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JournalISSN: 0959-3780

Global Environmental Change-human and Policy Dimensions 

About: Global Environmental Change-human and Policy Dimensions is an academic journal. The journal publishes majorly in the area(s): Climate change & Population. It has an ISSN identifier of 0959-3780. Over the lifetime, 2294 publication(s) have been published receiving 246757 citation(s).
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Journal ArticleDOI
Carl Folke1, Carl Folke2Institutions (2)
Abstract: The resilience perspective is increasingly used as an approach for understanding the dynamics of social–ecological systems. This article presents the origin of the resilience perspective and provides an overview of its development to date. With roots in one branch of ecology and the discovery of multiple basins of attraction in ecosystems in the 1960–1970s, it inspired social and environmental scientists to challenge the dominant stable equilibrium view. The resilience approach emphasizes non-linear dynamics, thresholds, uncertainty and surprise, how periods of gradual change interplay with periods of rapid change and how such dynamics interact across temporal and spatial scales. The history was dominated by empirical observations of ecosystem dynamics interpreted in mathematical models, developing into the adaptive management approach for responding to ecosystem change. Serious attempts to integrate the social dimension is currently taking place in resilience work reflected in the large numbers of sciences involved in explorative studies and new discoveries of linked social–ecological systems. Recent advances include understanding of social processes like, social learning and social memory, mental models and knowledge–system integration, visioning and scenario building, leadership, agents and actor groups, social networks, institutional and organizational inertia and change, adaptive capacity, transformability and systems of adaptive governance that allow for management of essential ecosystem services.

4,244 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
Barry Smit1, Johanna Wandel1Institutions (1)
Abstract: This paper reviews the concept of adaptation of human communities to global changes, especially climate change, in the context of adaptive capacity and vulnerability. It focuses on scholarship that contributes to practical implementation of adaptations at the community scale. In numerous social science fields, adaptations are considered as responses to risks associated with the interaction of environmental hazards and human vulnerability or adaptive capacity. In the climate change field, adaptation analyses have been undertaken for several distinct purposes. Impact assessments assume adaptations to estimate damages to longer term climate scenarios with and without adjustments. Evaluations of specified adaptation options aim to identify preferred measures. Vulnerability indices seek to provide relative vulnerability scores for countries, regions or communities. The main purpose of participatory vulnerability assessments is to identify adaptation strategies that are feasible and practical in communities. The distinctive features of adaptation analyses with this purpose are outlined, and common elements of this approach are described. Practical adaptation initiatives tend to focus on risks that are already problematic, climate is considered together with other environmental and social stresses, and adaptations are mostly integrated or mainstreamed into other resource management, disaster preparedness and sustainable development programs. r 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

4,237 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: Food production requires application of fertilizers containing phosphorus, nitrogen and potassium on agricultural fields in order to sustain crop yields. However modern agriculture is dependent on phosphorus derived from phosphate rock, which is a non-renewable resource and current global reserves may be depleted in 50–100 years. While phosphorus demand is projected to increase, the expected global peak in phosphorus production is predicted to occur around 2030. The exact timing of peak phosphorus production might be disputed, however it is widely acknowledged within the fertilizer industry that the quality of remaining phosphate rock is decreasing and production costs are increasing. Yet future access to phosphorus receives little or no international attention. This paper puts forward the case for including long-term phosphorus scarcity on the priority agenda for global food security. Opportunities for recovering phosphorus and reducing demand are also addressed together with institutional challenges.

3,627 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: Common understanding of the causes of land-use and land-cover change is dominated by simplifications which, in turn, underlie many environment-development policies. This article tracks some of the major myths on driving forces of land-cover change and proposes alternative pathways of change that are better supported by case study evidence. Cases reviewed support the conclusion that neither population nor poverty alone constitute the sole and major underlying causes of land-cover change worldwide. Rather, peoples’ responses to economic opportunities, as mediated by institutional factors, drive land-cover changes. Opportunities and

3,055 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: In 1997, the global value of ecosystem services was estimated to average $33 trillion/yr in 1995 $US ($46 trillion/yr in 2007 $US). In this paper, we provide an updated estimate based on updated unit ecosystem service values and land use change estimates between 1997 and 2011. We also address some of the critiques of the 1997 paper. Using the same methods as in the 1997 paper but with updated data, the estimate for the total global ecosystem services in 2011 is $125 trillion/yr (assuming updated unit values and changes to biome areas) and $145 trillion/yr (assuming only unit values changed), both in 2007 $US. From this we estimated the loss of eco-services from 1997 to 2011 due to land use change at $4.3–20.2 trillion/yr, depending on which unit values are used. Global estimates expressed in monetary accounting units, such as this, are useful to highlight the magnitude of eco-services, but have no specific decision-making context. However, the underlying data and models can be applied at multiple scales to assess changes resulting from various scenarios and policies. We emphasize that valuation of eco-services (in whatever units) is not the same as commodification or privatization. Many eco-services are best considered public goods or common pool resources, so conventional markets are often not the best institutional frameworks to manage them. However, these services must be (and are being) valued, and we need new, common asset institutions to better take these values into account.

2,932 citations

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