Preprint Review Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Rethinking Sustainable Development Using Deep Ecology and Adaptive Governance of Social-Ecological Systems: Implications for Protected Areas Management

Version 1 : Received: 4 August 2019 / Approved: 6 August 2019 / Online: 6 August 2019 (03:36:20 CEST)

How to cite: Akamani, K. Rethinking Sustainable Development Using Deep Ecology and Adaptive Governance of Social-Ecological Systems: Implications for Protected Areas Management. Preprints 2019, 2019080066 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201908.0066.v1). Akamani, K. Rethinking Sustainable Development Using Deep Ecology and Adaptive Governance of Social-Ecological Systems: Implications for Protected Areas Management. Preprints 2019, 2019080066 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201908.0066.v1).

Abstract

Since the late 1980s the idea of sustainable development has been gaining widespread recognition as a guiding framework for policies on development and the environment. However, the concept of sustainable development has received a number of criticisms, including its over-emphasis on meeting human needs through economic growth, as well as its failure to recognize dynamic human-environment interactions. In response to these shortfalls, the concepts of resilience and adaptive governance have emerged as alternative perspectives for pursuing sustainable development. Resilience in social-ecological systems emphasizes the capacity of coupled human-environment systems to deal with change while continuing to develop. Adaptive governance relies on diverse and nested institutional mechanisms for connecting actors across multiple scales to manage conflicts and uncertainties in ecosystem management processes. However, the ethical dimensions of resilience and adaptive governance have not received enough attention. A promising ethical perspective for guiding policies on human-environment interactions is the philosophy of deep ecology which highlights the need for recognition of the intrinsic values of all living things, as well as the nurturing of ecological and cultural diversity. We argue that an integration of the principles of deep ecology and adaptive governance provides a complementary set of ethical principles and institutional attributes that offers better prospects for pursuing sustainable development in the era of the Anthropocene. The implications of this integrative agenda include: adoption of a holistic conception of dynamic human-environment interactions; recognition of diverse knowledge systems through an anti-reductionist approach to knowledge; promotion of long term sustainability through respect for ecological and cultural diversity; and embracing decentralization and local autonomy. We further illustrate this integrative agenda using the management of protected areas as a case study.

Subject Areas

Anthropocene; resilience; social-ecological systems; sustainability; transitions; wilderness

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