This is a textbook for Natural Resource Management, Resource Conservation and Ecosystem Management, as well as other related or more specialized courses.
Most textbooks on natural resource and ecosystem management are dominated by a steady-state view that interprets change as gradual and incremental and disregards interactions across scales. Management implementation of steady-state theory and policies tends to invest in controlling a few selected ecosystem processes, at the expense of long-term social-ecological resilience - i.e., the capacity of the system to cope with surprise and abrupt changes. Loss of resilience makes systems more vulnerable to both expected and unforeseen changes.
Achieving desirable outcomes for humanity, such as those of the UN Millennium Development Goals on poverty, food security, and environmental sustainability, will require new integrated and adaptive approaches to social and economic development, where the complex interconnectedness between humans and nature, at all scales, is considered and the existence of uncertainty and surprise accepted as the rule. The purpose of this textbook is to provide a new framework for resource management - a framework based on the necessity of managing resources in a world dominated by uncertainty and change. The book links recent advances in the theory of resilience, sustainability, and vulnerability with practical issues of resource management.