Evidence of past resilience



Thinking about resilience of coupled social–ecological systems in Australia is relatively new. Resilience assessments have been made in a small number of places and several more are under way. Figure 8.19 summarises historical changes in the Goulburn Broken catchment in Victoria and shows a model of 10 slow-changing processes that are thought to be major determinants of the future characteristics of the catchment.202 The resilience of this system is largely determined by how close these slow-changing variables get to thresholds of change that could fundamentally alter the characteristics of the catchment, and how well prepared decision-makers and land managers are to detect change and take timely action at relevant scales. Similarly, a resilience analysis in the Namoi catchment in New South Wales identified key slow-changing variables and suggested that social wellbeing and the adaptive capacity of human residents of the catchment were major determinants of the state and trends in biodiversity and other resources, and were dependent on those resources.161

Cork S (2011). Biodiversity: Evidence of past resilience. In: Australia state of the environment 2011, Australian Government Department of the Environment and Energy, Canberra, https://soe.environment.gov.au/science/soe/2011-report/8-biodiversity/5-resilience/5-1-evidence, DOI 10.4226/94/58b65ac828812