Monday 5
How does social change in coastal communities influence social learning?
Anne Leitch, Katrina Brown, Ywenn de la Torre, Helene Rey-Valette
› 11:00 - 18:00 (7h)
› Sète
How does social change in coastal communities influence social learning?
Anne Leitch  1@  , Katrina Brown@
1 : ARC Centre of Excellence Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University

The aim of this session is to explore the challenge of social change at the scale of the local coastal community affected and how this change affects social learning and resilience.

Coastal areas around the world are becoming increasingly populated raising considerable challenges for management of social ecological systems: particularly considering increased coastal vulnerability through projected rises in sea levels and increases in extreme weather events. In some coastal areas rapid population increase has resulted in dramatic demographic and landscape change. This transformation is linked to increased community conflict, loss or disruption of local social ecological knowledge, changing landscape values, and increased development pressure on ecosystems. While changes in demographics can disrupt social bonds they may also create new social dynamics thus influencing social learning by the community.

We consider how does social change undermine social learning but also how it might strengthen social learning and so influence resilience of these communities? Firstly, changes in community demographics may lead to changing landscape values, changing perceptions of risk, loss of experiential knowledge of preparation and response to local natural disasters, and changed population stability and availability through increases in non permanent residents. These aspects of population change are likely to reduce social learning through loss of social ecological memory or disruption of social networks which facilitate sharing and production of knowledge. Secondly, how does social change enhance social learning for resilience? Changes in community demographics can bring new resources and services, and diversity of ideas and experience. These may invigorate a community and provide new opportunities for interaction and innovation. We explore these questions through a series of case studies and finally we consider implications and recommendations for decision makers at local and higher scales. 

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