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6
Integrating Knowledge and Action

We must consider our planet to be on loan from our children, rather than being a gift from our ancestors ... As caretakers of our common future, we have the responsibility to seek scientifically sound policies, nationally as well as internationally. If the long-term viability of humanity is to be ensured, we have no other choice.
Gro Harlem Brundtland1

Navigating A Transition Toward Sustainability

The idea of sustainable development has become a significant and dynamic force in political dialogue around the world. It emerged in the early 1980s from scientific perspectives on the relationships between society and the environment, and has evolved since in tandem with significant advances in our understanding of these relationships. Nonetheless, for the last decade and more the evolving idea of sustainable development has been shaped more by political than by scientific perspectives. Reciprocally, strategic priorities for science and technology have been little influenced by the development of sustainability thinking. The present study has been an effort to reinvigorate the needed strategic connections between science and sustainable development.

In conducting its work, the Board has focused its efforts on the next two generations, when many of the stresses between environment and development will be most acute and when a transition toward sustainability will need to take place if the earth's human population and life support systems are not to significantly damage both. This next half-century, like any future, is not knowable and will provide at least its share of surprises. But certain trends and transitions of population and habitation, wealth and consumption, technology and work, connectedness and diversity, and environmental change are likely to persist well into the coming century (Chapter 2). They provide the context for scientific analysis of some of the threats to, and opportunities for, sustainable develop-



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Page 275 6 Integrating Knowledge and Action We must consider our planet to be on loan from our children, rather than being a gift from our ancestors ... As caretakers of our common future, we have the responsibility to seek scientifically sound policies, nationally as well as internationally. If the long-term viability of humanity is to be ensured, we have no other choice. Gro Harlem Brundtland1 Navigating A Transition Toward Sustainability The idea of sustainable development has become a significant and dynamic force in political dialogue around the world. It emerged in the early 1980s from scientific perspectives on the relationships between society and the environment, and has evolved since in tandem with significant advances in our understanding of these relationships. Nonetheless, for the last decade and more the evolving idea of sustainable development has been shaped more by political than by scientific perspectives. Reciprocally, strategic priorities for science and technology have been little influenced by the development of sustainability thinking. The present study has been an effort to reinvigorate the needed strategic connections between science and sustainable development. In conducting its work, the Board has focused its efforts on the next two generations, when many of the stresses between environment and development will be most acute and when a transition toward sustainability will need to take place if the earth's human population and life support systems are not to significantly damage both. This next half-century, like any future, is not knowable and will provide at least its share of surprises. But certain trends and transitions of population and habitation, wealth and consumption, technology and work, connectedness and diversity, and environmental change are likely to persist well into the coming century (Chapter 2). They provide the context for scientific analysis of some of the threats to, and opportunities for, sustainable develop-

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Page 276 ment that the future may hold (Chapter 4). In such analysis lies the prospect for informed investment in research, capacity building, action, and policy that can make more attractive the prospects for our common journey. In the Board's judgment, a transition to sustainability over the next two generations should aim to meet the needs of a much larger but stabilizing human population, to sustain the life support systems of the planet, and to substantially reduce hunger and poverty. For each of these dimensions of a successful transition, there is wide international agreement about minimal goals and targets. The current trends mentioned above are likely to persist well into the coming century and could significantly undermine the prospects for sustainability. If they do, we conclude that many human needs will not be met, life support systems will be dangerously degraded, and the numbers of hungry and poor will increase. Even the most alarming current trends, however, may experience transitions that enhance the prospects for sustainability. Based on our analysis of persistent trends and plausible futures, we believe that a successful transition toward sustainability is possible over the next two generations. This transition could be achieved without miraculous technologies or drastic transformations of human societies. What will be required, however, are significant advances in basic knowledge, in the social capacity and technological capabilities to utilize it, and in the political will to turn this knowledge and know-how into action. The individual environmental problems that have occupied most of the world's attention to date are unlikely in themselves to prevent substantial progress in a transition toward sustainability over the next two generations. Over longer time periods, unmitigated expansion of even these individual problems could certainly pose serious threats to people and the planet's life support systems. Even more troubling in the medium term, however, are the environmental threats arising from multiple, cumulative, and interactive stresses and driven by a variety of human activities. These stresses or syndromes, which result in severe environmental degradation, can be difficult to untangle from one another and complex to manage. Though often aggravated by global changes, they are shaped by the physical, ecological, and social interactions at particular places, that is, locales or regions. Developing an integrated and place-based understanding of such threats and the options for dealing with them is a central challenge for the development of a useful ''sustainability science" for promoting a transition toward sustainability. There are no maps for navigating a transition toward sustainability. Our common journey is nonetheless already under way. This Board's study has suggested the need for navigational strategies that can better

