Social processes promoting the adaptive capacity of rangeland managers to achieve resilience in the Karoo, South Africa
de Villiers, A.C.
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There is a recognized need to find working examples of structures that transfer the abstract concept of resilience to practical action for land management. Holistic Management™ is a decision-making framework promoting an adaptive land management across semi-arid and arid rangelands. We determined if Holistic Management™ promoted adaptive capacity among land managers in comparison to conventional management approaches within the context of the Karoo rangeland, South Africa. An Adaptive Capacity Index was developed which quantified the extent to which practices of land managers were aligned with six key traits of adaptive capacity. Data were collected through face-to-face interviews with 20 self-defined Holistic Management™ land managers and 20 self-defined non-Holistic Management™ land managers. Social capital amongst land managers was explored using a social network analysis. Holistic Management™ land managers demonstrated higher adaptive capacity and greater participation in study groups. Holistic Management™ therefore appears to be a working example of a land management framework that promotes adaptive capacity of land managers in semi-arid to arid rangelands. Holistic Management™ may connect individual decision-makers to collective decision making through social learning networks in the form of study groups. These study groups are thought to promote learning and innovation, which is key for implementing adaptive management.
- RESEARCH: Esler K