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Framework for Modeling the Linkages between Ecosystems and Human Systems

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Type: Working Paper
Author: Cleveland, Cutler; Costanza, Robert; Eggertsson, Thráinn; Fortmann, Louise; Low, Bobbi S.; McKean, Margaret A.; Ostrom, Elinor; Wilson, James; Young, Oran R.
Date: 1996
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/3626
Sector: Theory
Subject(s): sustainability--theory
game theory
Abstract: "We hypothesize that sustainability requires human systems that are concordant at appropriate scales with the ecosystems to which they are related, given the limits of human information processing. Many current governance and management systems are at a scale which is either too large or too small for the ecosystems to which they are related, leading to unsustainable policies for these systems. Problems often occur when human systems developed and sustainable at one scale or for one ecosystem or for one part of an ecosystem are transferred without adequate modification to other scales and ecosystems or to the whole system. In this paper we develop an analytical framework for treating human systems, ecosystems, and their interactions simultaneously. We developed and initial dynamic, multiscale, spatial model that illustrates some of the core concepts of the framework. We are in the process of developing multiscale conceptual and mathematical models and empirical data bases, including a range of ecosystem and human system characteristics, aimed at testing our hypothesis and providing guidance for designing sustainable human systems within sustainable ecosystems."

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