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Ecosystem Health: New Goals for Environmental Management
Synopses & Reviews
"Ecosystem Health" brings together leading ecologists, philosophers, and economists to analyze the issues surrounding the concept of health as it relates to ecosystems. Both theoretical and practical aspects of what constitutes a healthy ecosystem are examined — philosophical and ethical underpinnings as well as implications for public policy and ecosystems management.
As environmental regulatory and management agencies (most notably the Environmental Protection Agency) move toward a broad set of management goals to protect ecosystem health, developing an adequate definition for "ecosystem health" has become increasingly important. This work is a multidisciplinary collection of perspectives on the concept of health as it relates to ecosystems. The contributors - leading ecologists, philosophers, and economists - analyze the normative, conceptual, and biological issues surrounding the idea of ecosystem health. They examine both theoretical and practical aspects of the issues, and look at philosophical and ethical underpinnings as well as implications for public policy and ecosystems management. Ecosystem Health is a groundbreaking attempt to formulate an understanding of the quality and health of natural environments so that regulatory mandates can be brought in line with legislative goals. Ultimately, it seeks a new ethic of sustainability that will serve to protect the vital processes of nature.
About the Author
Robert Costanza is a professor at the Center for Environmental and Estuarine Studies at the University of Maryland.
Bryan G. Norton is a professor of public policy at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Benjamin D. Haskell is a National Sea Grant Marine Policy Fellow.
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