Integrated models of natural and human systems: a critical component of environmental management

Gurney, Georgina (2010) Integrated models of natural and human systems: a critical component of environmental management. In: Cleland, Deborah, Melbourne-Thomas, Jess, King, Melanie, and Sheehan, Gabrielle, (eds.) Building Capacity in Coral Reef Science: an anthology of CRTR scholars' research 2010. Coral Reef Targeted Research & Capacity Building for Management Team, Brisbane, QLD, Australia, pp. 132-137.

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Abstract

Over the past century, the impact of humans on the natural world has reached unprecedented levels on a global scale, with ecosystems experiencing greater rates of anthropogenic change in the past 50 years than in any other period of human history (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment 2005). These human-driven alterations to biotic and abiotic systems are substantial and threaten biological diversity, disrupt climatic patterns and adversely affect ecosystem services that humans depend upon (Vitousek et al. 1997, Alberti et al. 2003). In addition, the present momentum of human population growth and economic development will almost certainly lead to further anthropogenic pressure on nature. It follows that environmental management strategies aiming to lessen the adverse impacts of humans on nature are an urgent and growing priority. Ultimately, 'environmental' management is a product of human decision making and requires alteration of human behaviour to be effective (Mascia et al. 2003). Therefore, to successfully reach environmental management targets, it is imperative to understand the complex interactions between socio-economic and bio-physical systems.

Modeling is well-placed as a tool to facilitate the integration of human and natural elements as complex dynamical systems, allowing prediction of non-linear behaviours and an understanding of the processes that govern these dynamics (Larocque et al. 2006). Furthermore, modeling can be used to predict and assess the outcomes of alternative management strategies. Thus, the focus of this paper is to illustrate the importance of integrated models of human and natural systems for environmental management, to briefly highlight the challenges for interdisciplinary collaboration, and to suggest future directions.

Item ID: 59939
Item Type: Book Chapter (Scholarly Work)
ISBN: 978-1-921317-03-0
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Date Deposited: 04 Sep 2019 01:50
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1605 Policy and Administration > 160507 Environment Policy @ 50%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050209 Natural Resource Management @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9607 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards > 960701 Coastal and Marine Management Policy @ 100%
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