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Page 277 integrate avowedly incomplete knowledge with necessarily experimental action into programs of adaptive management and social learning. Our goal in this chapter is to sketch such a strategy. Why a strategic approach? "Muddling through" the changing challenges and opportunities presented by the trends discussed in Chapter 2 can take us part of the way toward sustainability goals in the future as it has in the past—especially where political systems and markets are so structured that they provide appropriate incentives and timely feedbacks. But as examples and analysis presented in earlier chapters of this report suggest, mere muddling through would leave untapped substantial opportunities for promoting a sustainability transition. It would also leave society unnecessarily vulnerable to a variety of foreseeable threats, as well as to the sorts of surprises that cannot be foreseen but can be prepared for. Needed to complement the strengths and compensate for the weaknesses of "muddling through" are, therefore, strategic efforts dedicated to improving the prospects for sustainable development. Many such efforts are possible. As discussed in Chapter 1, some are well under way. Our intention here is to sketch elements of one such strategy: a strategy for mobilizing scientific knowledge in programs of purposive social learning and adaptive management committed to the promotion of a sustainability transition. We see such a strategy as a vehicle through which the science and technology community can significantly increase its contribution to the goal of "providing the energy, materials, and information to feed, house, nurture, educate, and employ many more people than are alive today—while preserving the basic life support systems of the planet, and reducing hunger and poverty." What kind of strategy? Along with others that have studied the problem, we believe that knowledge is a crucial resource for navigating the transition toward sustainability—a resource that arms us, however imperfectly, to cope with the threats and opportunities that may be encountered along the way.2 A capacity for long-term, intelligent investment in the production of relevant knowledge, know-how, and the capacity to use them both must therefore be a component of any strategy for the transition to sustainability. Some of that knowledge will be produced in libraries, on web sites, and in laboratories around the world. Such are the concerns before us, however, that much of what societies need to know will only emerge in the course of applying knowledge to actions. A strategy for navigating the transition toward sustainability must therefore be a strategy not just of thinking but also of doing. Our explorations suggest that such a strategy should include a spectrum of initiatives ranging from curiosity-driven research addressing fundamental processes of environmental and social change, to focused policy experiments designed

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Page 278 to promote specific sustainability goals. We suggest a number of such initiatives below under the general headings of "Priorities for Research" and "Priorities for Action," while recognizing that in practice these realms will often blend together. We also provide an appraisal of the institutional matters that will have to be surmounted if this—or some similar—strategy for integrating knowledge and action is to realize its potential for contributing to the successful navigation of a transition toward sustainability. To be implemented, all of these initiatives would require more detailed elaboration and planning involving a wider array of groups and national perspectives than could be involved in this Board's present study. Our goal has not been to preempt that broader endeavor, but to encourage it and to suggest some initial directions. Priorities for Research At least three dilemmas bedevil any effort to set priorities for scientific research in support of a sustainability transition. While these dilemmas are not unique to sustainability issues, they do pose special considerations for the strategy we seek to outline here. First is the tension between broadly based and highly focused research strategies. This tension has been addressed in the recent NRC "Pathways" report on research priorities for understanding global environmental change.3 Broadly based programs are desirable in light of the frequency with which important insights in one area emerge from research trying to investigate something else.4 Moreover, they are needed to allow for the likelihood of surprising and unexpected developments in the interactions between the environment and development.5 On the other hand, in fields as complex and multifaceted as those bearing on global change, much less the still broader field of sustainable development, there is a widespread consensus among the scientific community that much of the progress that has been achieved has come through research programs focused on "critical scientific issues and the unresolved questions that are most relevant to pressing national policy issues."6 A second tension exists between integrative, problem-driven research and research firmly grounded in particular disciplines. It has been recognized for more than a decade that many of the central challenges to sustainability involve multiple, interactive environmental stresses arising from multiple, overlapping human development activities.7 Unfortunately, our collective ability to create reliable scientific knowledge about such integrated problems remains limited due to the inadequacies of observational data, the immaturity of relevant theory, and the underdevelopment of an appropriate professional community to provide meaningful criticism and peer review. In contrast, it is precisely the strengths of the

