Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2014, Vol. 69 ›› Issue (6): 863-876.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201406012

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Integrated risk governance consilience mode of social-ecological systems

SHI Peijun1,2,3, WANG Ming1,3, HU Xiaobing1,3, YE Tao1,3   

  1. 1. State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China;
    2. Key Laboratory of Environmental Change and Natural Disaster of Ministry of Education, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China;
    3. Academy of Disaster Reduction and Emergency Management, Ministry of Civil Affairs & Ministry of Education, Beijing 100875, China
  • Received:2013-10-10 Revised:2014-03-09 Online:2014-06-20 Published:2014-07-30
  • Supported by:
    Funding from the National Basic Research Program (973), No.2012CB955404; National Natural Science Foundation Innovative Research Group Project, No.41321001

Abstract: Based on the concept of ‘consilience’ in integrated risk governance, this paper aims to develop scientific meanings of consilience in a systemic manner from the perspectives of fundamental principles, synergistic efficacy, operational means, and optimization process to improve a system's robustness to resist external disturbs. This paper proposed a new consilience mode for the purpose of complementing the existing theoretical system of integrated risk governance. The results presented in this paper show that the four proposed synergistic principles (tolerance, constraint, amplification and diversification) can well describe the characteristics of consilience in integrated risk governance of a socioecological system. The principles set four optimization goals in terms of ‘consenting in minds’ and ‘gathering in force’ in the consilience theory. The consilience mode demonstrates how the synergistic principles and their optimization goals are converted into a series of tasks including the popularization of social perception, the rationalization of cost allocation, the systemization of optimization and the maximization of cost benefit. With implementation of all these tasks, the consensus and social welfare can be maximized while the cost and risk can be minimized in the integrated risk governance of the socio-ecological system. The modeling and simulation results show that a complex network system's robustness can be improved with increased system consilience when facing local or global disturbs. Moreover, this kind of improvement can be achieved by optimizing the structure and function of nodes in a socio-ecological system. The consilience mode also complements current disaster system theory in which the concepts of vulnerability, resilience and adaptation may face limitation of addressing integrated risk governance problems in a socio-ecological system.

Key words: socio-ecological system, consilience mode, integration, risk governance, synergistic efficacy