Resilience and adaptability of rice terrace social-ecological systems: A case study of a local community’s perception in Banaue, Philippines

Publisher:
The Resilience Alliance
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Ecology and Society, 2016, 21 (2), pp. 1 - 14
Issue Date:
2016-01-01
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© 2016 by the author(s). The social-ecological systems of rice terraces across Southeast Asia are the result of centuries of long-term interactions between human communities and their surrounding ecosystems. Processes and structures in these systems have evolved to provide a diversity of ecosystem services and benefits to human societies. However, as Southeast Asian countries experience rapid economic growth and related land-use changes, the remaining extensive rice cultivation systems are increasingly under pressure. We investigated the long-term development of ecosystem services and the adaptive capacity of the social-ecological system of rice terrace landscapes using a case study of Banaue (Ifugao Province, Northern-Luzon, Philippines). A set of indicators was used to describe and assess changes in the social-ecological state of the study system. The resilience of the rice terraces and the human communities that maintain them was examined by comparing the current state of the system with results from the literature. Our findings indicate that, although the social-ecological system has not yet shifted to an alternative state, pressures are increasing and some cultural ecosystem services have already been lost.
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