ENM443 Resilience Thinking and Ecologically Sustainable Development (8)

The transition to more sustainable resource use requires fundamental changes in our thinking about the environment. We need to better understand that nature and humanity are dynamic and co-evolving, and that achieving sustainability and addressing global warming is not simply about decreased consumption, but rather about increasing our capacity to meet a range of challenges. Resilience thinking focuses understanding the dynamics and development of complex social-ecological systems. It focuses on the capacity of a system to absorb disturbance and reorganise while undergoing change, so as to retain essentially the same function, structure, identity and feedbacks. Communities must seriously consider ways to foster resilience in our transformation to a more sustainable society

No offerings have been identified for this subject in 2020.

Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Environmental Sciences

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • have an in-depth understanding of the nature of complex social / ecological systems.
  • have an in-depth understanding of key terminology, principles, concepts and theory underpinning resilience thinking and their application in resolving environmental issues
  • be able to review, consolidate and synthesise knowledge from an number of case studies in order to critically understand the effectiveness of various strategies associated with implementing resilience thinking
  • be able to develop appropriate strategies that address a range of global environmental and social problems


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Ecologically sustainable development, the challenges and the current state of our resource use
  • Resilience: the history of a concept
  • General theories on resilience: Adaptability and transformability; specified and general resilience; and multiscale resilience
  • The application of resilience thinking to address environmental problems in social ecological systems
  • Governance and management of social-ecological systems for the the future

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of ENM443 in Session 2 2019. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
Introduction and expectations
Planetary boundaries at your place
Summary of individual and collective learning
Review of resilience case study conceptual models
Rapid resilience assessment
Learning and sharing

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: July 2020. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.