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The Evolution of an Ecosystem Approach: the Diamond Schematic and an Adaptive Methodology for Ecosystem Sustainability and Health

David Waltner-Toews, University of Guelph
James Kay


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Over the past 15 yr, an international network of researchers has developed and tested a methodology for integrating complex systems theories into sustainable development projects. Drawing on our best theoretical understanding of complex systems and combining it with best practices of community engagement drawn from a wide variety of sources, we have developed a methodology that is theoretically sound and practically effective. AMESH, an Adaptive Methodology for Ecosystem Sustainability and Health, has emerged from, and been tested in, Nepal, Kenya, Canada, and Peru.

Key words

ecosystem approach; research methodologies; adaptive ecosystem management; systems theory; sustainable development; development projects; eco-social systems; diamond schematic; heuristics; narratives; cross-talk

Copyright © 2005 by the author(s). Published here under license by The Resilience Alliance. This article is under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. You may share and adapt the work provided the original author and source are credited, you indicate whether any changes were made, and you include a link to the license.

Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087