Adaptive Management and Integrative Assessments

L Gunderson, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA © 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Background Adaptive Management

Confronting Complexity Summary

Integrative Assessments Further Reading

Adaptive management is an approach for planning and managing natural resource systems. It is based on a perception of ecosystems as complex, dynamic systems that have a large degree of unpredictability. Hence, it was proposed as a learning-based approach that confronts inherent uncertainties and complexities of resource systems. As originally described, adaptive management is not a trial and error approach to management. That is, it utilizes scientific approaches to design actions that generate learning and understanding. Nor is it an approach that updates management action as new information becomes available. While it has these elements, it is an approach that is structured to learn while doing, and to attempt to make that learning efficient in order to winnow key resource uncertainties.

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