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Page 279 established disciplines in the areas related to sustainable development that continue to make these fields our most effective engines for the generation of reliable—if more narrowly focused—scientific knowledge. Finally, a tension exists between the quest for generalizable scientific understanding of sustainability issues and the place-specific aspects of the environment-society interactions that give rise to those very issues and generate the options for dealing with them. Again, this is not a dilemma unique to sustainability issues—it has been a central concern for scientific research in fields as diverse as agricultural production and public health for at least a generation.8 Moreover, the tension between generalizable and place-specific understanding is increasingly confronting those seeking to provide useful research on the regional impacts of climate change and other global environmental issues.9 None of these tensions should be interpreted as either-or choices. Indeed, some of the most exciting and important research seems to arise precisely in circumstances where the tensions are high but successfully managed. From the Board's efforts to understand these tensions and their implications have emerged three priority tasks for advancing the research agenda of what might be called "sustainability science": 1. Develop a research framework for the science of sustainable development that integrates global and local perspectives to shape a place-based understanding of the interactions between environment and society. 2. Initiate focused research programs on a small set of understudied questions that are central to a deeper understanding of those interactions. 3. Promote better utilization of existing tools and processes for linking knowledge to action in pursuit of a sustainability transition. We expand on these priorities in the sections that follow. A Research Framework for Sustainability Science Meeting the demands of a sustainability transition will require a substantial expansion in the capacity of the world's system for discovering new things. As suggested in earlier chapters of this report, the needs run broad and deep. They include the needs for both generalizable knowledge about the workings and interactions of the world's environmental, economic, and social systems, and specific understanding of particular places, problems, and solutions. Much of what societies need to know is sufficiently clear, and how to learn it is sufficiently understood, that specifically targeted research and development is surely justified. We turn to a discussion of some of these targeted areas in the following section.

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Page 280 But history suggests that it would be an enormous mistake to rely only or even primarily on such targeted research and development in our strategies to navigate a transition toward sustainability. Research and development are good investments. But they pay off in ways frequently unimagined by those who funded and even those who performed the seminal work. In fact, technologies have frequently transformed societies—in the nature of work, medicine, and communications. For example, a health sciences revolution is taking place as a result of our new understanding of molecular biology and genetic engineering. In addition, a transformation in communications and modeling has been brought about by the development of high-speed computers and modern communication devices. Thus, basic research is essential for assuring that, as societies enter future stages of the transition to sustainability, markets, governments, and other players have the intellectual capital available to address the problems they face and to create the products and processes they need. If science and technology are to live up to their potential in meeting the needs of the sustainability transition, a fundamental requirement is a healthy, globally distributed system for conducting basic research across a wide range of topics and disciplines. Precisely because of the breadth of the needed endeavor, however, a framework is also necessary to identify what the NRC "Pathways" report has called "the coherent domains of research that are likely to provide efficient and productive progress for science..." while still encompassing the range of issues that concern us.10 What sort of research framework might be appropriate for "sustainability science"? Intellectual Foundations The fundamental knowledge needed to support our common journey is rooted in the core sciences of nature and society and has been nurtured in the interdisciplinary soil of scholarship and engineering practice concerned with the interactions between environment and development. Over the last generation, four related, sometimes overlapping, but nonetheless distinct, research-based components of sustainability have grown from this soil (Figure 6.1). The first is essentially biological, emphasizing the intertwined fates of humanity and the natural resource base on which it depends for sustenance. This branch of research originated in the conservationist thinking of the 19th and early 20th centuries.11 Internationally, it began to take shape in 1973 with the pathbreaking Ecological Principles for Economic Development, blossomed in 1980 as the World Conservation Strategy (which first popularized the term "sustainable development"), matured to em-

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Page 281 Figure 6.1 Four interlinked, research-based components of sustainability science. brace the social dimensions of resource use with the report Caring for the Earth, and now supports the international DIVERSITAS program on biodiversity and sustainable use of the earth's biotic resources.12 Within the United States, recent offshoots of this branch of research include the Sustainable Biosphere Initiative of the Ecological Society of America and the Teeming with Life initiative of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.13 A second branch of research relevant to sustainability has been essentially geophysical, emphasizing the interconnections among the earth's climate and biogeochemical cycles, including their response to perturbation by human activities. This branch originated and has remained grounded in efforts to understand the earth as a system. Early impetus was provided by projects undertaken during the International Geophysical Year of 1957 and by concerns about human-induced changes to the global climate and stratosphere, concerns that took shape in the late 1960s. An international, interdisciplinary approach to research on earth systems

