The world is undergoing unprecedented changes in many of the factors that determine its fundamental properties and their in- ence on society. These changes include climate; the chemical c- position of the atmosphere; the demands of a growing human population for food and ?ber; and the mobility of organisms, ind- trial products, cultural perspectives, and information ?ows. The magnitude and widespread nature of these changes pose serious challenges in managing the ecosystem services on which society depends. Moreover, many of these changes are strongly in?uenced by human activities, so future patterns of change will continue to be in?uenced by society’s choices and governance. The purpose of this book is to provide a new framework for n- ural resource management―a framework based on stewardship of ecosystems for human well-being in a world dominated by unc- tainty and change. The goal of ecosystem stewardship is to respond to and shape change in social-ecological systems in order to s- tain the supply and opportunities for use of ecosystem services by society. The book links recent advances in the theory of resilience, sustainability, and vulnerability with practical issues of ecosystem management and governance. The book is aimed at advanced undergraduates and beginning graduate students of natural resource management as well as professional managers, community leaders, and policy makers with backgrounds in a wide array of d- ciplines, including ecology, policy studies, economics, sociology, and anthropology.
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