Getting Down to Earth: Practical Applications of Ecological Economics

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Achieving global sustainability will require the development and integration of three elements: a shared vision of what a sustainable society is; new methods of analysis and modelling to understand and describe that vision; and new institutions and instruments that can make the vision a reality. Getting Down to Earth examines these three elements and the importance of their integration for the creation of a sustainable world.Drawing on materials from a workshop following the third international conference of the International Society for Ecological Economics, Getting Down to Earth brings together scientists, managers, and national and international policymakers to identify practical strategies for implementing sustainability based on ecological economic principles. The book: reexamines the status quo from biophysical as well as social perspectives considers the collaborative process of developing a shared vision of a sustainable and desirable society addresses the need for models that incorporate precepts of ecological economics suggests institutional changes necessary for implementing the ecological economics vision of sustainability illustrates the importance of social, economic, cultural, and ecological factors in achieving sustainability using case studies from Latin America Joining a shared vision of a sustainable and desirable world with adequate analysis and innovative implementation promises to be the "full package" necessary to achieve sustainability. Ecological economics, a transdisciplinary approach that focuses directly on the problems facing humanity and the life-supporting ecosystems on which we depend, is helping to foster the dialogue necessary to pull the package together and move toward newly articulated goals. Getting Down to Earth presents an important overview of the practical applications of ecological economics for students, researchers, faculty, and anyone interested in the development of a sustainable society.

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SocioEcological Principles for a Sustainable Society
Value Added Physical Transformation

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About the author (1996)

Robert Costanza is director of the Institute for Ecological Economics at the University of Maryland, based in Solomons, Maryland, and coauthor of Ecosystem Health (Island Press, 1992).

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