This chapter introduces the volume on Practical Panarchy: Linking Law, Resilience, and Adaptive Water Governance of Regional Scale Social-Ecological Systems. It begins by defining the terminology and theoretical concepts to present the bridging framework among ecological resilience, governance, and law relied on throughout this volume and then introduces this three-part volume. Part I presents the effort to assess resilience and transformation in riverine and wetland social-ecological systems in six US watersheds (the Anacostia River, Columbia River, Everglades wetlands, Klamath River, Middle Rio Grand River, and central Platte River) and one Australian system (the Lake Eyre and Great Artesian basin). Part II focuses on the legal dimensions of watershed governance that directly relate to ecological resilience and transformability of the social-ecological systems and synthesizes the results of the basin assessments to advance the understanding of the role of law and governance as a trigger, facilitator, or barrier to adaptation and transformation in the face of rapid environmental change, including shifting climate. Part III looks at the broader relation between social-ecological resilience and governance through synthesis of the basin assessments and resort to the broader literature on institutions and governance. As a whole, this volume presents the results of a 3-year pursuit on the cross-scale interactions among law, ecosystem dynamics, and governance to address the adaptive capacity of regional scale watersheds as they respond to accelerating environmental change.
Read the chapter in Practical Panarchy for Adaptive Water Governance.