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Resilience is a term often used when considering desirable futures for trees, woodlands and forests but less often is there a clear description of what is sought or the consequences for current decision-making and actions. This framework introduces resilience and shows how ideas can be developed and implemented in practice. The aim is to help identify the benefits of the concept for managing trees, woodlands and forests, and how the potential pitfalls can be avoided. The approach should be adaptable to many situations – for example, considering the resilience of individual woodlands, whole forests, businesses and organisations. The framework can be used for individual study or to facilitate group discussion which may help to build links and understanding among people with different priorities and ideas and then underpin future work. Developing an approach to resilience is unlikely to be a one-time activity. Capturing the thinking together with the initial plans and then revisiting them is likely to be worthwhile.

It is expected that most people will initially read the framework individually to assess if it is right for them or their team. If you decide to work through the steps of the framework, then doing so as a group is recommended, ideally involving a diversity of perspectives to challenge thinking and stimulate fresh ideas. If the framework is used to help facilitate workshops, the discussions themselves are often the most valuable activity, and it is recommended that a summary of the key points from these discussions is created for future reference. Where more formal resilience-planning documents are produced based on the steps in this framework, these can be revisited and updated in future and shared with similar groups to facilitate learning.

See our Facilitator’s guide for more information. A worksheet template is also provided to record information and thoughts.

The five-step process

The framework is based around a five-step process. Each step will be introduced in more detail on the following pages with suggestions on how to apply the step to your context, including hints and tips, a table providing examples from case studies and boxes containing facilitation guidance.

1. Define the system
What are you considering making more resilient?

2. Identify threats to the system
What main threats or disturbances might impact the system in the future?

3. Identify the level of acceptable change
How far can the system be modified before it ceases to be recognisable or desirable?

4. Identify the desired pathway and related management actions
What actions might bring about positive responses to present or future disturbances?

5. Monitor and learn
What can you do to learn about the resilience of your system, identify possible degradation, and inform future management as you go along?

Next: go to Step 1
Tools & Resources
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Tools & Resources