Wastelands transformation: enhancing adaptive capacity of social ecological systems, under the global change

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Samia Sediri

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Adaptive capacity, in the face of environmental change, is crucial for building resilience of coupled social ecological systems across spatial, temporal, and institutional scales. The wastelands “i.e., abandoned lands” redevelopment could help to increase the adaptive capacity (AC) of societies and ecosystems in the face of current and future change. Nonetheless, most regeneration approaches are based on cost and economic benefits sensed estimates of wastelands value after reclamation, especially in France. Our aim is to frame the transformation of wastelands as a strategy to improve social and ecological AC, at local level, that is to say, a way of organizing the action with a view to achieve the resilience and to help human and natural systems to better adapt to environmental global change. We argue the necessity for such a transformation strategy and provide examples from literature with regard to the concept of AC and the potential contribution from applying ecological restoration insights in the management of wastelands. Wastelands transformation could enhance different determinants of AC: 1) at ecological level, mainly: diversity and distribution of species, ecological connectivity, habitat heterogeneity, life history traits, like dispersal capacity, preservation of abiotic parameters; and 2) at the social level, as like as: improving the resources and existing assets; flexibility and alternative development, more participatory and deliberative governance in the planning of regeneration projects; learning and willingness to take adaptive actions. Social and ecological adaptive capacity complement each other, thus, both are crucial for the resilience of the social ecological system.

Resource Type:
Conference Presentation, SER2021

Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program