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Page 282 science was nurtured through the 1970s by early studies of the International Council for Science's Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE), and given form and strength with the emergence of the World Meteorological Organization's World Climate Research Program in 1979 and the International Council for Science's International Geosphere-Biosphere Program in 1986. U.S. contributions to and pursuit of this earth systems science agenda, which began with NASA's global habitability program in the early 1980s, have recently been reviewed in the "Pathways" report of the National Research Council.14 A third branch of relevant research has been primarily social, focusing on how human institutions, economic systems, and beliefs shape the interactions between societies and the environment. This branch is rooted in geographers' efforts to sort out long-term, large-scale relationships among resources, landscapes, and development. At an early stage, this branch of research produced divergent shoots, addressing topics as different as the economics of natural resource use, institutions for governing environmental "commons," the determinants of human vulnerability to environmental hazards or risks, and methods for environmental impact assessment and policy design. Interdisciplinary studies seeking to integrate these disparate strands became widespread in the 1970s, especially in the area of natural resource management, and were drawn into early efforts to understand global issues such as climate change.15 By the mid-1980s, a wide variety of social science programs had begun to address issues of global environmental change.16 A comprehensive international effort was launched in 1990, and today is moving forward as the International Human Dimensions Program.17 Recent reviews of the content and concerns of this line of research are available.18 Finally, a fourth branch of relevant research has been the development of basic technological knowledge and the design of products and processes for producing more social goods with less environmental harm. This effort has occurred in several overlapping areas, such as energy technology, emissions control and treatment technologies, and green process and product design. It has involved many efforts, including both market-and regulatory-driven development in industry, technology spillovers among industrial sectors (e.g., the use of aero-derivitive gas turbines for electric power generation), and collaborative research among private institutes, government laboratories, universities, and nonprofit organizations.19 As engineering practice, this branch reaches back into the earliest work on sanitation, air pollution control, and agricultural practices for soil conservation. By the early 1980s, such practices had been codified as basic engineering principles for pollution prevention, addressing both end-of-pipe treatment and disposal technologies.20 In addition, basic technology research in the areas of energy, materials, biology, and infor-

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Page 283 mation have led to efficiency improvements and materials substitutions that continue to reduce the environmental pressures associated with the production of social goods and services.21 Finally, a broader systems perspective on technology, environment, and development began to emerge in the mid-1980s, focused not on individual technologies or processes but rather on minimizing waste produced by whole sectors of human activity.22 Under the rubrics of "industrial ecology" and "industrial transformation," this systems approach to environmental engineering has become a centerpiece of both international and U.S. research programs on global change.23 Integrative Science A research framework for sustainability science will need to build on these established branches of scholarship and their respective research programs, practices, and observation systems. Assuring the health of these foundational programs and their priority endeavors is therefore a fundamental prerequisite for sustainability science. But sustainability science will need to be broader yet, spanning the individual branches to ask how, over the large scale and the long term, the earth, its ecosystems, and its people can interact for mutual sustenance. In keeping with our exploratory theme, we neither know how such science will evolve or if its ambitious rubric—sustainability science—will ever take hold. We do know, however, from the material reviewed in Chapter 4 and elsewhere24 that many of the most problematic threats to people and their life support systems arise from multiple, cumulative, and interactive stresses resulting from a variety of human activities. Sustainability science will therefore have to be above all else integrative science—science committed to bridging barriers that separate traditional modes of inquiry. In particular, it will need to integrate across the discipline-based branches of relevant research described above—geophysical, biological, social, and technological. The same can be said for sectoral approaches that continue to treat such interconnected human activities as energy, agriculture, habitation, and transportation separately. In addition, sustainability science will need to integrate across geographic scales to eliminate the sometimes convenient but ultimately artificial distinctions between global and local perspectives. Finally, it will need to integrate across styles of knowledge creation, bridging the gulf that separates the detached practice of scholarship from the engaged practice of engineering and management. Fortunately, integrative research approaches to address environment and development issues at the ecosystem scale are not wholly new.25 Today, for example, forest management strives to encompass social sys-

