The economics of resilient and sustainable socio-ecological systems

Globally, socio-ecological systems, such as marine systems and forests are under pressure by human economic activity and natural stressors, such as climate change and overexploitation. Sustainable management of these systems can enhance the resilience of systems to these stressors. For that, it is crucial to understand why some systems are overexploited and some are sustainably managed.

The Environmental Economics and Natural Resources (ENR) Group uses concepts and theories from environmental and resource economics to better understand how sustainability in socio-ecological systems can be achieved and maintained over time. This requires an understanding of the institutional factors that determine how systems are managed, such as the influence of property regimes and formal and informal institutional arrangements. However, this also requires a normative understanding of how systems should be managed. The challenge here is that socio-economic systems are mostly multi-use and multi-stakeholder, which leads to diverse and often conflicting objectives. Our research contributes to this normative dimension by assessing and evaluating those trade-offs and providing the evidence to foster sustainable use and resilient socioecological systems.

Key publications