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Land use planning in the Amazon basin: challenges from resilience thinking

Cesar A Ruiz Agudelo, Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano, Programa de Doctorado en Ciencias Ambientales y Sostenibilidad, Bogota, Colombia
Nestor Mazzeo, South American Institute for Resilience and Sustainability Studies, SARAS, Maldonado Uruguay; Departamento de Ecología y Gestión Ambiental, CURE, Universidad de la República, Maldonado-Uruguay
Ismael Díaz, Departamento de Ecología y Gestión Ambiental, CURE, Universidad de la República, Maldonado-Uruguay
Maria P Barral, INTA, Centro Regional Buenos Aires Sur. Estación Experimental Agropecuaria Balcarce, Argentina; Grupo de Estudio de Agroecosistemas y Paisajes Rurales, Facultad de Ciencias Agrarias, Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata, Balcarce, Argentina
Gervasio Piñeiro, Instituto de Investigaciones Ecológicas y Fisiológicas Vinculadas a la Agricultura (IFEVA-CONICET), Facultad de Agronomía, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina
Isabel Gadino, Departamento de Ecología y Gestión Ambiental, CURE, Universidad de la República, Maldonado-Uruguay
Ingid Roche, Departamento de Ecología y Gestión Ambiental, CURE, Universidad de la República, Maldonado-Uruguay
Rocio Juliana Acuña-Posada, Conservation International Foundation - Colombia

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5751/ES-11352-250108

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Abstract

Amazonia is under threat. Biodiversity and redundancy loss in the Amazon biome severely limits the long-term provision of key ecosystem services in diverse spatial scales (local, regional, and global). Resilience thinking attempts to understand the mechanisms that ensure a system’s capacity to recover in the face of external pressures, trauma, or disturbances, as well as changes in its internal dynamics. Resilience thinking also promotes relevant transformations of system configurations considered adverse or nonsustainable, and therefore proposes the simultaneous analysis of the adaptive capacity and the transformation of a system. In this context, seven principles have been proposed, which are considered crucial for social-ecological systems to become resilient. These seven principles of resilience thinking are analyzed in terms of the land use planning and land management of the Amazonian biome. To comprehend its main conflicts, challenges, and opportunities, we reveal the key aspects of the historical process of Latin America’s land management and the Amazon basin’s past and current land use changes. Based on this review, the Amazon region shows two concrete challenges for resilience: (1) the natural system’s fragmentation, as a consequence of land use limiting key ecological processes, and (2) the cultural and institutional fragmentation of land use projects designed and partially implemented in the region. In addition, the region presents challenges related to institutional design, the expansion and strengthening of real participation spaces, and the promotion of social learning. Finally, polycentric and adaptive governance is itself a major, urgent need for this region and its social-ecological complexity.

Key words

Amazon basin; land use planning; Latin America; resilience principles

Copyright © 2020 by the author(s). Published here under license by The Resilience Alliance. This article  is under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.  You may share and adapt the work for noncommercial purposes provided the original author and source are credited, you indicate whether any changes were made, and you include a link to the license.

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Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087