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Page 284 tems and natural resources in an inclusive and interacting systems framework.26 In addition, integrated water management approaches are forming a new paradigm in water management, and research has been undertaken to understand the interactions of urban, agricultural, industrial, and natural ecosystem requirements for water resources, and the policy implications for water management.27 In agriculture, especially in systems designed for high-yield, successful production is more likely when crop selection, pest management, irrigation systems, and local culture are considered (see Chapter 3).28 At a broader scale, the international global change research program has made tremendous progress in the task of integrating previously separate disciplines. For example, 15 years ago atmospheric chemists and biologists had not combined their knowledge to study atmospheric change, despite the fact that biological processes exert major regulation on atmospheric composition. Furthermore, neither had been well integrated into atmospheric physics, oceanography, or climate research. Today, these disciplines are much more closely linked, and integrated research, analysis, and assessment are at the heart of our understanding of global change.29 But if the first steps toward an integrative science of sustainability have been taken, the great leaps forward lie ahead. While the international global change research community has made great headway in linking the relevant natural science disciplines, it has made far less progress—despite significant national and international effort—in understanding the interactions of natural and social systems. The same can be said about the incorporation of biodiversity considerations in contemporary global climate change studies. As a result, the scientific community now knows much about what emissions cause various global environmental changes, but too little about what drives those emissions, what impacts they will have on people and other species, and what to do about them. Likewise, although integrated forest ecosystem management programs have progressed to the point of including people in the ecosystem at a local scale, there is much less progress in planning and assessment at broader regional scales, where issues such as air and water pollution and determinants of human population migration and density distribution begin to exert tremendous control. In short, if there is no longer much doubt about whether integrative approaches to research are needed in support of a sustainability transition, how to achieve such integration in rigorous and useful research programs remains problematical. For if in many cases systems are strongly coupled, then how is one to avoid the practical impossibility of having to study everything in order to know anything? We describe below one approach to this dilemma that our studies have suggested is especially worth pursuing: integrating research for sustainability not around particular disciplines or sectors, but rather

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Page 285 around the study of interactions between development and environment in particular places. Place-Based Science In Chapter 4, we argued that the major threats and opportunities of the sustainability transition are not only multiple, cumulative, and interactive, but also place-based. In other words, it is in specific regions with distinctive social and ecological attributes that the critical threats to sustainability emerge, and where a successful transition will need to be based. Fortunately, "place" also provides a conceptual and operational framework within which progress in integrative understanding and management are possible (Figure 6.2). Not surprisingly, for the examples of threats and opportunities emerging from the interactions of multiple sectoral activities and environmental components as characterized in Chapter 4, we found the best examples of analytic and policy progress in work on particular places. To argue that sustainability science will be integrative and place-based is to beg the question for the time being of what constitutes an appropriate classification of "place." In part, the distinction is surely one of scale. In Chapter 5, for example, we suggested that indicators of planetary circulation made sense at a global scale, and those of critical unsustainability at a regional scale, while productive landscapes and ecosystems require more localized indicators. A grand query of sustainability science will be these scale relationships. Understanding the links between macroscale and microscale phenomena is one of the great querries of our age in a wide array of sciences.30 The pursuit of such understanding will also be a central task of sustainability science. Whatever spatial scales turn out to be most appropriate for examining particular sustainability issues, however, there remains the task of classifying the "kinds" of pressures and stresses that occur at those scales. While any such classification is necessarily somewhat arbitrary, and will lump together places exhibiting differences, without some classification scientists are left with the dismal prospect of approaching each "place" as though it were altogether unique. One approach to this dilemma certainly worth pursuing in a "place-based" framework for sustainability science has been put forward in the concept of recurrent ''degradation syndromes" (See Box 6.1). However defined, sustainability science as a place-based science will benefit from the many ongoing efforts to regionalize environment-development relationships. The START (SysTem for Analysis, Research and Training) initiative of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Program, the World Climate Research Program, and the International Human

