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Social Ecological Systems in Transition

Author: Shoko Sakai
Publisher: Springer
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This book presents an overview of current knowledge about social–ecological systems (SESs), a productive new field dedicated to understanding the relationships between human society and nature. To make the reader aware of how SESs are necessary to maintain our society, the book begins with a broad perspective about what social–ecological systems are and what the related research issues in this field are as well. The second part discusses how human activities have changed ecosystems from temperate grasslands to tropical areas. The third part focuses on the adaptability of societies to unpredictable fluctuation in ecosystems, while the last part summarizes factors for the resilience of society against social and ecological shocks. Human activities have severely degraded most natural ecosystems, which are now in critical condition. Various approaches have been developed to improve the SESs, to understand environmental problems and explore better ways to increase the sustainability both of ecosystems and of human societies. However, a clear perspective on how to address such problems is still lacking. Part of the difficulty arises because of the diversity and complexity of ecosystems and human societies. Another important factor is the effect of extremely rapid changes in the social and economic characteristics of social–ecological systems. Consequently, adaptability and resilience clearly are essential for the sustainability of SESs. Although there is no one, direct method to achieve high adaptability and resilience, a possible way is to compare and understand the diverse problems associated with differing social–ecological systems. This published work makes a useful contribution to a greater understanding of the way that essential social responses linked to changes in ecosystems can potentially stimulate further research on this important and interesting subject. The book will attract the attention of scholars in environmental sciences, ecology, and sociology, and indeed of anyone interested in the concept of social–ecological systems.


Vulnerability of Land Systems in Asia

Author: Ademola K. Braimoh
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
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This book provides a comprehensive yet accessible overview of landsystems vulnerability assessment in Asia - fundamental to theunderstanding of the link between global change, environmentalsustainability and human wellbeing. The extent and intensity ofhuman interactions with the environment have increasedspectacularly since the Industrial Revolution. Thus, the globalchange research community and development practitionersincreasingly recognize the need to address the adverse consequencesof changes taking place in the structure and function of thebiosphere and the implications for society. With a focus onAsia, this book provides an overview of the vulnerability of landsystems and the subsequent multiple stressors in this region. Thebook offers a discussion surrounding the potential causal processesthat affect land systems vulnerability and our capacity to copewith different perturbations. It also identifies factors that helpto integrate vulnerability assessment into policy anddecision-making. • Addresses the complex issues arising fromhuman–environment interactions that cannot be satisfactorilydealt with by core disciplinary methods alone. • Key coverage of a variety of topics from thevulnerability of smallholder agriculture and urban systems to theimpact of socioeconomic processes at the sub-regional level. • Coverage of the causal processes that affect landsystems vulnerability and capacity to cope with differentperturbations are documented. • Focus on integrating vulnerability assessment intopolicies and decision-making • Includes contributions from leading academics in thefield.


Water Governance in the Face of Global Change

Author: Claudia Pahl-Wostl
Publisher: Springer
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This book offers the first comprehensive treatment of multi-level water governance, developing a conceptual and analytical framework that captures the complexity of real water governance systems while also introducing different approaches to comparative analysis. Applications illustrate how the ostensibly conflicting goals of deriving general principles and of taking context-specific factors into account can be reconciled. Specific emphasis is given to governance reform, adaptive and transformative capacity and multi-level societal learning. The sustainable management of global water resources is one of the most pressing environmental challenges of the 21st century. Many problems and barriers to improvement can be attributed to failures in governance rather than the resource base itself. At the same time our understanding of complex water governance systems largely remains limited and fragmented. The book offers an invaluable resource for all researchers working on water governance topics and for practitioners dealing with water governance challenges alike.


Principles of Environmental Sciences

Author: Jan J. Boersema
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
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International experts provide a comprehensive picture of the principles, concepts and methods that are applicable to problems originating from the interaction between the living/non-living environment and mankind. Both the analysis of such problems and the way solutions to environmental problems may work in specific societal contexts are addressed. Disciplinary approaches are discussed but there is a focus on multi- and interdisciplinary methods. A large number of practical examples and case studies are presented. There is special emphasis on modelling and integrated assessment. This book is different because it stresses the societal, cultural and historical dimensions of environmental problems. The main objective is to improve the ability to analyse and conceptualise environmental problems in context and to make readers aware of the value and scope of different methods. Ideal as a course text for students, this book will also be of interest to researchers and consultants in the environmental sciences.


