Understanding Variability in Adaptive Capacity on Rangelands | Land Portal

Informations sur la ressource

Date of publication: 
décembre 2013
Resource Language: 
ISBN / Resource ID: 
AGRIS:US201600003825
Pages: 
88-94

The art and science of developing effective policies and practices to enhance sustainability and adapt to new climate conditions on rangelands and savannas are typically founded on addressing the “average” or “typical” resource user. However, this assumption is flawed since it does not appreciate the extent of diversity among resource users; it risks that strategies will be irrelevant for many people and ignored, and that the grazing resource itself will remain unprotected. Understanding social heterogeneity is vital for effective natural resource management. Our aim was to understand the extent to which graziers in the northern Australian rangelands varied in their capacity to adapt to climate variability and recommended practices. Adaptive capacity was assessed according to four dimensions: 1) the perception of risk, 2) skills in planning, learning and reorganising, 3) financial and emotional flexibility, and 4) interest in adapting. We conducted 100 face-to-face interviews with graziers in their homes obtaining a 97% response rate. Of the 16 possible combinations that the four dimensions represent, we observed that all combinations were present in the Burdekin. Any single initiative to address grazing land management practices in the region is unlikely to address the needs of all graziers. Rather, policies could be tailored to type-specific needs based on adaptive capacity. Efforts to shift graziers from very low, low, or moderate levels of adaptive capacity are urgently needed. We suggest some strategies.

Auteurs et éditeurs

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

Marshall, Nadine A.
Smajgl, Alex

Publisher(s): 
Society for Range Management logo

The Society for Range Management is the professional scientific society and conservation organization whose members are concerned with studying, conserving, managing and sustaining the varied resources of the rangelands which comprise nearly half the land in the world. Established in 1948, SRM has over 4,000 members in 48 countries, including many developing nations.


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