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Ecosystem management

           Sustainability refers to meeting the needs of humanity and simultaneously maintaining long-term biological diversity and productivity, by juxtaposing the limitations of natural resources with the demands of society. The ecosystem approach forefronts the participation of all stakeholders in the establishment of sustainable interactions with the ecosystem that they live in. Conservation management is decentralized to the lowest appropriate level, in view of sustaining local livelihoods. At the same time, involving every sector of society and science in conservation matters is recommended, locally to internationally, in order to gather all relevant expertise. Consequently, community is dynamic, formed by the gradation of different scales of stakeholders nested into one another, and mirrors the ecosystem. Such an approach supports equitable conservation and sustainability, through the integration of land, water and living resources.

The ecosystem approach democratizes knowledge. The range of available information is increased, as well as the scale of scientific research, supplemented by a local level of analysis and enriched by traditional ecological knowledge. Based on historical, long-term observations of the natural surroundings, traditional ecological knowledge is passed down from generation to generation in distinct cultural groups. Considering that it instructs on how to interact with the local environment, traditional ecological knowledge echoes the ecosystem’s voice.

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