Uncertainty, sustainability and change
Publication Year: 2002
Journal: Global Environmental Change
This article offers an exploration of connections between sustainability, risk and uncertainty. Global environmental change and human sustainability are characterized as the challenge of managing change in dynamic systems riddled with uncertainty. A number of disciplines and intellectual traditions, including systems thinking, risk and ecology, are surveyed briefly as sources to inform an approach to this challenge. Approaches to managing risk and uncertainty are discussed, a typology of resilience constructed, and an approach to sustainability defined. The discussion is based on the three imperatives of constant change, everpresent uncertainty and ignorance, and an increasingly stressed interdependency between humans and the biosphere.