Tuesday 6
Social-ecological resilience indicators: a participatory tool to measure landscape resilience
Nadia Bergamini, Dunja Mijatovic, Pablo Eyzaguirre
› 11:30 - 12:30 (1h)
Social-ecological resilience indicators: a participatory tool to measure landscape resilience
Nadia Bergamini  1@  , Dunja Mijatovic  1@  , Pablo Eyzaguirre  1, *@  
1 : Bioversity International
* : Corresponding author

Chair: Pablo Eyzaguirre

Format: Traditional talks

Speakers: Eyzaguirre, others not identified

Development approaches that ignore the contribution of genetic, species and landscape diversity to resilience are likely to further decrease the ability of landscapes and rural communities to cope with and adapt to changing climatic, ecological and social conditions. (Agricultural) biodiversity plays a crucial role in strategies to cope with and adapt to the quickening pace and unpredictability of change in drylands, wetlands, coastal, mountain and forest environments around the world. Greater integration in the management of resources (e.g. forest, water) and various components of agricultural biodiversity (e.g. trees, pollinators, crops, soil biodiversity) can have a positive effect on resilience while contributing to conservation and development goals.

To obtain a clearer understanding of the components of landscape resilience, but also to empower local communities and provide them with the tools to asses and increase resilience, a set of indicators was developedas a Satoyama collaborative effort between Bioversity International and UNU-IAS. The indicators are based on a social-ecological systems theory and an analysis of farmers' experiences from around the world that show that, to increase climate change resilience, agricultural biodiversity needs to be maintained or increased at the level of the landscape, the farming system and the species in a way that encourages the positive inter-linkages between these scales (Mijatovic et al. 2013). Twenty social-ecological indicators have been identified and grouped into four categories: biodiversity conservation and ecosystem services; agricultural biodiversity; knowledge, learning and innovation; and social equity and infrastructure.

The idea behind the development of these indicators was to create an analytical framework for assessing and building local strategies to strengthen resilience through adaptation, innovation and the sustainable use of biodiversity. These indicators differ from conventional indicators of ecosystem health (species richness, nutrient and water recycling, soil productivity, etc) as they also capture the social dimension and provide an historical view of the landscape.

These indicators are being piloted in various countries to enable the development of participatory transformative strategies that reflect local priorities negotiated among representatives from local communities, the government, academia and the private sector. A comparative study was conducted in which data and information obtained applying the indicators in Kenya, Bolivia and Nepal were compared to identify the main drivers of change and resilience regarding the use and conservation of agricultural biodiversity in the context of climate change adaptation. The indicators proved helpful in reaching a common understanding of threats and solutions, and defining resilience-strengthening strategies. These strategies, which include ecosystem restoration, diversification of production systems and greater access to seed diversity and knowledge, can make a significant contribution to local development. For example, diversification of production systems reduces the risk of harvest failure while creating new income opportunities.

This session is designed to inform audience about the indicators and their use and to increase their visibility and uptake, as useful participatory instrument, in community based project and interventions. The scope of the session is also to discuss gaps in the indicators' methodology and suggestions for improvement.


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