Socioecological Resilience at Céu do Patriarca Ecovilage – South Brazil

Landscape around Céu do Patriarca Ecovilage, South Brazil. Photo: Leopoldo Cavaleri Gerhardinger

Socioecological Resilience at Céu do Patriarca Ecovilage – South Brazil

Leopoldo Cavaleri Gerhardinger, Gustavo C.M. Martins, Alexandre Paulo Teixeira Moreira, Cristian Curti and Cristiana Simão Seixas 

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Abstract: This manuscript analyses the social-ecological resilience of Céu do Patriarca ecovillage (Florianópolis city, Santa Catarina state, Brazil). Initially, we describe the motivation and main events guiding the intentional self-organization process of the community in the past 23 years. We then provide a descriptive analysis of the main attributes – technological, knowledge and skills, social structures and relations, behavioural, psychological and belief systems, adaptive policies and management – related to its capacity to manage social and ecological disturbance in the present, past and future. We have also analysed the response measures demonstrated by the ecovillage to 8 of the main local socio-ecological disturbances. The analysis enabled the identification of 33 characteristics within the ecovillage that are indicative of its resilience. We also illustrate the presence of adaptive co-management features, and argue they have shown a high level of transformability across their 23-year trajectory. Before all the advancements and experiences accumulated by the Céu do Patriarca ecovillage, we conclude that it does not only offer an outstanding and insightful case study to think about the various facets of social-ecological systems resilience. Above all, it may well serve as a reference to other communities and people in search of concrete social-ecological systems trajectories that have shown significant progress in pursuing sustainable development.

About the authors: Leopoldo Cavaleri Gerhardinger is a Phd student in Environment and Society at the Centre for Environmental Studies (Nepam), University of Campinas (Unicamp) in Brazil. Gustavo Martins has a Bsc. in Environmental Engineering and is an associate of the Ecovillage for the past 6 years, where he is working with several aspects of permaculture.

Download Gerhardinger-et-al-2012-42.pdf