# Towards a Social-Ecological-Entropy Perspective of Sustainable Exploitation of Natural Resources

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## Abstract

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## 1. Introduction

## 2. What We Mean by Social-Ecological System?

- A social subsystem interacts with its environment through extraction or restoration of ecological resources.
- A social subsystem interacts with another social subsystem by cooperation or competition processes.
- The members of a social subsystem interact with each other by sharing, transmitting, or transferring knowledge.

#### 2.1. Irreversibility in a SES

#### 2.2. The Analogy with Chemical Kinetics

#### 2.3. Bio-Mathematical Models and SEE Novelty

## 3. The Modeling Strategy

- The relations between social subsystems and their ecological surroundings can be treated as energetic transformations;
- The dynamics of these relations respond to irreversible processes;
- The social subsystems can exploit and restore their environment;
- Each social subsystem has an internal structure that modifies the interaction with its environment;
- The internal structure consists of differentiated sectors and there exists a population flux between them;
- The population flux is regulated by some rates that are inherent to the system;
- External agents can modify some rates and others are controlled internally.

#### 3.1. Model in Abstracto

- Knowledge sectors: answer the question of who knows what?
- Knowledge transfer-method: answer the question of who learns from who?
- Characterization parameters: describe which type of and how much knowledge the epistemological community has.
- Control parameters represent when an epistemological community considers that someone already knows the necessary information and can change sector.

#### 3.2. Social-Ecological Entropy Production as Sustainability Criterion

#### 3.3. Types of Intervention

- Natural intervention: the change of environmental conditions. For example, the change of temperature or humidity or a natural disaster that occurs across the natural ecosystem affects the resource or the social subsystems.
- Addition intervention: the increase, decrease, or substitution of elements in the system. For example, the arrival of a new community into a pre-existing system.
- Behavior intervention: the change of control parameters to regulate the behavior of the communities. For example, a change in the number of years of elementary school.

#### 3.4. The Model

#### 3.5. Knowledge Transfer Methods

#### 3.6. Mobility through Sectors: The Mathematical Model

#### 3.7. Relation with Resource

#### Complete Model

## 4. Results and Discussion: The Two Community Case

#### 4.1. Methodology of Simulations

- Select a knowledge-transfer method for ${C}_{1}$ and ${C}_{2}$ substituting in the system (14) the corresponding populations ${X}_{ni}$.
- Obtain the model solutions by fixing the characterization parameters and varying the control parameters of ${C}_{2}$.
- Calculate the entropy production of each solution and classify it.
- Compare the obtained results with steps (1–3) for different knowledge-transfer methods.

#### 4.2. Entropic Threshold

#### 4.3. Comparison of Knowledge Transfer Methods

#### 4.4. D-D

#### 4.5. D-P

#### 4.6. P-P

#### 4.7. P-D

## 5. Conclusions

## Author Contributions

## Funding

## Institutional Review Board Statement

## Informed Consent Statement

## Data Availability Statement

## Acknowledgments

## Conflicts of Interest

## References

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**Figure 1.**Schematic representation of the structure of the social-ecological model. Two epistemological communities ${C}^{\left(1\right)}$ and ${C}^{\left(2\right)}$ act on a single ecosystem to exploit the resource $\mathcal{R}$. The interaction of the communities and the resource produces an external dynamic, consisting of the population changes of every subsystem involved (${C}^{\left(1\right)},{C}^{\left(2\right)},\dots ,R$). This is accounted for by the time behavior of the internal structure of each community i composed by actors and sectors with populations ${S}_{a\beta}$ with $a=1,2,\dots ,n$, $\beta =1,2,\dots ,r$ that reflect several degrees and types of knowledge. The internal dynamics consist of the flux of populations among different knowledge sectors. The two epistemological communities may also interact between them. The figure is own creation.

**Figure 2.**(

**a**) Direct (D) and (

**b**) phase-in (P) knowledge-transfer methods. The solid (red) arrows indicate the knowledge flow transfer whereas the dashed (blue) arrows indicate the population flow between the distinct sectors. N is the population of new individuals, A the population of individuals acquiring technical knowledge, E the population of individuals experimenting with the technical knowledge and P the population of individuals able to produce or extract the natural resource, see Table 1. The figure is own creation.

**Figure 3.**Illustration of the different nature of possible solutions in terms of the population dynamics (upper panels) and the corresponding social-ecological entropy production (lower panels). (

**a**) Sustainable: The post-intervention behavior of the entropy production reaches a new periodic behavior with an entropy production inferior to the threshold value, indicated by the horizontal red-dashed line. (

**b**) Exhaust: The population reaches a time-independent value that makes the entropy production null. (

**c**) Catastrophic: The post-intervention behavior leads to an entropy production behavior with larger values than the entropic threshold. The populations take shallow values that are non-compatible, with minimal survival populations. The figure is the authors’ own creation.

