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Open AccessConcept Paper

Perception and Representation of the Resource Nexus at the Interface between Society and the Natural Environment

1
Institute of Environmental Science and Technology, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra, Spain
2
ICREA, Pg. Lluís Companys 23, 08010 Barcelona, Spain
Sustainability 2018, 10(7), 2545; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10072545
Received: 11 May 2018 / Revised: 13 July 2018 / Accepted: 19 July 2018 / Published: 20 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Nature Interactions)
Recent years have seen an explosion of interest in the resource nexus. This has created the co-existence of different understandings and uses of the concept. In this regard, experiences in the EU H2020 project ‘Moving towards adaptive governance in complexity: Informing nexus security’ are consistent with findings reported in the literature: (i) The inconvenient message of the nexus is difficult to get across, it being incompatible with the currently dominant rosy narratives about sustainability. Indeed, from a historic perspective, the nexus can be seen as a revival of the ideological fight between cornucopians and neo-Malthusians; (ii) Silo structures in existing institutions are a problem for the governance of the nexus, and so is the resulting reductionist strategy of addressing and fixing one issue at the time; (iii) Scientific inquiry is currently not providing the quality inputs needed for a meaningful discussion of the resource nexus. Entanglement of resource flows is rooted in the complex metabolic pattern of social-ecological systems, the analysis of which requires a complex systems approach and relational analysis. Contemporary reductionist models simply make the nexus invisible to the analyst. View Full-Text
Keywords: resource nexus; semiotic process; buzzword; metabolic pattern; social-ecological system; complex systems; relational analysis resource nexus; semiotic process; buzzword; metabolic pattern; social-ecological system; complex systems; relational analysis
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MDPI and ACS Style

Giampietro, M. Perception and Representation of the Resource Nexus at the Interface between Society and the Natural Environment. Sustainability 2018, 10, 2545.

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