The Problem of Fit between Ecosystems and Institutions: Ten Years Later
The issue of linking ecosystems to socioeconomic-cultural ones is of central importance for the analysis underlying almost any action related to sustainability. Without a proper understanding of the link in its local, regional, national, continental, and global contexts, it is impossible to move into the challenges of sustainable development in its three interdependent dimensions: ecological, economic, and socio-cultural. The issues have to be addressed in all three dimensions and not only in a more limited space of two or, even worse, only one dimension. These dimensions are truly integrated in a system with numerous interactions. It is here that the issue of “fit” emerged more than a decade ago, i.e., the way in which these dimensions interplay and depend on each other. Some may interpret this as a rather trivial issue of a technical methods kind, but the binding together and synthesizing work needed requires deep reflections on the character of these systems and the ways in which they can connect to a new systemic totality. This normally has to be done in a specific geographical space, be it on a micro level or a macro level, while recognizing the drivers of change internally and externally. This is what is meant by the problem of “fit.”
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Folke, C., L. Pritchard, F. Berkes, J. Colding, and U. Svedin. 2007. The problem of fit between ecosystems and institutions: ten years later. Ecology and Society 12(1): 30