Glossary

ADAPTIVE MANAGEMENT: Management approach that emphasizes learning and uses structured experimentation in combination with flexibility to foster learning.

ADAPTIVE CO-MANAGEMENT: Explicitly links learning (experiential and experimental) and collaboration to facilitate effective governance.

ADAPTIVE GOVERNANCE: Connects individuals, organizations, agencies, and institutions at multiple organizational levels. Adaptive governance systems often self-organize as social networks with teams and actor groups that form a learning environment to draw on various knowledge systems and experiences to tackle complex environmental issues.

CONNECTIVITY: The way and degree to which resources, species, or social actors disperse, migrate, or interact across ecological and social landscapes.

COMPLEX ADAPTIVE SYSTEM (CAS): A system of interconnected components that has the capacity to adapt and self-organize in response to internal or external disturbance or change.

CROSS-SCALE: A study or process that addresses multiple spatial and/or temporal scales and focuses explicitly on how they interact.

DIVERSITY: Includes three interrelated aspects: variety (how many different elements), balance (how many of each element), and disparity (how different the elements are from one another).ECOSYSTEM SERVICES: The benefits that people obtain from ecosystems, including direct products (e.g. water, crops), processes that regulate environmental conditions (e.g. floods, climate), as well as recreational, aesthetic and spiritual benefits.

FEEDBACKS: A mechanism, process, or signal that loops back to influence the SES component emitting the signal or initiating the mechanism or process.

FUNCTIONAL REDUNDANCY: The presence of species or system elements that can functionally compensate for one another.

MENTAL MODELS: Peoples’ cognitive representations of external reality.

MULTI-SCALE: A study or process that includes two or more different levels of organization.

NESTED INSTITUTIONS: Sets of rules that are hierarchically nested at several different scales to address problems or challenges confronted at different temporal and spatial scales.

INSTITUTIONS: The norms and rules governing human interactions. These can be formal, such as rules and laws, but also informal, such as norms and conventions of society.

POLYCENTRICITY: A governance system in which there are multiple interacting governing bodies with autonomy to make and enforce rules within a specific policy arena and geography.

RESILIENCE: The capacity of a system – be it a landscape, a coastal area or a city – to deal with change and continue to develop. This means the capacity to withstand shocks and disturbances such as a financial crisis or use such an event to catalyse renewal and innovation.

SCALE: Extent and/or resolution of a process or analysis, or the level of organization of a phenomenon or process, e.g. field, farm, region, country.

SLOW VARIABLES: A variable whose rate of change is slow in relation to the timescales of ecosystem service provision and management, and is therefore often considered constant.

SOCIAL-ECOLOGICAL SYSTEM (SES): A coupled system of humans and nature that constitutes a complex adaptive system with ecological and social components that interact dynamically through various feedbacks.