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Page 329 Endnotes 1 Editorial in Science, Vol. 277, July (1997). 2 see, e.g., World Bank (1997); UN (1998). 3 NRC (1998a). 4 Schelling (1996). 5 Kates and Clark (1996). 6 NRC (1998a), p. 18; see also NRC (1995). 7 Clark and Munn (1986); UNEP et al. (1998). 8 E.g., Ruttan (1994). 9 NRC (1998a); Watson et al. (1998). 10 NRC (1998a), p. 9. 11 Adams (1990). 12 Ecological Principles, IUCN et al. (1980, 1991); World Conservation Strategy, IUCN et al. (1991); Caring for the Earth (1991); DIVERSITAS (1998). 13 Sustainable Biosphere Initiative, ESA (1998); Teeming with Life, PCAST (1998). 14 Global habitability program, Goody (1982); "Pathways" report, NRC (1998a). 15 Natural resource management, e.g., Holling (1978); global issues, e.g., Williams (1978). 16 See, e.g., the review in NRC (1988), pp. 196ff. 17 IHDP (1998). 18 See Rayner and Malone (1998) and NRC (1999a). 19 For a history of these efforts, see, e.g., Helm (1990); NAE (1993, 1994, 1996, 1997a,b, 1998,1999); NRC (1996d). 20 E.g., NRC (1985). 21 E.g., NRC (1997b); PCAST (1997, 1999). 22 E.g., NAE (1994). 23 NRC (1998a); EU (1998); IHDP (1998). 24 E.g., NRC (1998a), UNEP et al. (1998). 25 E.g., Gunderson et al. (1995); NRC (1996a). 26 E.g. Johnson et al. (1998). 27 NRC (1998d). 28 Studies of rice paddies as ecosystems discovered that pest species can be controlled with a multispecies community ecology regime that uses far less pesticide while allowing higher yields. Insights from the study of culture and ecology have led to a new vision of how humans can feed themselves with lower impacts on life support systems vital to the well-being of a rural society (see Lansing 1991). 29 Houghton et al. (1996; NRC 1998a). 30 Gibson et al. (1998); Root and Schneider (1995); Wilbanks and Kates, forthcoming; Cash and Moser (1998); Gunderson et al. (1995); Rosswall et al. (1988); Clark (1985); NRC (1998c); Turner et al. (1990). 31 IGBP (1991,1994); IHDP (1998); START, http://www.igbp.kva.se/start.html. 32 Watson et al. (1998). 33 USGCRP (forthcoming); See http://www.nacc.usgcrp.gov/. 34 These include the European Union's Fifth Framework Program for research, EU (1998), http:www.cordis.lu/fp5/home.html; the Canadian Tri-Council Eco-Research Program, http:www.sdri.ubc.ca/gbfp/tricerp.html; and the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research, HtmlResAnchor http://www.iai.int/. For a broad overview of other initiatives see UNCSD (1997). 35 Dooge et al. (1992). 36 UNCSD (1997).

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Page 330 37 Information on the "World Conference on Science: Science for the 21st Century, A New Commitment" is provided on UNESCO's web page http://www.unesco.org; information on the "Conference on the Transition to Sustainability" is provided on http: //www4.nationalacademies.org/oia/iap/IAPHome.nsf/all/2000+Conference. Visited 8/27/99. 38 NRC (1998a), p. 18. 39 Holling (1986); Clark (1988). 40 Kingdon (1984); Baumgartner and Jones (1993); Burton et al. (1993); Gunderson et al. (1995). 41 Hardin (1968); Cohen (1995); Daily and Ehrlich (1996). 42 Nilsson and Grennfelt (1988); Skeffington and Wilson (1988); Bull (1991); Posch and de Vries (1999). 43 FCCC (1992), Article 2. 44 E.g., Kasperson et al. (1995). 45 See also Cohen (1995); Posch and de Vries (1999). 46 NRC (1981,1998b). 47 Landes (1998); NRC (1998a); Grübler (1998); Turner et al. (1990). 48 E.g., Herman et al. (1989); Nakicenovic (1996); Wernick et al. (1996); NRC (1997b); Grübler (1998). 49 NRC (1997b); Kates (1999); Policy Research Project on Sustainable Development (1998). 50 Kempton et al. (1995); Merck Family Fund (1995). 51 Durning (1992); Center for a New American Dream (1997–1999). 52 UNDP (1998). 53 NRC (1997a). 54 Mathews (1997). 55 Nye and Keohane (1998). 56 E.g., Keck and Sikkink (1998). 57 Ostrum (1990); Haas et al. (1993); NRC (1997b); Rayner and Malone (1998); Francis and Lerner (1996). 58 Sandler (1997). 59 E.g., Raskin et al. (1998); Hammond (1998); Bossel (1998). 60 The Global Scenario Group (GSG), part of the Stockholm Environment Institute's Polestar Project, was established to engage a diverse group of development professionals in a long-term commitment to examining the requirements for sustainability. It is an independent, international, and interdisciplinary body that represents a variety of geographic and professional experiences and engages in an ongoing process of global and regional scenario development, policy analysis, and public education. 61 Fritz (1998); GEA (1997). 62 USGCRP (forthcoming); See http://www.nacc.usgcrp.gov. 63 As an example of such work, see Interactive Social Science: Environmental Research, the report of a workshop sponsored by the Economic and Social Research Council's Global Environmental Change Programme (UK) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (Canada), University of Sussex, Brighton, UK, 2-4 March 1998. 64 NCEDR (1998). 65 Dowlatabadi and Morgan (1993); Rotmans and Dowlatabadi (1998); NRC (1998a). 66 E.g.,. Gunderson et al. (1995); PCSD (1997); UN (1999). 67 Cebon et al. (1998); NRC (1996a); Miles (1995). 68 UN (1998). 69 UNCSD (1997). 70 E.g., Carnegie Commission on Science, Technology and Government (1992).

