5.2 Adaptive Assessment and Management

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Managing resilience involves a knowledge-based approach to interventions.

Knowing when, where, and how to intervene can be informed by an adaptive management approach that involves probing the system in an experimental way to gain understanding of system dynamics. Equally important to considering which interventions to make, is knowing what not to do, and knowing when to stop current activities that are harmful to the long-term sustainability of a system.

Key Messages

• The core feature of adaptive assessment and management is the development of a model of some kind that attempts to integrate understanding of the system from various disciplines.

• With adaptive management the system model is used to pose questions about how the system might behave, rather than attempt to predict policy consequences. These questions are evaluated or tested over time through management actions, monitoring the results, and updating the model accordingly.

• Rather than continue a set of exercises to develop an Adaptive Assessment and Management program, the reader is encouraged to pursue the development of a program with the aid of key references provided in Appendix A.


The development of a new or critical review of an existing Adaptive Assessment and Management program is the logical next step following the completion of a resilience assessment. The results of the resilience assessment should allow the social-ecological system stakeholders to hold an informed discussion on what they need to do about the resilience of their region.



5.1 Interventions

5.2 Adaptive Assessment and Management

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