The development and application of strategic adaptive management within South African National Parks

28 November 2011

Adaptive management is an appealing approach to deal with inherent uncertainty in complex and interactive social-ecological systems (Holling 2001; Rogers 2003). In short, adaptive management is about learning-by-doing in a scientific way, adapting behaviour and overall direction as new information becomes available. It provides a structured way for improving our incomplete understanding through an iterative process of setting objectives, implementing policy decisions and evaluating the implications of their outcomes for future decision making. In essence, adaptive management is: the process of treating natural resource management as an experiment such that the practicality of trial and error is added to the rigour and explicitness of the scientific experiment, producing learning that is both relevant and valid. (Meffe et al. 2002)