Tag Archives: course materials

Readings in Sustainability Science

At Resilience 2011, William Clark in a good talk on the success and challenges of sustainability science mentioned that Robert Kates has created a Reader on Sustainability Science and Technology.

The reader is publicly available on the Center for International Development‘s website at Harvard University.  The reader is aimed at for advanced undergraduate and beginning graduate students of sustainability science.  The reader contains links to almost a 100 articles and book chapters organized around three major domains of sustainability science.

Part 1: an overview of sustainable development;

Part 2: the emerging science and technology of sustainability; and

Part 3: the innovative solutions and grand challenges of moving this knowledge into action

IUCN’s Guidebook to the Green Economy

IUCN has just published a guidebook to the green economy. It can be freely downloaded from their website (pdf 490 kb). Guidebook presents an overview of key ideas and themes surrounding discusisons of the Green Economy. They write:

The guidebook is structured as an annotated compilation of relevant papers, reports, and articles that can be freely accessed on the internet. It is not intended to serve as a complete bibliography of available literature, but more as an overview of the different concepts and ideas that animate ongoing discussions on the topic of the Green Economy.

It includes the concept of resilience but points to the secondary literature (it does provide a link the the RA’s website). The Guidebook writes:

The concept of resilience is becoming increasingly used in both natural and social sciences. It is highly relevant to economics in general and the Green Economy concept in particular. The resilience of an economy is intimately linked to its sustainability. The concept of resilience is most appropriately used for analyzing various systems in an effort to assess its capacity to absorb shocks without resulting in a change of state. From an ecological perspective, emphasis is placed on the role of biodiversity in sustaining ecosystem functions (Hooper, 2005). In an economic perspective, it is particularly useful for analyzing vulnerability and dependence of societies on their natural resources base and the capacity that local economies have for ensuring that they are resilient to disturbances (e.g. climate change; market fluctuations, etc.) (WRI, 2008). The notion of resilience also highlights the importance of anticipating potential thresholds and tipping points for a global economy that is expanding within a finite biosphere is faced with (Rockström et al., 2009).