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Ecosystem Approaches to the Management and Allocation of Critical Resources

  • Carl Folke

Summary

The chapter identifies concepts, approaches, and frontiers that can increase the understanding of the linkages between ecology, society, and the economy for improved ecosystem management. The first part focuses on ecosystem services and ecological footprint analyses as indicators of the dependence by societies on ecosystem processes and functions, with examples from specific economic sectors and ecosystems to global values of ecosystem services. Such social and economic driving forces behind ecosystem degradation as misplaced economic incentives and trade policies are investigated. The critical role of human institutions is elucidated, and insights from linked social-ecological systems for ecosystem management are presented. The chapter identifies the six important research frontiers that treat humans as endogenous factors in ecosystems, which are: (1) the performance of analyses that illuminate and communicate societies’ dependence on ecosystem support; (2) the identification and prediction of the effects of social and economic driving forces on ecosystem processes, functions, and services; (3) the study of the interrelations within and between ecosystems in drainage basins, and how they affect and are affected by human activities on various scales and across scales; (4) the building of ecological knowledge through adaptive management, and the combination of practical ecological knowledge of local resource users with scientific knowledge; (5) the design of institutions that work in synergy with ecosystem processes and functions; and (6) the learning about ecosystem management from linked social-ecological systems. Most of these frontiers will require substantive collaboration with social scientists.

Keywords

Ecosystem Service Coral Reef Drainage Basin Adaptive Management Ecological Footprint 
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  • Carl Folke

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