Resilience Thinking: Sustaining Ecosystems and People in a Changing World

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Island Press, Jun 22, 2012 - Nature - 192 pages
Increasingly, cracks are appearing in the capacity of communities, ecosystems, and landscapes to provide the goods and services that sustain our planet's well-being. The response from most quarters has been for "more of the same" that created the situation in the first place: more control, more intensification, and greater efficiency.
"Resilience thinking" offers a different way of understanding the world and a new approach to managing resources. It embraces human and natural systems as complex entities continually adapting through cycles of change, and seeks to understand the qualities of a system that must be maintained or enhanced in order to achieve sustainability. It explains why greater efficiency by itself cannot solve resource problems and offers a constructive alternative that opens up options rather than closing them down.
In Resilience Thinking, scientist Brian Walker and science writer David Salt present an accessible introduction to the emerging paradigm of resilience. The book arose out of appeals from colleagues in science and industry for a plainly written account of what resilience is all about and how a resilience approach differs from current practices. Rather than complicated theory, the book offers a conceptual overview along with five case studies of resilience thinking in the real world. It is an engaging and important work for anyone interested in managing risk in a complex world.


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Page 4 - The number of species on the planet is declining. Over the past few hundred years, humans have increased the species extinction rate by as much as 1,000 times over background rates typical over the planet's history (medium certainty), [referenced chart not copied here] Some 10-30 percent of mammal, bird, and amphibian species are currently threatened with extinction (medium to high certainty).

About the author (2012)

Brian Walker is a Research Fellow in Australia’s CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences, Visiting Researcher in the Stockholm Resilience Centre, and Chair of the Resilience Alliance.

David Salt is a science and environment writer at the Australian National University, and has more than two decades experience writing and producing popular science magazines and books.

Both authors live in Canberra, Australia.

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