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UFZ Discussion Paper No. 5/2009
Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung (UFZ), Leipzig
Most problems related to biodiversity management have an ecological as well as a socio-economic dimension. Consequently, there has been a growing recognition that adequate management recommendations directed at such problems can only be developed if knowledge from ecology, economics and various social science disciplines is taken into account in an integrated manner. To respond to the need for integrated research, a number of approaches have been proposed over the last decade or so with the aim of integrating knowledge from the natural and social sciences. These approaches emerged in different contexts and have integrated different disciplines. As the recognition of the need for integrated research is rather recent the approaches that integrate natural and social sciences are still in a phase of development. In order to further this development, a better understanding of how to tackle specific challenges that arise when knowledge from different disciplines is integrated may be helpful. The aim of this paper is to contribute to this task by analysing and comparing how selected approaches cope with one key challenge of integration: ensuring that state-of-the-art knowledge from both disciplines is used in the integrated approach. We selected the following approaches for comparison: Ecological-economic modelling, political ecology, the resilience approach, multi criteria analysis, and methods of material and energy flow accounting (MEFA) of socio-ecological systems. [...]
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Working Paper

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