Almost all life-supporting resources that contribute to long-term human well-being are connected to how we manage the biosphere.
Human appropriation of ecosystem services for food, feed, fuel, and fiber production regularly compete with other uses. Ignoring trade-offs can lead to unsustainable exploitation, environmental degradation, and irreversible long-term societal costs.
Scientific and policy support is therefore needed to allow further expansion of food production, while at the same time ensuring that agricultural lands are improved, water resources and quality are preserved, and the integrity of natural ecosystems is safeguarded. To meet these multiple objectives, land management strategies need to be redefined within a global context.
Transition planning to sustainable ecosystem management, however, faces substantial challenges. To facilitate the process, improved understanding and management of competing uses of land, water resources, and ecosystem services are required. This includes the responsible expansion of food and bio-energy production, sustaining regulating natural ecosystem functions and biodiversity, and enhancing terrestrial carbon pools, while also accounting for potential impacts of climate change. ESM pursues these objectives in several ways:
Last edited: 22 May 2014
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
Phone: (+43 2236) 807 0 Fax:(+43 2236) 71 313