Monday 5
Integrating resilience into conservation science and practice
Duan Biggs
› 11:05 - 18:00 (6h55)
› Centre du Scamandre Vauvert
Applying resilience thinking to large-scale conservation (part of the "conservation and resilience" session)
Angela Guerrero  1, 2@  
1 : Centre of excellence for Environmental Decisions  (CEED)  -  Website
2 : The University of Queensland  -  Website
Brisbane QLD 4072 Australia -  Australie

Effective biodiversity conservation is about making changes. These changes often require small scale transformation to achieve large-scale ecosystem resilience to biodiversity threats. For example, changes of management practices at the property level (e.g. protection of vegetation patches, revegetation, or changing land use from farming to conservation) are required in order to achieve ecological connectivity at the landscape scale. Our study applies two key aspects of resilience thinking to biodiversity conservation: Effective biodiversity conservation efforts require 1) consideration of the interdependencies that exist between scalar levels and 2) consideration of the linkages between social and bio-physical domains. We utilise data from a case of biodiversity conservation efforts in the south west of Australia where ecological connectivity objectives are sought in a system dominated by private farmland with scattered remnants of vegetation amid two large national park systems. The social ecological system is represented as a network of interacting components. We study the collaborative processes that take place between actors in the governance system (landholders, community groups, government and nongovernment organisations) who operate at different scalar levels and are connected to different components of the ecological system i.e. vegetation patches. We employ ecological connectivity analysis and Exponential Random Graph Models (ERGMs) to analyse the network structure, or pattern of interactions, and reveal aspects that can affect attainment of connectivity objectives. We highlight important priority areas in the governance system because of their connections to key vegetation patches, identify gaps in the connectivity of the governance system i.e. collaboration gaps, assess the extent of cross-scale collaboration, and assess the vulnerability of the system to changes in the governance network. Transforming social ecological systems require an understanding of the social processes that drive change; what enables them, how they relate to bio-physical aspects of importance, and their adequacy in relation to the characteristics of the outcome sought. Our study demonstrates how network analysis methods can be employed to facilitate such understandings, and has implications for how collaboration partnerships are developed on the ground to increase the likelihood of success of large-scale biodiversity conservation efforts.

 


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