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Long-Term Ecosystem Research in Europe

8th International Conference of the European Society for Ecological Economics

'Transformation, Innovation and Adaptation for Sustainability - Integrating Natural and Social Sciences'
When 29 Jun, 2009 09:00 AM to
02 Jul, 2009 05:00 PM
Where University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
Contact Name
Contact Phone 00386 1 4231161
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This conference offers the opportunity to engage into a critical evaluation of the present and future research agenda of Ecological Economics. Global environmental problems have risen to the top of the international political agenda and there is growing demand for analyses that help understanding inter-coupled social, technological and environmental systems and formulating urgent policy actions. The relevant systems are typically open, dynamic and often indeterminate in their behaviour. This introduces challenges concerning the quality of knowledge and the tools and methods suitable for understanding system changes. These problems are further compounded where governance interventions are framed differently under contending social values and interests and shaped by the exercise of cultural, political and economic power.

Although it is generally accepted that natural and social systems are inter-coupled, both are mostly analyzed in terms of purely internal disciplinary models. Social systems are often studied in isolation from the surrounding environment, whereas for natural systems it is common that a large number of interconnections and variables is analysed, while the role of humans is described by a single actor model seeing people mainly as creators of disturbances. Ecological economics approaches to these challenges seek to overcome the theoretical and methodological barriers. This requires developing strategies for understanding and engaging with the complexity, interdependence and co-evolutionary dynamics of socio-ecological systems.

The conference aims to contribute to a better understanding of societal and natural processes and their interaction by integrating various scientific methodologies and approaches - that is empirical work, modelling, governance and policy research or philosophical and methodological studies.

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