What do we mean by resilient food system
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What do we Mean by Resilient Food System?. Mike Jones Resilience Alliance Connectors Program. Which is Most Resilient?. Agro-forestry. Industrial soybean.

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What do we mean by resilient food system

What do we Mean by Resilient Food System?

Mike Jones

Resilience Alliance Connectors Program

Which is most resilient
Which is Most Resilient?


Industrial soybean

Agro forestry looks resilient but much depends on nutrient recycling, developmental aspirations of the farmers, their culture and changes that may occur in the larger environment.

Industrial soybean looks like a “gilded trap” that creates financial wealth but is collapse waiting to happen. Multiple actors in the commodity chain are dependent. Resilience for whom is a big issue.

Which is best is the source of global political dog-fight.

Images from presentation by André Luiz R. Gonçalves

Australian wheat belt
Australian Wheat Belt

System collapse and game over for modern agriculture.

What comes next?

Images from: Brian Walker

Goulburn broken catchment
Goulburn-Broken Catchment

Summary of “Thresholds of Potential Concern” in slow changing variables, the linkages between them and the potential shocks that may trigger them. Example from an agricultural landscape in Australia (Walker et al., 2009)

Bali subak system
Bali Subak System

  • A resilient system that has persisted for about 1,500 years old

  • Survived disruptions of:

    • Dutch colonists in mid 19th century

    • GM rice introduction

  • Currently threatened by:

    • Tourism based cash economy

    • Climate change

Shinyanga tanzania
Shinyanga Tanzania

The restoration of a co-evolved system.

Collapse precipitated by a well intentioned but ill-conceived development intervention followed by renewal through traditional practice.

The “desert of Tanzania” in 1985

What disruptions will the future bring?

Does the system have sufficient resilience to persist and evolve?

Restoration of wooded savanna 2004

General resilience assessment
General Resilience Assessment

Attributes Related to Potential for Change


Ecological variability

Social capital (trust, leadership, networks)



System reserves



Slow variables

Attributes Related to Connectedness & Cross-scale Interaction


Tight feedbacks

Overlap in governance

Ecosystem services are valued



Resilience models tools for identifying thresholds
Resilience Models: Tools For Identifying Thresholds

1. Change within systems: Adaptive Cycle (Holling 2004)

3. Transitions betweensystem states: Ball and Basin (Scheffer et al., 2001)

2. Interactions between systems: Panarchy (Holling 2004)