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The relationship between resilience and sustainability of ecological-economic systems

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  • Derissen, Sandra
  • Quaas, Martin F.
  • Baumgärtner, Stefan

Abstract

Resilience as a descriptive concept gives insight into the dynamic properties of an ecological-economic system. Sustainability as a normative concept captures basic ideas of intergenerational justice when human well-being depends on natural capital and services. Thus, resilience and sustainability are independent concepts. In this paper, we discuss the relationship between resilience and sustainability of ecological-economic systems. We use a simple dynamic model where two natural capital stocks provide ecosystem services that are complements for human well-being, to illustrate different possible cases of the relationship between resilience and sustainability, and to identify the conditions under which each of those will hold: a) resilience of the system is necessary, but not sufficient, for sustainability; b) resilience of the system is sufficient, but not necessary, for sustainability; c) resilience of the system is neither necessary nor sufficient for sustainability; and d) resilience is both necessary and sufficient for sustainability. We conclude that more criteria than just resilience have to be taken into account when designing policies for the sustainable development of ecological-economic systems, and, vice versa, the property of resilience should not be confused with the positive normative connotations of sustainability.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

Volume (Year): 70 (2011)
Issue (Month): 6 (April)
Pages: 1121-1128

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:70:y:2011:i:6:p:1121-1128

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

Related research

Keywords: Ecosystem resilience Dynamics Management of ecological-economic systems Sustainability;

References

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  1. Perrings, Charles, 2006. "Resilience and sustainable development," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(04), pages 417-427, August.
  2. Bretschger, Lucas & Pittel, Karen, 2008. "From time zero to infinity: Transitional and long-run dynamics in capital-resource economies," Munich Reprints in Economics 20224, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  3. Costanza, Robert, 1995. "Economic growth, carrying capacity, and the environment," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 89-90, November.
  4. Bene, C. & Doyen, L. & Gabay, D., 2001. "A viability analysis for a bio-economic model," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 385-396, March.
  5. Charles Perrings & David Stern, 2000. "Modelling Loss of Resilience in Agroecosystems: Rangelands in Botswana," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 16(2), pages 185-210, June.
  6. World Commission on Environment and Development,, 1987. "Our Common Future," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780192820808, October.
  7. Kjell Arne Brekke & Geir B. Asheim, 2002. "Sustainability when capital management has stochastic consequences," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 19(4), pages 921-940.
  8. Karl-Göran Mäler, 2008. "Sustainable Development and Resilience in Ecosystems," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 39(1), pages 17-24, January.
  9. Stefan Baumgärtner & Martin F. Quaas, 2007. "Ecological-economic viability as a criterion of strong sustainability under uncertainty," Working Paper Series in Economics 67, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
  10. Janssen, Marco A. & Anderies, John M. & Walker, Brian H., 2004. "Robust strategies for managing rangelands with multiple stable attractors," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 140-162, January.
  11. Common, Mick & Perrings, Charles, 1992. "Towards an ecological economics of sustainability," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 7-34, July.
  12. Vincent Martinet & Olivier Thébaud & Luc Doyen, 2007. "Defining viable recovery path toward sustainable fisheries," Working Papers 19853, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, France.
  13. Mäler, K-G. & Xepapadeas, A. & Zeeuw, A.J. de, 2000. "The Economics of Shallow Lakes," Discussion Paper 2000-69, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  14. Arrow, Kenneth & Bolin, Bert & Costanza, Robert & Dasgupta, Partha & Folke, Carl & Holling, C.S. & Jansson, Bengt-Owe & Levin, Simon & Mäler, Karl-Göran & Perrings, Charles & Pimentel, David, 1996. "Economic growth, carrying capacity, and the environment," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(01), pages 104-110, February.
  15. Levin, Simon A. & Barrett, Scott & Aniyar, Sara & Baumol, William & Bliss, Christopher & Bolin, Bert & Dasgupta, Partha & Ehrlich, Paul & Folke, Carl & Gren, Ing-Marie & Holling, C.S. & Jansson, Annma, 1998. "Resilience in natural and socioeconomic systems," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(02), pages 221-262, May.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Sébastien Foudi, 2012. "Exploitation of soil biota ecosystem services in agriculture: a bioeconomic approach," Working Papers 2012-02, BC3.
  2. Martin F. Quaas & Daan van Soest & Stefan Baumgaertner, 2011. "Complementarity, impatience, and the resilience of natural-resource-dependent economies," Working Paper Series in Economics 220, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
  3. Lázaro-Touza, Lara & Atkinson, Giles, 2013. "Nature, roads or hospitals? An empirical evaluation of ‘sustainable development preferences’," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 63-72.

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