Governance in the Face of Extreme Events: Lessons from Evolutionary Processes for Structuring Interventions, and the Need to Go Beyond

The increasing frequency of extreme events, exogenous and endogenous, poses challenges for our societies. The current pandemic is a case in point; but “once-in-a-century” weather events are also becoming more common, leading to erosion, wildfire and even volcanic events that change ecosystems and disturbance regimes, threaten the sustainability of our life-support systems, and challenge the robustness and resilience of societies. Dealing with extremes will require…

Decision analysis based on optimization

Chapter 29 deals with the set of methods related to decision analysis based on optimisation, which refers to a systematic approach to evaluating information about alternative choices when multiple options are possible, with many possible outcomes and different trade-offs. The chapter discusses mathematical programming, optimal control theory, game theory, decision theory, cost-benefit analysis and multiple-criteria decision analysis. It goes on to discuss the types of…

Social relationship dynamics mediate climate impacts on income inequality: evidence from the Mexican Humboldt squid fishery

Small-scale fisheries are critically important for livelihoods around the world, particularly in tropical regions. However, climate variability and anthropogenic climate change may seriously impact small-scale fisheries by altering the abundance and distribution of target species. Social relationships between fishery users, such as fish traders, can determine how each individual responds and is affected by changes in fisheries. These informal cooperative and competitive relationships provide access,…

Cascading regime shifts in pollution recipients and resource systems

Ecosystems can undergo regime shifts – large, abrupt and persistent changes in their structure and function. These regime shifts can interact with each other creating cascading effects. We explore potential characteristics of such interactions and their outcomes. We focus on two types of systems where regime shifts can substantially influence human welfare and livelihoods: pollution recipients, such as the atmosphere and water bodies, and renewable…

Urbanization, Migration, and Adaptation to Climate Change

Climate change is reshaping the comparative advantage of regions and hence driving migration flows, principally toward urban areas. Migration has multiple benefits and costs in both origin and destination regions. Coordinated policies that recognize how and why people move can reduce future costs and facilitate adaptation to climate change both within borders and internationally.

Corridors of Clarity: Four Principles to Overcome Uncertainty Paralysis in the Anthropocene

Global environmental change challenges humanity because of its broad scale, long-lasting, and potentially irreversible consequences. Key to an effective response is to use an appropriate scientific lens to peer through the mist of uncertainty that threatens timely and appropriate decisions surrounding these complex issues. Identifying such corridors of clarity could help understanding critical phenomena or causal pathways sufficiently well to justify taking policy action. To…

Time-consistent resource management with regime shifts

We investigate how a resource user who is present-biased manages a renewable resource stock with variable growth that could undergo a reversible regime shift (an abrupt, persistent change in structure and function of the ecosystem supplying the resource). In a discrete-time quasihyperbolic discounting framework with no commitment device, and using only generic utility functions and stock transition with regime shifts, we show that there is…

Review of the research knowledge and gaps on fish populations, fisheries and linked ecosystems in the Central Arctic Ocean (CAO)

This report presents a review of the research knowledge and gaps on fish populations, fisheries and linked ecosystems in the Central Arctic Ocean (CAO). The CAO comprises the deep basins of the Arctic Ocean beyond the shelf break, which largely overlap with the High Seas of the Arctic Ocean, i.e. the marine areas outside the Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) of the Arctic coastal nations. The…

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