Land-use legacies in the Andean region have substantially modified land covers locally, unfolding significant changes over critical social and ecological processes. Although this transformation has been widely documented in some specific contexts, there are still knowledge gaps related to the underlying mechanisms that explain such social-ecological transformation patterns. There is no doubt that effective conservation in the Andes region should recognize the historical and social dimensions that enable social-ecological resilience: the system's ability to deal with change without losing its structure, function, and identity. However, while specific resilience approaches in conservation continue incorporating analysis centered on the response of a system to specific drivers of change, dimensions linked to the benefits of such measures remain unattended. This presentation aims to introduce the resilience approach to our symposium 'Communal territory management and its implications in the conservation of biodiversity in the Andes' using a case study on the resilience and transformation of social-ecological systems in the paramo ecosystems of the Mamapacha-Bijagual complex in Boyacá, Colombia. We collected historical data (semi-structured interviews in paramo communities) on "slow" variables related to key social-ecological processes at the landscape level that explain resilience and provide insights into the benefits of conservation practices perceived by local communities. Our results show that resilience and vulnerability are historical constructions strictly linked to conservation practices and biodiversity use (and production) in the paramo ecosystems. Although conservation practices based on social-ecological systems confer resilience to this Andean landscape, the benefits of such a journey are not always relevant in social terms and are practical leveraging long-term conservation. We draw attention to the need to integrate complex thinking and the social-ecological resilience framework guiding effective conservation practices in Andean landscapes.


Resilience, Social-Ecological Systems, Andean Region, Páramo Ecosystems

Sebastian Restrepo Calle

Presentation within symposium:

S-44 Communal territory management and its implications in the conservation of biodiversity in the Andes

Resilience from whom: understanding social-ecological key processes in the Andean region.