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Ioan Negrutiu : General Introduction - Resources, what else ?

Cours du 26 mai 2015

Intervenant : Ioan Negrutiu, Professeur Emérite, Ecole normale supérieure de Lyon, coordonnateur des cours Bioresources and Biodiversity et Science et Société

Introduction Bioresources : Abstract

Resources and their stewardship are the major challenge today. To argue on this assertion a close look at the political and scientific agendas today reveals a series of clichés and inconsistencies, such as climate deregulation shortcuts, lack of clear distinction between biodiversity erosion versus the 6th extinction concept, or the inevitable hyper-urbanization trends and early warning signals from agriculture-rural and food system successive crises.
To understand those challenges, I present a comparative view on human versus nature « economics » in order to highlight the
(1) interdependence between social and ecosystem spheres and
(2) the conflicting organization patterns in social versus ecological systems.
On that note, the working hypothesis is that the social systems are the weak link in the balance. The latter are characterized by systemic forcings on both human and natural resources with as consequence cumulative debts through social and ecosystem dumping. Examples are presented across history embracing early work during the physiocrats era to the Club of Rome reports and their updates. Agriculture is used as case study.

Agriculture can be summarized as the cross-point where soil / land use, water, and biomass meet. They are part of vital cycles, functions and services delivered by ecosystems. These are the most constraining resource systems today and the main ingredients and instruments in geopolitical designs.

The cross-cutting analysis of the course stresses the necessity to develop a resource-centered vision at both global and local levels. That vision needs to be supported by methodologies, instruments, and tools of an inclusive and systemic resource-centered science that allows a thorough and systematic monitoring, evaluation, and accountability that strengthen good practice and inclusive governance of territorial resources. The ultimate goal is to achieve socio-ecosystemic « zero debt » societies. This radical change implies putting the economy within the limits of the biosphere (coined “planetary boundaries”). In other words, a cultural shift from balance of nature to balance with nature. The alliance between the natural sciences and legal studies is a first step in that direction. A necessary undertaking before tackling the present and future of biological resources in the global geopolitics.

Publié ou mis à jour le 6 février 2017