Paulo Quadri Barba, a 2011 Sabin Fellow, is primarily interested in issues of disaster risk reduction, ecosystem conservation and management, and adaptation issues. His summer research, conducted in partnership with the International Red Cross Climate Centre, focused on linkages of institutional and socio-ecological vulnerability to climate change in four municipalities of Madríz, Nicaragua.
Integrative adaptive management (IAM) has now largely been accepted as the most effective theoretical and on the ground approach to achieve local and regional long term sustainability, enabling social and ecological systems to dynamically adapt to any changing environment. Logically, IAM has emerged also as a highly adequate framework to cope with deeply interwoven issues that require interdisciplinary perspectives and tools such as disaster risk reduction (DRR), climate change adaptation (CCA) and ecosystem resources management (ERM)
In complex coupled socio-ecological systems, institutions play a major role in reinforcing or balancing system loops that determine processes and patterns of behavior related to land use, natural resources management, demographics, socio-cultural development and economic strategies. This project explores the fundamental aspects of institutional structure and function in four municipalities of Madriz, Nicaragua and how can these aspects contribute to identify policy and management weaknesses from a socio-ecological resilience perspective.
By analyzing these network structures and functions through the socio-ecological resilience systems theoretical approach formulated by Resilience Alliance (2010), our project seeks to understand the major weaknesses of the institutional landscape that can be theoretically related to three socio-ecological features: green infrastructure, human infrastructure and economic diversity. Once these relationships are established, a set of specific recommendations to improve local adaptive management will be provided to local and regional decision makers in Madriz, Nicaragua that hopefully will help to steer integrative adaptive management projects to more adequate and effective conceptual and practical approaches in their quest for social and ecological resilience strategies.
 See also Anderies, Janssen & Ostrom 2004 and Walker et al 2006); Tompkins & Adger 2004; Newman & Dale 2004; and Holling 1973.