Contributed session - Multi-level governance and biosphere stewardship
C3 (180)
11:00 - 12:30
Chair/s:
Christo Fabricius
When risk mitigation results in vulnerability transfers: Insights from the Garden Route socio-ecological system
Chloe Guerbois, Christo Fabricius
Sustainability Research Unit, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa, George, South Africa
The contribution of ecological infrastructures to the resilience of socio-ecological systems is often overlooked when an adaptation is framed as a risk reduction. Common responses to risk translate into small-scale landscape transformations supported by economic investments in hard infrastructure. This often leads to a positive feedback loop of further environmental degradation requiring additional investments. Individuals engage in specific arms races but what are the consequences at the system level?
Based on semi-structured interviews with decision makers and residents around the Garden Route National Park (South Africa), we assessed the contribution of ecological infrastructures to place meaning and attachment, the perceived risks associated with global change and the impact of adaptation strategies on ecological infrastructures. Including stories of historical interventions on the landscape, we analysed the interplay between place attachment and risk management to unravel some feedbacks between adaptation and resilience using a systemic perspective.
Our case study demonstrate that risk management requires a systemic integration of environmental and social dynamics. Ecosystems are fundamental service providers that can effectively help to learn about and mitigate natural and anthropogenic risks. Further, in some place, ecosystems may also shape humans’ sense of place, feeling of security, and overall adaptive capacity. Our results provide some insights that can assist decision makers and residents to consider more carefully the long term and systemic impact of hard infrastructure development for risk reduction but also contribute to broader reflection on transformations. Landscape transformations should focus on increasing adaptive capacity rather than on controlling hazards, which may induce vulnerability transfers through the degradation of common pool resources and other ecosystem services.

Presenter/s:
Chloe Guerbois
Presentation type:
Contributed session oral presentation
Room:
C3 (180)
Chair/s:
Christo Fabricius
Date:
Wednesday, 23 August
Time:
11:00 - 12:30
Session times:
11:00 - 12:30