Ecological Economics, June, 2013, Vol.90, p.177(10)
To link to full-text access for this article, visit this link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolecon.2013.03.018 Byline: Ali Kharrazi, Elena Rovenskaya, Brian D. Fath, Masaru Yarime, Steven Kraines Abstract: Sustainability as a concept has multiple disparate perspectives stemming from different related disciplines which either maintain ambiguous interpretations or concentrate on metrics pertaining to single aspects of a system. Given the embedded multi-dimensionality of sustainability, systemic approaches are needed that can cope with interactions of different dimensions. Past efforts for measuring sustainability holistically have taken an accounting approach based on the availability and efficiency of resource flows. However, an accounting approach fails to fully incorporate the intensive parameters pertaining to sustainability. An ecological information-based approach is a promising holistic measurement which incorporates both intensive and extensive dimensions of sustainability. This paper evaluates this approach by applying it to six economic resource trade flow networks: virtual water, oil, world commodity, OECD+BRIC commodity, OECD+BRIC foreign direct investment, and iron and steel. From the perspective of biomimicry, it appears that these networks can achieve higher levels of efficiency without weakening their robustness to resource delivery. The trends of measured efficiency and redundancy of the studied networks are demonstrated to be useful in reflecting long term changes while the trend in robustness levels were found to exhibit similar behavior to an ecosystem in its early phase of development. Article History: Received 6 January 2013; Revised 19 March 2013; Accepted 22 March 2013
Foreign Investments -- Environmental Aspects ; Sustainable Development -- Environmental Aspects
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