Building resilience to climate change through adaptive management of natural resources

TitleBuilding resilience to climate change through adaptive management of natural resources
Publication TypeTyndall Working Paper
SeriesTyndall Centre Working Papers
Tyndall Consortium Institution


Secondary TitleTyndall Centre Working Paper 27
AuthorsTompkins, E., and W. N. Adger
Year of Publication2003

Emerging insights from adaptive ecosystem management and new institutional economics suggest that building resilience into both human and ecological systems is the optimal way to deal with future surprises, or unknowable risks. But do these emerging insights have implications for policies and strategies for responding to anthropogenic climate change? We review perspectives on collective action for natural resource management and use insights from this area to inform our understanding of climate response capacity and to demonstrate the importance of social acceptance of strategies that build social and ecological resilience. All societies need to enhance their response capacity to face future climate impacts that could lie outside their experienced coping range. The challenge, posed at both the scale of local natural resource management and at the scale of international agreements and actions, is to promote adaptive capacity in the context of competing sustainable development objectives. This theoretical argument is illustrated by an example of present day collective action for community-based coastal management in Trinidad and Tobago.

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