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Culturally grounded indicators of resilience in social-ecological systems


Eleanor Sterling
Tamara Ticktin
Tē Kipa Kepa Morgan
Georgina Cullman
Diana Alvira
Pelika Andrade
Nadia Bergamini
Erin Betley
Kate Burrows
Sophie Caillon
Joachim Claudet
Rachel Dacks
Pablo Eyzaguirre
Chris Filardi
Nadav Gazit
Stacy Jupiter
Joe McCarter
Manuel Mejia
Kanoe Morishige
Jennifer Newell
Lihla Noori
John Parks
Pua‘ala Pascua
Ashwin Ravikumar
Jamie Tanguay
Amanda Sigouin
Tina Stege
Mark Stege
Alaka Wali



Publication type:

Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Primary Station(s):

Pacific Southwest Research Station


Environment and Society. 8(1): 63-95


Measuring progress toward sustainability goals is a multifaceted task. International, regional, and national organizations and agencies seek to promote resilience and capacity for adaptation at local levels. However, their measurement systems may be poorly aligned with local contexts, cultures, and needs. Understanding how to build effective, culturally grounded measurement systems is a fundamental step toward supporting adaptive management and resilience in the face of environmental, social, and economic change. To identify patterns and inform future efforts, we review seven case studies and one framework regarding the development of culturally grounded indicator sets. Additionally, we explore ways to bridge locally relevant indicators and those of use at national and international levels. The process of identifying and setting criteria for appropriate indicators of resilience in social-ecological systems needs further documentation, discussion, and refinement, particularly regarding capturing feedbacks between biological and social-cultural elements of systems.


Sterling, Eleanor; Ticktin, Tamara; Kipa Kepa Morgan, Tē; Cullman, Georgina; Alvira, Diana; Andrade, Pelika; Bergamini, Nadia; Betley, Erin; Burrows, Kate; Caillon, Sophie; Claudet, Joachim; Dacks, Rachel; Eyzaguirre, Pablo; Filardi, Chris; Gazit, Nadav; Giardina, Christian; Jupiter, Stacy; Kinney, Kealohanuiopuna; McCarter, Joe; Mejia, Manuel; Morishige, Kanoe; Newell, Jennifer; Noori, Lihla; Parks, John; Pascua, Pua‘ala; Ravikumar, Ashwin; Tanguay, Jamie; Sigouin, Amanda; Stege, Tina; Stege, Mark; Wali, Alaka. 2017. Culturally grounded indicators of resilience in social-ecological systems. Environment and Society. 8(1): 63-95.


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