Studies in Modelling and Decision Support, Second Edition
Edited by M. A. Quaddus and M. A.B. Siddique
Chapter 13: Decision support systems for ecosystems management: a Singerian approach to urban infrastructure decision making
The World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) suggests that development is sustainable when it ‘meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’ (www.wbscd.ch). Sustainable development is a strategy by which communities seek economic development approaches that preserve and maintain the local environment and enhance the quality of life. Through this approach a framework is provided under which communities can protect environmental resources by using resources efficiently, create efficient infrastructures, protect and enhance quality of life, and create new businesses to strengthen their economies (US Dept of Energy, 2001). Ecosystems management attempts to deal with complex environmental issues by fostering sustainable development that recognizes the complex web of natural, economic, social and political factors that affect environmental systems. Effective management of these systems requires an understanding of their properties and in particular knowledge of the dynamics of these systems, and the cultures that rely on them (Mäler, 2000).
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