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Politics and the Selection of Ecosystem Services


New Book Chapter

Oonsie (Reinette) Biggs and colleagues have recently published an edited book ‘Principles for Building Resilience’ which critically examines and tests some of the assumptions about resilience in social ecological systems. I co-authored a chapter, (Chapter 2) on ‘Politics and the Selection of Ecosystem Services’ and was lucky to work with really gifted international researchers, Michael L. Schoon, Martin D. Robards, Nathan Engle, Chanda Meek, and Reinette Biggs.

Our chapter contextualises the principles of resilience by exploring the political and power dimensions surrounding decisions and management of ecosystem services for resilience. It underscores that allocation of resources and the definition of a desired state is always highly political and characterised by asymetric power relations. It discusses the social consequences of trade-offs between ecosystem services; asymmetries in the distribution of ecosystem services; and how these may be addressed through wider deliberative processes.

The book itself is a the product of an intesting process steered by the Resilience Alliance Young Schoars (RAYS) group, and involved a ‘Mock Trail’ that I took part in at a RA meeting on Gabriola Island in Canada which put the principles to the test…..

All of which is explained in the book that can be ordered online (hard cover or e-book) from the Cambridge University Press website

A popular science summary of the book is available for download here

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