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The Paradox Persists: how to Resolve It?
Stockholm University, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
Stockholm University, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
2011 (English)In: BioScience, ISSN 0006-3568, E-ISSN 1525-3244, Vol. 61, no 1, 11-12 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The environmentalist's paradox refers to two apparently contra-dictory trends: declining supplies of ecosystem services and increasing human well-being. If humans are truly dependent on nature, then human well-being should deteriorate as ecosystem services are degraded. Our article (Raudsepp-Hearne et al. 2010) examined the evidence for and against four proposed explanations of this paradox. By evaluating multiple explanations, we aimed to contribute to a stronger science of sustainability by encouraging dialogue among the disciplines that address sustainability but emphasize different ways of explaining this paradox. In our article, we critically reviewed empirical evidence from a broad multidisciplinary literature about the relationship between human well-being and ecosystem services and identified areas for future research to address the important gaps in our understanding of this relationship. Consequently, we broadly agree with both Nelson and Duraiappah (see Viewpoints, this issue) that more research and data at multiple scales are needed to resolve the environmentalist's paradox. However, our perspectives differ from theirs in terms of trends in well-being, stocks and flows of ecosystem services, and the role of technology in mediating the relationship between ecosystems and human well-being.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 61, no 1, 11-12 p.
National Category
Environmental Sciences Biological Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-66712DOI: 10.1525/bio.2011.61.1.4ISI: 000286174300005OAI: diva2:468276
authorCount :4Available from: 2011-12-20 Created: 2011-12-20 Last updated: 2012-01-04Bibliographically approved

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Peterson, Garry D.Tengö, Maria
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