Principles for Building Resilience: Sustaining Ecosystem Services in Social-Ecological Systems

Front Cover
Reinette Biggs, Maja Schlüter, Michael L. Schoon
Cambridge University Press, Apr 2, 2015 - Nature
As both the societies and the world in which we live face increasingly rapid and turbulent changes, the concept of resilience has become an active and important research area. Reflecting the very latest research, this book provides a critical review of the ways in which resilience of social-ecological systems, and the ecosystem services they provide, can be enhanced. With contributions from leaders in the field, the chapters are structured around seven key principles for building resilience: maintain diversity and redundancy; manage connectivity; manage slow variables and feedbacks; foster complex adaptive systems thinking; encourage learning; broaden participation; and promote polycentric governance. The authors assess the evidence in support of these principles, discussing their practical application and outlining further research needs. Intended for researchers, practitioners and graduate students, this is an ideal resource for anyone working in resilience science and for those in the broader fields of sustainability science, environmental management and governance.

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


An introduction to the resilience approach
Politics and the resilience of ecosystem services
Principle 1 Maintain diversity and redundancy
Principle 2 Manage connectivity
Principle 3 Manage slow variables and feedbacks
Principle 5 Encourage learning
Principle 6 Broaden participation
Principle 7 Promote polycentric governance
Reflections on building resilience interactions

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2015)

Reinette (Oonsie) Biggs is a Researcher at the Stockholm Resilience Centre (SRC), Stockholm University, Sweden, and a Research Associate at the Centre for Studies in Complexity, Stellenbosch University, South Africa. Her current research focuses on tipping points and regime shifts in social-ecological systems and their impacts on ecosystem services and human well-being.

Maja Schlter is a Researcher at the SRC, Stockholm University, Sweden, and head of the research group SES-LINK. Her work focuses on the dynamics of social-ecological systems, particularly social-ecological feedbacks leading to traps and transformations in natural resource use in different environments such as river basins, agricultural landscapes and marine ecosystems.

Michael L. Schoon is an Assistant Professor at the School of Sustainability, Arizona State University, USA, focusing on policy and governance in sustainable systems. His current research looks at collaborative, cross-border institutional arrangements covering a range of environmental issues from biodiversity conservation to water sharing to fire management in the Arizona borderlands.

Bibliographic information