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A Framework for Resilience-based Governance of Social-Ecological Systems

Ahjond S Garmestani, Environmental Protection Agency, USA
Melinda Harm Benson, University of New Mexico, USA


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Panarchy provides a heuristic to characterize the cross-scale dynamics of social-ecological systems and a framework for how governance institutions should behave to be compatible with the ecosystems they manage. Managing for resilience will likely require reform of law to account for the dynamics of social-ecological systems and achieve a substantive mandate that accommodates the need for adaptation. In this paper, we suggest expansive legal reform by identifying the principles of reflexive law as a possible mechanism for achieving a shift to resilience-based governance and leveraging cross-scale dynamics to provide resilience-based responses to increasingly challenging environmental conditions.

Key words

adaptive governance; adaptive management; environmental governance; intermediaries; panarchy; reflexive law; resilience; resilience-based governance
Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087