The Problem of Fit between Ecosystems and Institutions: Ten Years Later

Short Description

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.”

Format and Retrieval

This article can be viewed in html and downloaded as PDF through Ecology and Society. 

Suggested Citation

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