Ecosystems: Planning

Authored by: Ioan Manuel Ciumasu , Liana Buzdugan , Nicolae Stefan , Keith Culver

Encyclopedia of Environmental Management

Print publication date:  December  2012
Online publication date:  December  2012

Print ISBN: 9781439829271
eBook ISBN: 9781351235860
Adobe ISBN:


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Ecosystems are complex natural systems, characterized by non-linear dynamics and thresholds. Contrarily, planning activities require predictability and clear cause–effect dynamics. Consequently, ecosystem planning emerges as a concept that captures the very essence of the current, tensioned relation between humans and ecosystems; a potentially valuable but highly difficult concept. Trying to negotiate various pulls and tensions between disciplines, this entry identifies ecosystem planning as an equilibrium-finding human activity of anticipating and inducing generation of a set of ecosystem goods and services, within the limits allowed by the intrinsic ecosystem dynamics. The entry scrutinizes the meanings of the definition and discusses the limits and potential uses of the concept with respect to the current priorities related to environmental changes and the transition to sustainable development. Additional focus is sought by following two priority threads of human impact upon nature: landscapes and cities.

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