Resilience Practice (Paperback)

Building Capacity to Absorb Disturbance and Maintain Function

By Brian Walker, PhD, David Salt

Island Press, 9781597268011, 248pp.

Publication Date: August 6, 2012

Other Editions of This Title:
Hardcover (8/6/2012)

List Price: 29.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


In 2006, Resilience Thinking addressed an essential question: As the natural systems that sustain us are subjected to shock after shock, how much can they take and still deliver the services we need from them? This idea caught the attention of both the scientific community and the general public.

In Resilience Practice, authors Brian Walker and David Salt take the notion of resilience one step further, applying resilience thinking to real-world situations and exploring how systems can be managed to promote and sustain resilience.

The book begins with an overview and introduction to resilience thinking and then takes the reader through the process of describing systems, assessing their resilience, and intervening as appropriate. Following each chapter is a case study of a different type of social-ecological system and how resilience makes a difference to that system in practice. The final chapters explore resilience in other arenas, including on a global scale.
Resilience Practice will help people with an interest in the “coping capacity” of systems—from farms and catchments to regions and nations—to better understand how resilience thinking can be put into practice. It offers an easy-to-read but scientifically robust guide through the real-world application of the concept of resilience and is a must read for anyone concerned with the management of systems at any scale.

About the Author

Brian Walker is a Research Fellow in Australia’s CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences, Visiting Researcher in the Stockholm Resilience Centre, and Chair of the Resilience Alliance. David Salt is a science and environment writer at the Australian National University, and has more than two decades experience writing and producing popular science magazines and books. Both authors live in Canberra, Australia.

Praise For Resilience Practice: Building Capacity to Absorb Disturbance and Maintain Function

"Brian Walker and David Salt have written a thoughtful and powerful book to help resource users and managers put resilience thinking into practice and aim toward increasing the sustainability of our world. I urge public officials, scholars, and students in public policy programs to place this volume on their list of must-read books. It is a powerful antidote to the overly simplified proposals too often offered as solutions to contemporary problems at multiple scales."

— Elinor Ostrom

"Since publication of the neat little classic Resilience Thinking in 2006, the core ideas of resilience have escaped most deliciously to seed thinking everywhere about moving beyond the linear paradigms that so often drive system breakdowns and crises. With Resilience Practice, Walker and Salt passionately extend their practical wisdom while ensuring that the rigorous tools people need to deploy resilience theory are not lost to colloquial useage."

— Ken Wilson

"Resilience is an important concept for managing Earth's life support systems. Yet practitioners complain that 'everyone talks about resilience, but no one knows how to manage it.' Walker and Salt provide a practical guide written in clear, simple language, with a rich endowment of examples. This is the most important book of the year for environmental managers and scientists."

— Stephen R. Carpenter

"This was the answer I was looking for... This book is heavy on procedure and questions, both of which can be helpful to planners and managers for whom resilience planning is new territory."

— Natural Areas Journal

"Resilience Practice emerges as a readable, friendly guide to planetary preservation, intended to foster hope and corrective action in order to improve future prospects for a human-friendly Earth."

— BioScience

"...a classical handbook in resilience practice. You need considerable time to reflect on many of the issues addressed, but in this sense the book will have a long and active life on the bookshelf—the best sign of a useful handbook."

— Ecological Restoration