Resilience management is gaining support as resilience studies proliferate. Quantification of resilience could help decision makers understand the complex dynamics of resilience and adopt resilience management. However, most quantifications have focused on resilience as an attribute of social-ecological systems, such as thresholds and safe operating spaces. Although informative for planning and implementing effective resilience management, they do not inform decision makers if people accept and support this management. Therefore, it is necessary to understand how people perceive resilience. We applied three metrics to measure how people perceive resilience: (1) an economic valuation of resilience, (2) motivations behind valuing resilience, and (3) the relative importance of resilience compared with other ecosystem services. We adopted coral reef ecosystems in Okinawa, Japan for our analysis. Coral reef ecosystems, which are rich in marine genetic resources (hotspots), have become endangered because of increasing anthropocentric pressures, and resilience is becoming an accepted method in coral reef ecosystem management. Our study revealed that an ex-ante willingness to pay (WTP) for expected benefits from a resilience management program ranged from 3439 to 5663 JPY for mean WTP and from 1615 to 2579 JPY for median WTP (cf. 100 JPY = 0.891 USD in 2017). Primary motivations, i.e., human values, underlying the valuation of resilience were conservation and self-transcendence, which overlap with some ecosystem services such as culture, bequest, education, coastal protection, sanitation, and habitat. Resilience is highly important compared with the other 10 coral reef ecosystem services. These findings could help decision makers plan and implement an effective, acceptable, and supported resilience management program.
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