World Social Science Report 2013 Changing Global Environments

Author: International Social Science Council
Publisher: OECD Publishing
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This book represents a comprehensive overview of the field gathering the thoughts and expertise of hundreds of social scientists from around the world. This edition focuses on the transformative role of the social sciences in confronting climate and broader processes of environmental change.


Resilience in Social Ecological Systems

Author: Marianne E. Krasny
Publisher: Routledge
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Resilience thinking challenges us to reconsider the meaning of sustainability in a world that must constantly adapt in the face of gradual and at times catastrophic change. This volume further asks environmental education and resource management scholars to consider the relationship of environmental learning and behaviours to attributes of resilient social-ecological systems - attributes such as ecosystem services, innovative governance structures, biological and cultural diversity, and social capital. Similar to current approaches to environmental education and education for sustainable development, resilience scholarship integrates social and ecological perspectives. The authors of Resilience in social-ecological systems: the role of learning and education present a wealth of perspectives, integrating theory with reviews of empirical studies in natural resource management, and in youth, adult, and higher education. The authors explore the role of education and learning in helping social-ecological systems as they respond to change, through adaptation and transformation. This book also serves to integrate a growing literature on resilience and social learning in natural resources management, with research in environmental education and education for sustainable development. This book was originally published as a special issue of Environmental Education Research.


Transforming Agricultural Research Systems in Transition Economies

Author: Mohinder S. Mudahar
Publisher: World Bank Publications
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This report examines the current state of Russian agriculture and agricultural research systems. It develops a conceptual framework for managing the transformation and rehabilitation of agricultural research systems in transition economies. Chapters examine the strategic importance of agricultural research, the status and importance of the agricultural sector, the status of the agricultural knowledge system, and challenges facing the system, as well as ways to transform it. This book is aimed toward agricultural scientists, research administrators, public officials, and agricultural leaders interested in the transformation of agricultural research systems in the transition economies.


World in Transition Ways Towards Global Environmental Solutions

Author: German Advisory Council on Global change (WBGU)
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
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At the first Conference of the Parties of the Climate Convention in Berlin in Spring 1995 it became evident once again: To counteract anthropogenic climate changes, individuals as well as societies have to change their way of thinking and behavior. This accounts for other areas of global environmental change as well. Global trends like soil degradation, loss of biological diversity, water scarcity and population growth show little or no sign of improvement. In fact, in most areas a rapid deterioration has taken place. In its latest Report the German Advisory Council on Global Change describes "Ways Towards Global Environmental Solutions".


Local Agri food Systems in a Global World

Author: Filippo Arfini
Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
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Local Agri-food Systems in a Global World: Market, Social and Environmental Challenges is an important new collection of essays making a landmark contribution to the ongoing debate on local agri-food systems, local development in rural areas and new patterns of agri-food systems. There is a new awareness of the links between local and global strategies of food production and processing, and these have become an increasingly important topic of research worldwide. Effective analysis of the spatial dynamics of agri-food systems requires an interdisciplinary approach involving economics, geography, sociology, demographics and agronomy. Chapters cover areas such as: current spatial dynamics in agri-food systems; the socio-environmental impact of agri-food systems on rural development; the role of local resources in agri-food systems; the governance and public policies of local agri-food systems; and, last but not least, new methodological approaches to spatial dynamics of agri-food systems. The book provides an essential tool for researchers and academics in rural economics, sociology, geography and social sciences as well as policy makers.


Natural Resource Use and Global Change

Author: K. Bruckmeier
Publisher: Springer
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Building on recent developments in social ecology, this book advances a new critical theory of society and nature, exploring social metabolism and global resource flows in contemporary society. Barriers to global sustainability are identified and conditions for transforming industrial economies towards new sustainable resource use are described.