UNDERSTANDING AND APPLYING THE ECOSYSTEM APPROACH FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AND POVERTY REDUCTION UNDER GLOBAL CHANGE
SCBD, IIED IIED, University of Montreal and University of Eberswalde
Date and Time
21 October 2010 18:15 - 19:45
Tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 10)
This side event will present a new volume of the CBD Technical Series dedicated to an analysis of the systemic character of global change, biodiversity and human development, and the relationships between them. The papers describe and evaluate the complicated relationships and dynamics between human and biological systems. Theoretical concepts, such as complex systems models, are proposed as realistic and workable models for future strategies in sustainable development. So far there has been little attempt to move this science into practice partly because it lacks the unequivocal scientific evidence demanded by an increasingly scrutinising society. The radical view presented here argues the case for looking beyond known knowledge and evidence as an essential strategy for dealing with rapidly changing conditions and increasing uncertainty. The behaviour of complex systems defies attempts by contemporary scientists to provide answers to dynamic problems. Radical thinking and approaches are needed to meet the challenges of related to the combination of an exploding human population (with even more rapidly growing needs and wants) and the run-away problems of global environmental change. The new technical series also proposes the use of post-normal philosophy as a complementary, in some cases, an alternative framework to existing neo-classical economics, and conventional policy mechanisms abandoning the idea, that exact and ‘modern’ science is the only source of usable knowledge for policy-making and practice. Contributions are global and country specific, and the lessons learned are of universal significance. By broadening the scope of our analysis to consider poverty reduction and biodiversity conservation in the context of global sustainability and global change, we improve our understanding of the problem — and, perhaps more importantly, begin to focus on implementing real solutions based on a more radical ecosystem approach. This approach is the quintessence of our work that integrates and synthesizes all the theories, concepts, and findings highlighted in the various papers working towards a new sustainable development paradigm.