiences. He served as Communications Manager at CSIRO Wildlife and Ecology (while Brian Walker was Chief).

Table of Contents





Chapter 1. Living in a Complex World: An Introduction to Resilience Thinking

-Case Study 1: Carving up a National Icon: The Florida Everglades


Chapter 2. The System Rules: Creating a Mind Space for Resilience Thinking

-Case Study 2: Between a (Salt) Rock and a Hard Place: The Goulburn-Broken Catchment, Australia


Chapter 3. Crossing the Threshold: Be Careful about the Path You Choose—You May Not Be Able to Return

-Case Study 3: Losing the Jewel in the Crown: The Coral Reefs of the Caribbean


Chapter 4. In the Loop: Phases, Cycles, and Scales—Adaptive Cycles and How Systems Change

-Case Study 4: Scenarios on the Lakes: The Northern Highlands Lake District, Wisconsin


Chapter 5. Making Sense of Resilience: How Do You Apply Resilience Thinking?

-Case Study 5: Building Resilience in the Wetlands: The Kristianstads Vattenrike, Sweden


Chapter 6. Creating Space in a Shrinking World: Resilience and Sustainability


Postscript for a Resilient World

Further Reading



About the Authors


Product Details

Brian Walker and David Salt
Island Press
Foreword by:
Reid, Walter
Reid, Walter
Walker, Brian
Reid, Walter
Salt, David
Walker, B. H.
Natural Resources
Human ecology
System Theory
Environmental Conservation & Protection - General
Sustainable Development
Environmental Studies-Environment
Edition Description:
Publication Date:
August 2006
figures, photos, maps, boxes
9 x 6 in

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