**Figure 4.**Four different parametric planes obtained after assuming different knowledge-transfer methods. Blue points correspond to sustainable situations, yellow points to non-sustainable situations by exhaustion and red points indicate non-sustainable catastrophic situations. (

**a**) D-D knowledge-transfer mode, (

**b**) D-P knowledge-transfer mode, (

**c**) P-D knowledge-transfer mode and (

**d**) P-P knowledge-transfer mode. The figure is own creation.

**Figure 5.**Illustration of the different nature of possible solutions in terms of the populations dynamics (upper panels) and the corresponding social-ecological entropy production (lower panels) of the D-P mode of knowledge-transfer method. (

**a**) Sustainable: The post-intervention dynamics has low entropy production rate after the intervention by the second community making this scenario a very resilient one. (

**b**) Sustainable: The post-intervention dynamics is still sustainable but it has a higher entropy production rate. Therefore, it is less resilient after the intervention by the second community than in case (

**a**). (

**c**) Unsustainable dynamics with catastrophic fate. After few oscillations after the intervention the dynamics collapses, surpassing the entropy production rate threshold. See the main text for a detailed discussion of the results. The figure is the authors’ own creation.

**Figure 6.**Illustration of the different nature of possible solutions in terms of the populations dynamics (upper panels) and the corresponding social-ecological entropy production (lower panels) of the P-D mode of knowledge-transfer method. (

**a**) Sustainable: The post-intervention dynamics has low entropy production rate after the intervention by the second community. The dynamics tends to an asymptotic behavior, making this scenario a very resilient one. (

**b**) Sustainable: The post-intervention dynamics is still sustainable but entropy production rate tends to increase with time after the intervention by the second community, indicating a fragile post-intervention behavior. (

**c**) Sustainable: The dynamics is sustainable but shows chaotic oscillations after the intervention. This reduces the capability of predicting future events. See the main text for a detailed discussion of the results. The figure is own creation.

**Figure 7.**Illustration of the different nature of possible solutions in terms of the populations dynamics (upper panels) and the corresponding social-ecological entropy production (lower panels) of the P-P mode of knowledge-transfer method. (

**a**) Sustainable: The post-intervention dynamics has peaks with high entropy production rate after the intervention. The SES can be considered sustainable but fragile, since an unexpected perturbation may induce the dynamics to cross the entropy production rate threshold. (

**b**) Sustainable: The post-intervention dynamics shows an irregular dynamics which is more manifest through the entropy production rate. The long-time behavior seems to decrease the entropy production maintaining the SES with an irregular but sustainable dynamics. (

**c**) Catastrophic: After the intervention, the entropy production rate shows oscillations with increasing amplitude that eventually cross the entropy production rate threshold, indicating that the SES unsustainable. See the main text for a detailed discussion of the results. The figure is own creation.

**Figure 8.**Illustration of the change of the parametric plane in three different times. (

**a**) Corresponds to a maximal time of ${t}_{max}=3000$ time units, (

**b**) ${t}_{max}=5000$ time units and (

**c**) ${t}_{max}=10000$ time units. The figure is own creation.

N | Sector of new individuals in the community or that does not have any relevant knowledge in order to exploit the resource. |

A | Sector of individuals acquiring technical knowledge or learning how to manipulate a resource. |

E | Sector of individuals experimenting with the technical knowledge, that is, acquiring environmental knowledge by interacting with the surroundings or ecosystem. |

P | Sector of individuals able to produce, extract or exploit a resource. |

$\mathit{\gamma}$ | Quality-of-inclusion rate of one sector into another one. |

$\omega $ | Amount of technical knowledge for extraction. |

$\lambda $ | Amount of environmental knowledge for restoration of the resources. |

${\u03f5}_{\alpha}$ | Knowledge-transfer rate of knowledge type $\alpha =\omega ,\lambda $. |

C_{1} | C_{2} |
---|---|

Characterization | |

${\rho}_{1}\to 0.45$ | ${\rho}_{2}\to 0.5$ |

${\gamma}_{1}\to 0.4$ | ${\gamma}_{2}\to 0.4$ |

${\omega}_{1}\to 0.3$ | ${\omega}_{2}\to 0.6$ |

${\lambda}_{1}\to 0.6$ | ${\lambda}_{2}\to 0.3$ |

${\mu}_{1}\to 0.01$ | ${\mu}_{2}\to 0.01$ |

${\kappa}_{1}\to 0.8$ | ${\kappa}_{2}\to 0.8$ |

Control | |

${\u03f5}_{\omega 1}\to 0.3$ | ${\u03f5}_{\omega 2}\to \alpha $ |

${\u03f5}_{\lambda 1}\to 0.3$ | ${\u03f5}_{\lambda 2}\to \beta $ |

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**MDPI and ACS Style**

Michel-Mata, S.; Gómez-Salazar, M.; Castaño, V.; Santamaría-Holek, I.
Towards a Social-Ecological-Entropy Perspective of Sustainable Exploitation of Natural Resources. *Foundations* **2022**, *2*, 999-1021.
https://doi.org/10.3390/foundations2040067

**AMA Style**

Michel-Mata S, Gómez-Salazar M, Castaño V, Santamaría-Holek I.
Towards a Social-Ecological-Entropy Perspective of Sustainable Exploitation of Natural Resources. *Foundations*. 2022; 2(4):999-1021.
https://doi.org/10.3390/foundations2040067

**Chicago/Turabian Style**

Michel-Mata, Sebastián, Mónica Gómez-Salazar, Víctor Castaño, and Iván Santamaría-Holek.
2022. "Towards a Social-Ecological-Entropy Perspective of Sustainable Exploitation of Natural Resources" *Foundations* 2, no. 4: 999-1021.
https://doi.org/10.3390/foundations2040067