Anticipating the Unintended Consequences of Environmental Management in a Marine Socio-Ecological System using Qualitative Loop Analysis Public Deposited

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  • Balancing the goals of economic development and sustaining ecosystem services remains a challenge for policymakers, particularly in the marine environment where ecosystem dynamics and human interactions are both complex and poorly understood. Implementing environmental management policies, such as environmental restoration, is a common response by policymakers where economic and environmental goals conflict. However, evaluation of such policies in complex socio-ecological systems (SES) is problematic as interventions will have effects which are difficult to predict, and consequences beyond those intended. Qualitative loop analysis provides a tool for unpacking the complexity of SES, for understanding their stability, and predicting the response of system variables to perturbation. We develop a stylised model of a regional-fishery based SES comprising linked ecological and human subsystems. Our model allows for commodities and non-provisioning ecosystem services to affect the human system differently and includes a process whereby pressure on policymakers to manage the environment reflects social preferences. Using loop analysis we contrast the effectiveness of various environmental management policies in maintaining ecosystem variables and the effect of a pulse in economic development under these alternative regimes. We reveal differences in system behaviour between postulated alternative model specifications of i) habitat-species relationships and ii) the social value of ecosystem services. We highlight the potential for loop analysis to improve understanding of complex marine socio-ecological systems and to better anticipate the unintended consequences of environmental management.
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  • Austen, Giles and S. Jennings. 2014. Anticipating the Unintended Consequences of Environmental Management in a Marine Socio-Ecological System using Qualitative Loop Analysis. In: Towards ecosystem based management of fisheries: what role can economics play?: Proceedings of the Seventeenth Biennial Conference of the International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade, July 7-11, 2014, Brisbane, Australia. Complied by Ann L. Shriver & Melissa Errend. Corvallis, OR: International Institute of Fisheries.
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  • description.provenance : Made available in DSpace on 2015-04-22T21:24:51Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 Austen IIFET 2014.pdf: 2139278 bytes, checksum: 0e5a36db5d7e241db79c828cbe8c36b0 (MD5) Previous issue date: 2014-07-07
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