Wednesday 7
Metrics for Adaptive Capacity and Resilience
Fabrice Declerck
› 11:30 - 11:30 ()
› Antigone 1
Metrics for Adaptive Capacity and Resilience
Fabrice Declerck  1@  
1 : Bioversity International  (Bioversity)  -  Website
Bioversity International

The growing recognition of the role of natural resources and ecosystems play in sustainable development highlights the need for a robust and operational systems of metrics that for setting baselines and monitoring the transformation of socio-ecological systems where poverty persists. The CGIAR, the Nature Conservancy, the Stockholm Resilience Center, and the Wildlife Conservation Society are embarking on a collaborative effort to develop a system of metrics to support development projects that bridge biodiversity conservation and human development goals. Natural resource and ecosystem service based metrics service several important roles. First and foremost they allow the community of partners (research, government representatives, conservation or development groups) committed to progress in a specific area to assess where progress is being made, and where it is blocked. It thus serves a critical role in learning and adaptive management of conservation and development programs. Metrics are also important for understanding priorities and to assure constituencies that assistance efforts and investments are yielding desired outcomes.

The specific objective of this dialogue session is to present, and receive critical feedback from the conference participants on a system of metrics under development by the CGIAR and partners to measure adaptive capacity and resilience of farming communities and agricultural landscapes in developing countries.

While biophysical measures are suitable for measuring state characteristics, however alone, they fail to provide sufficient information of the how systems respond to change. Integrated measures are specifically needed to understand emergent properties of systems, and socio-ecological threshold. Of particular importance is to understand how to measure system adaptive capacity and resilience. Adaptive capacity is defined as the “potential, capability, or ability of a system to adapt to change stimuli, whether climate based, economic, or other, and effects of impacts”. This implies that adaptive capacity has the potential to reduce the damages of external stressors, or to increase their benefits. Adaptive capacity and resilience therefore affect a system's vulnerability to the stresses, along with the system's sensitivity and exposure. Understanding a system's adaptive capacity and resilience assists with better management of climate risks and increases resilience to these risks. Several schools of though exist for assessing adaptive capacity including economic resources, technology, information and skills, infrastructure, institutions, equity, social capital and collective resources. Key measures of resilience include diversity, modularity, connectivity, and feedback loops. In many cases this involves novel measures and methods, such as the use of graph theory to evaluate connectivity or modularity of natural (wildlife corridors and fragmentation), built (roads and communities) or institutional (e.g. communication, extension, markets) components of socioecological systems.


We will use the first 15-20 minutes to present progress on our measures of adaptive capacity and resilience, and the remaining time to engage in dialogue with conference participants on the utility of these metrics. Participant feedback will be used to refine our measures which will eventually be incorporated in performance based measures used by the CGIAR. 

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