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Page 331 71 UN (1999). 72 EU (1998). 73 Porter and Vernon (1989). 74 E.g. NSTC (1995); NRC (1996); NSB (1999). 75 Ruttan (1994); Strong (1998). 76 In 1992, the Carnegie Commission on Science, Technology, and Government suggested establishing a Consultative Group for Research on the Environment (CGREEN), patterned after the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research to Integrate Environmental Science. Carnegie Commission (1992, pp. 22ff). 77 The Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), later named the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, was established by the U.S. Department of Defense in 1958 to foster and fund cutting-edge research related to defense needs. The ARPA-supported work in universities led to development of the Internet and optical communications, among other accomplishments. For an account of ARPA's support of the development of what became the Internet, see Hughes (1998). 78 Bell et al. (1994); Strong (1998). 79 Norberg-Bohm et al. (1990); Norberg-Bohm et al. (1992). 80 Branscomb (1998). 81 U.S. House of Representatives (1998); Guston (1997). 82 USGCRP (1998); NRC (1998d). 83 NRC (1998a). 84 This conclusion is based also on discussions at the board's 1997 Workshop on the Decomposition of Complex Issues in Sustainable Development, held at The H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics and the Environment, Washington DC, February 27–28, 1997. 85 In the years since the Brundtland report, there have been dramatic successes in efforts to improve water, air, and sanitation services in urban systems. But the number of city dwellers without decent housing or adequate water and exposed to poor sanitation and air pollution has grown (World Bank 1992, Ch. 4) to 600 million, while another 100 million have no home at all (UN 1997, Chs. 1–16). Meeting the housing and employment needs for these urban dwellers and the billions yet to come will inevitably lead to massive conversion of the productive agricultural and forest resources adjacent to the city and along the connecting highways and rail lines. More distant water resources will be diverted or polluted, and airborne pollutants will cross continents and national boundaries. 86 E.g., NAE (1988); UN (1997); NRC (1996b, 1998c). 87 Declining research spending, Alston et al. (1998b), p. 61; food production capabilities, Alston et al. (1998a,b). 88 Green Revolution, Conway (1997); bioengineering of crops, Kendall et al. (1997). 89 See, e.g., NAE (1999a,b); UNEP (1998); WRI (1998). 90 Raskin et al. (1998). 91 Recently, the U.S. National Science Foundation began support of studies focused on human-dominated ecosystems. The long-term ecology of urban environments is being studied in Phoenix, Arizona, and Baltimore, Maryland, as part of the NSF's Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) program. (See NSF 1997 and Chapter 5 of this report.) 92 PCAST (1998). 93 Kaufman and Dayton (1997). 94 Costanza and Folke (1997). 95 Simpson et al. (1996), p. 177. 96 PCAST (1998); NSB/NSF (1999). 97 Dobson et al. (1997).

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Page 332 98 U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Forest Service, http://www.usfs.gov. 99 E.g., NSF's Water and Watersheds Program, NASA's Land Use/Land Cover Change Program. 100 The Board is indebted to Harvey Brooks of Harvard University for helping to clarify its thinking on the potential analogies discussed here.