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Ecosystem Approaches to Health

The Ecosystem Approach: Complexity, Uncertainty and Managing for Sustainability Co-edited with James Kay and Nina-Marie Lister (Columbia University Press, 2008)

Is sustainable development a workable solution for today’s environmental problems? Is it scientifically defensible? Best known for applying ecological theory to the engineering problems of everyday life, the late scholar James J. Kay was a leader in the study of social and ecological complexity and the thermodynamics of ecosystems. Drawing from his immensely important work, as well as the research of his students and colleagues, The Ecosystem Approach is a guide to the aspects of complex systems theories relevant to social-ecological management. Advancing a methodology that is rooted in good theory and practice, this book features case studies conducted in the Arctic and Africa, in Canada and Kathmandu, and in the Peruvian Amazon, Chesapeake Bay, and Chennai, India. Applying a systems approach to concrete environmental issues, this volume is geared toward scientists, engineers, and sustainable development scholars and practitioners who are attuned to the ideas of the Resilience Alliance-an international group of scientists who take a more holistic view of ecology and environmental problem-solving. Chapters cover the origins and rebirth of the ecosystem approach in ecology; the bridging of science and values; the challenge of governance in complex systems; systemic and participatory approaches to management; and the place for cultural diversity in the quest for global sustainability.

Ecosystem Sustainability and Health: A Practical Approach (Cambridge University Press, 2004)

Improving the health of people and animals, and improving the health, integrity or sustainability of ecosystems are laudable and important objectives. Can we do both? There are no ecosystems untouched by human activity, and there are worrying signs that the world’s ecosystems are reaching the limits of their ability to adapt to human impacts. Drawing on fields as diverse as epidemiology and participatory action research, philosophy and environmental sciences, ecology and systems sciences, this book is about searching for solutions to complex problems to produce a new science for sustainability.

Free downloads below: I ask only that you acknowledge the source of the material if you distribute it. Thanks.

In 2010, at the request of the Public Health Agency of Canada and with the aid of Veterinarians without Borders/Vétérinaires sans Frontières-Canada (www.vwb-vsf.ca) I compiled One Health for One World: A Compendium of Case Studies. This is available for free download here.

In 2011, at the request of Veterinarians without Borders/Vétérinaires sans Frontières-Canada, I prepared Ecohealth: a Primer. This is also available for free download here.

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