Publication: Trends in Ecology & Evolution
Author(s): Lyver POB, Timoti P, Davis T & Tylianakis JM.
Indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLC) often use natural resources as both a reason and mechanism for environmental management, yet a number of environmental, social, and economic drivers disrupt this relationship. Here, we argue that these drivers can also trigger a set of feedback mechanisms that further diminish the efficacy of local management. We call this process biocultural
hysteresis. These feedbacks, which include knowledge loss and a breakdown of social hierarchies, prevent IPLC from adapting their management to change.
Biocultural hysteresis worsens as IPLC spend an increasing amount of time outside their social–ecological context. Therefore, we argue for adaptive policies and processes that favour protecting and enabling IPLC engagement with their environment.