Kriegl, Michael ORCID:, Kluger, Lotta Clara, Gorris, Philipp and Kochalski, Sophia (2022) Coastal livelihood resilience to abrupt environmental change: the role of social capital in a Peruvian bay. Regional Environmental Change, 22 (103). DOI

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Abrupt environmental change, such as sudden shifts in temperature or salinity, can severely alter the functioning of marine ecosystems and cause dramatic impacts on the associated social systems. Resource users, who rely on ecosystem services provided by the ocean, are particularly vulnerable to such drastic events. Functioning social relationships (social capital) have recently been suggested as a key driver for recovery after disaster. Here, we study how small-scale fishers who conduct sea-
ranching of the Peruvian bay scallop Argopecten purpuratus in Northern Peru dealt with the literal wipe-out of their target
resources caused by the Coastal El Niño (CEN) of 2017 that heavily impacted the entire region. Adopting an ego-network
approach complemented by qualitative information from expert interviews, we investigated how resource users drew on
their social networks to cope with the disaster. Results suggested a significant positive correlation between more desirable
post-disaster trajectories and the number of helpful social links of scallop farmer associations. Disentangling the temporal aspect of this pattern, we found that social capital established before the disaster was driving this correlation. Importantly, both economic and non-economic links were contributing to the observed patterns. This study emphasizes the importance of social capital for dealing with the effects of disasters following natural events. Having extensive social networks increases
the capacity to mobilize resources and information when needed and is associated with more efficient recovery after abrupt environmental change. Mechanisms to foster and enhance social capital are key for preventive management actions aiming to build resilience within vulnerable communities facing accelerating global change.

Document Type: Article
Programme Area: PA1
Research affiliation: Integrated Modelling > Resource Management
Affiliations > Not ZMT
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.:
ISSN: 1436-3798
Date Deposited: 05 Oct 2022 09:58
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2022 11:02

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