Critical natural capital revisited: Ecological resilience and sustainable development

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Abstract

The maintenance of critical natural capital is an important objective of sustainable development. Critical natural capital represents a multidimensional concept, as it mirrors the different frameworks of various scientific disciplines and social groups in valuing nature. This article revisits the concept of critical natural capital and examines its relation to the concept of ecological resilience. I propose that ecological resilience can help a great deal in specifying the 'ecological criticality' of specific renewable parts of the natural capital. More specifically, I suggest that the degree of ecological resilience is inversely related to the degree of threat ecosystems are prone to. The concept of ecological resilience may complement other measures, such as integrity or vulnerability, in estimating the degree of threat specific ecosystems are exposed to. The empirical estimates of ecological resilience add a further criterion in order to build a comprehensive and clear conception of critical natural capital. © 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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Brand, F. (2009, January 15). Critical natural capital revisited: Ecological resilience and sustainable development. Ecological Economics. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolecon.2008.09.013

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