ISPAM Resources

Systems Thinking and Adaptive Governance

Benefiting from complexity thinking

This book chapter characterizes complexity, frames protected areas as part of a social-ecological system, and provides strategies and examples of how to engage complexity as a benefit to the system.

Systems thinking for planning and evaluating conservation interventions

This paper focuses on how systems thinking can be applied to conservation through systems mapping. The process can target changes and inform decision-making and evaluation that support a more adaptive and responsive system.

Transformative conservation in social-ecological systems

This discussion paper for the 2021 World Conservation Congress discusses transformative conservation through a systems lens, offers examples of transformative conservation in practice, and alignment with IUCN’s Nature 2030: One Nature, One Future program.

Exploring the social-ecological systems discourse 20 years later

This synthesis paper provides an overview of the social-ecological systems research of the past two decades including three commonly used frameworks.

Adaptive Governance of Social-Ecological Systems

A foundational article on key social dimensions of adaptive governance and sources of resilience for adaptability and transformation.

Cross-scale feedbacks and Resilience of Protected Areas

The article discusses the role of institutional and spatial scale in social, political, and economic aspects in the resiliency of protected areas.

Decade of Adaptive Governance Scholarship

Synthesis article of research and scholarship of adaptive governance over the past decade that informs a research agenda for the future on this topic.

IUCN Resilience Thinking Perspective

A document developed by the IUCN Resilience Theme group that connects twelve ecosystem approach principles with resilience thinking perspective.

Navigating Transitions to Adaptive Governance

The article compares case studies from Sweden, Thailand, and Australia to assess how diverse governance influences outcomes for transforming social-ecological systems.

Protected Areas as Social-Ecological Systems

Applies social-ecological system theory to protected areas and discusses the role of ecosystem services, connectivity, and relationships between people and nature.

Resilience Thinking

A foundational article on key components of resilience, adaptability, and transformability in the context of social-ecological systems.

Video on Systems Thinking: