Over the last few decades, resilience and its related practices have been at the core of responding challenges in the Global South and North. We should, however, be conscious of its gaps for many reasons. First, environmental plans not attuned to local traditions can create cultural conflicts. Second, the politicised nature of international agreements poses unintended consequences as societies find it hard to engage in such agreements. Third, uncertainties about changes in socio-ecological systems reduce people’s adaptive capacity. Without an awareness of these inconsistencies, policymakers risk impeding societies’ adaptation to environmental change. By doing a systematic review of articles from academic and policy publications, this paper explores repercussions for environmental governance, illuminating key concerns in protected areas, climate change policy, and hydropower systems.