Linking Social, Ecological, and Environmental Systems

Tim R. McClanahan and Joshua E. Cinner

in Adapting to a Changing Environment

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780199754489
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199918843 | DOI:
Linking Social, Ecological, and Environmental Systems

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  • Biodiversity and Conservation Biology


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Across the western Indian Ocean, coastal communities vary dramatically in social, ecological, and environmental conditions, with profound implications for resource management and climate change adaptation policies. This chapter develops a framework for understanding key local contextual conditions related to how vulnerable coastal societies are to climate change based on an integrated assessment of environmental exposure, ecosystem conditions, and social adaptive capacity. Critically, this information can be used to prioritize pragmatic, local-scale conservation and adaptation actions. The current emphasis on the creation of large fisheries closures to build ecological resilience and minimize climate change impacts is most likely to be successful in regions where high adaptive capacity and low exposure intersect. Other regions will require more focus on moderate resource-use restrictions and enhancing adaptive capacity.

Keywords: adaptive capacity; climate change; framework; conservation; protected area; vulnerability

Chapter.  5323 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Biodiversity and Conservation Biology

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