Operationalizing vulnerability for social-ecological integration in conservation and natural resource management

Abstract : Sustaining human well-being is intimately linked to maintaining productive and healthy ecosystems. Avoiding trade-offs and fostering co-benefits is however challenging. Here, we present an operational approach that integrates biodiversity conservation , human development, and natural resource management by (1) examining resource and resource user interactions through the lens of social-ecological vulnerability (i.e., encompassing exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity); (2) identifying "ecocentric" and "sociocentric" interventions that directly address the ecological or social sources of vulnerability; (3) prioritizing those expected to yield co-benefits and minimize trade-offs; and (4) selecting interventions that are best suited to the broader local context. Application of this approach to a coral reef fishery in French Polynesia recommended a portfolio of development-, livelihood-, and ecosystem-based interventions , thus suggesting a shift from the current resource-focused approach toward a more social-ecological perspective. Our vulnerability-based approach provides practitioners with a valuable tool for broadening their set of management options, leading to escape from panacea traps.
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Lauric Thiault, Stefan Gelcich, Nadine Marshall, Paul Marshall, Frédérique Chlous, et al.. Operationalizing vulnerability for social-ecological integration in conservation and natural resource management. Conservation Letters, Wiley, 2019, ⟨10.1111/conl.12677⟩. ⟨hal-02376481⟩

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