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Introduction: The Metabolism of Islands

School of Environment, Enterprise and Development (SEED), University of Waterloo Environment, Waterloo, ON N2L3G1, Canada
Institute of Social Ecology (SEC), University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), 1190 Vienna, Austria
Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06511, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(22), 9516;
Received: 10 November 2020 / Accepted: 13 November 2020 / Published: 16 November 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Metabolism of Islands)
This editorial introduces the Special Issue “Metabolism of Islands”. It makes a case why we should care about islands and their sustainability. Islands are hotspots of biocultural diversity, and home to 600 million people that depend on one-sixth of the earth’s total area, including the surrounding oceans, for their subsistence. Today, they are on the frontlines of climate change and face an existential crisis. Islands are, however, potential “hubs of innovation” and are uniquely positioned to be leaders in sustainability and climate action. We argue that a full-fledged program on “island industrial ecology” is urgently needed with the aim to offer policy-relevant insights and strategies to sustain small islands in an era of global environmental change. We introduce key industrial ecology concepts, and the state-of-the-art in applying them to islands. Nine contributions in this Special Issue are briefly reviewed to highlight the metabolic risks inherent in the island cases. The contributors explore how reconfiguring patterns of resource use will allow island governments to build resilience and adapt to the challenges of climate change. View Full-Text
Keywords: island metabolism; island sustainability; island industrial ecology; socio-metabolic research; metabolic risk; socio-metabolic collapse island metabolism; island sustainability; island industrial ecology; socio-metabolic research; metabolic risk; socio-metabolic collapse
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MDPI and ACS Style

Singh, S.J.; Fischer-Kowalski, M.; Chertow, M. Introduction: The Metabolism of Islands. Sustainability 2020, 12, 9516.

AMA Style

Singh SJ, Fischer-Kowalski M, Chertow M. Introduction: The Metabolism of Islands. Sustainability. 2020; 12(22):9516.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Singh, Simron Jit., Marina Fischer-Kowalski, and Marian Chertow. 2020. "Introduction: The Metabolism of Islands" Sustainability 12, no. 22: 9516.

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