Systems integration for global sustainability


Jianguo Liu; Harold Mooney; Vanessa Hull; Steven J. Davis; Joanne Gaskell; Thomas Hertel; Jane Lubchenco; Karen C. Seto; Peter Gleick; Claire Kremen; Shuxin Li

Journal or Book Title: Science

Keywords: oupled human-natural systems; systems integration; telecoupling

Volume/Issue: 347/6225

Page Number(s): 1258832 1-9

Year Published: 2015


Global sustainability challenges, from maintaining biodiversity to providing clean air and water, are closely interconnected yet often separately studied and managed. Systems integration—holistic approaches to integrating various components of coupled human and natural systems—is critical to understand socioeconomic and environmental interconnections and to create sustainability solutions. Recent advances include the development and quantification of integrated frameworks that incorporate ecosystem services, environmental footprints, planetary boundaries, human-nature nexuses, and telecoupling. Although systems integration has led to fundamental discoveries and practical applications, further efforts are needed to incorporate more human and natural components simultaneously, quantify spillover systems and feedbacks, integrate multiple spatial and temporal scales, develop new tools, and translate findings into policy and practice. Such efforts can help address important knowledge gaps, link seemingly unconnected challenges, and inform policy and management decisions.

DOI: 10.1126/science.1258832

Type of Publication: Journal Article