Top video: Professor Stephen Carpenter from Zoology Department, University of Winsonsin, explains the concept of resilience.
Resilience refers to the capacity of a social-ecological system both to withstand perturbations from for instance climate or economic shocks and to rebuild and renew itself afterwards.
Loss of resilience can cause loss of valuable ecosystem services, and may even lead to rapid transitions or shifts into qualitatively different situations and configurations, evident in, for instance people, ecosystems, knowledge systems, or whole cultures.
The resilience lens provides a new framework for analyzing social—ecological systems in a changing world facing many uncertainties and challenges. It represents an area of explorative research under rapid development with major policy implications for sustainable development.
Sometimes change is gradual and things move forward in roughly continuous and predictable ways. At other times, change is sudden, disorganizing and turbulent reflected in climate impacts, earth system science challenges and vulnerable regions. Evidence points to a situation where periods of such abrupt change are likely to increase in frequency and magnitude. This challenges the adaptive capacity of societies.
The resilience approach focuses on the dynamic interplay between periods of gradual and sudden change and how to adapt to and shape change.
Research at the Stockholm Resilience Centre will address these challenges in order to generate a deeper understanding of interdependent social-ecological systems for improved governance and policy.