The diagram illustrates the necessity to integrate the biophysical sciences and the social sciences to generate an ecosystem description of the biophysical and socio-economic-political situation. This is used to formulate feasible and desirable futures, one of which is chosen to promote. It is then necessary to design a collaborative learning process for the ongoing adaptive process of governance, management, and monitoring for sustainability.
Descriptions of related methodologies:
In the second chapter of his Ph.D thesis, Martin Bunch reviews adaptive management, the ecosystem approach and soft systems thinking. He developed an alternative version of the diamond diagram which is quite popular.
Bunch, Martin An Adaptive Ecosystem Approach to Rehabilitation and Management of the Cooum River Environmental System in Chennai, India Ph.D., Environmental Studies, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, 2000
Beth Dempster, one of my Ph.D. students, has also developed another version of this diagram which she discusses on her WWW site.
Another variation on this theme, the AMESH diagram, is discussed in: Waltner-Toews D., Kay, J., Murray, T., 2001. "Adaptive Methodology for Ecosystem Sustainability and Health (AMESH): An Introduction". In Gerald Midgley & Alejandro E. Ochoa-Arias (Eds.) Community Operational Research: Systems Thinking For Community Development, Plenum Press.
An even simpler version .
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Last updated 20 March, 2002.