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Community-Based Conservation and Traditional Ecological Knowledge: Implications for Social-Ecological Resilience

Isabel Ruiz-MallÚn, Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA), Universitat Aut˛noma de Barcelona, Spain
Esteve Corbera, Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA), Universitat Aut˛noma de Barcelona, Spain; School of International Development, University of East Anglia, UK


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Our review highlights how traditional ecological knowledge influences people's adaptive capacity to social-ecological change and identifies a set of mechanisms that contribute to such capacity in the context of community-based biodiversity conservation initiatives. Twenty-three publications, including twenty-nine case studies, were reviewed with the aim of investigating how local knowledge, community-based conservation, and resilience interrelate in social-ecological systems. We highlight that such relationships have not been systematically addressed in regions where a great number of community conservation initiatives are found; and we identify a set of factors that foster people's adaptive capacity to social-ecological change and a number of social processes that, in contrast, undermine such capacity and the overall resilience of the social-ecological system. We suggest that there is a need to further investigate how climate variability and other events affect the joint evolution of conservation outcomes and traditional ecological knowledge, and there is a need to expand the current focus on social factors to explain changes in traditional ecological knowledge and adaptive capacity towards a broader approach that pays attention to ecosystem dynamics and environmental change.

Key words

adaptive capacity; biodiversity conservation; community-based conservation; ecosystem services; local ecological knowledge; natural resource management; social-ecological change; social-ecological resilience; traditional ecological knowledge

Copyright © 2013 by the author(s). Published here under license by The Resilience Alliance. This article is under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. You may share and adapt the work provided the original author and source are credited, you indicate whether any changes were made, and you include a link to the license.

Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087