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African Health Sciences
Makerere University Medical School
ISSN: 1680-6905
EISSN: 1729-0503
Vol. 8, No. s1, 2008, pp. S28-S35
Bioline Code: hs08061
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

African Health Sciences, Vol. 8, No. s1, 2008, pp. S28-S35

 en Exploring the Dynamics of social-ecological resilience in East and West Africa:Preliminary evidence from Tanzania and Niger
Strauch, AM; Muller, JM & Almedom, AM

Abstract

Background: Social-ecological resilience refers to the dynamic process of adaptive learning, reorganization and meaning-making demonstrated in linked human, animal, and plant ecosystems often organized in formal and/or informal social institutions, as they anticipate, withstand and/or judiciously engage with adversity while maintaining function without fundamentally losing their identity.
Objective: To present two sets of examples that illustrate the complex ways in which transformation and persistence, two key aspects of the adaptive cycle may work together to preserve established patterns of human and/or animal uses of water resources and food plant species, in rural East and West Africa, respectively around the Serengeti National Park (Tanzania), and "Park W" (Niger), with the aim of identifying possible indicators of social-ecological resilience.
Methods: Selective combinations of ecological and anthropological, quantitative and qualitative methods, including participatory tools of investigation and analysis.
Results and Discussion: Our preliminary results are presented with minimal commentary and discussion in order to avoid hasty and/or unwarranted interpretation of the ongoing purposely iterative processes of investigation and analysis in the two study sites. Nevertheless we have identified a number of possible indicators of social-ecological resilience that may be tested in other localities in Africa and elsewhere.

Keywords
Social-ecological resilience, Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK), Traditional Resource Management (TRM), interdisciplinary research, Sonjo, Zarma, Serengeti, Park W.

 
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