28. Balancing Societies' Priorities: A Science-based Approach to Sustainable Development in the Tropics

  1. Peter H. Raven2,
  2. Navjot S. Sodhi3 and
  3. Luke Gibson3
  1. Lian Pin Koh

Published Online: 12 JUL 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118679838.ch28

Conservation Biology : Voices from the Tropics

Conservation Biology : Voices from the Tropics

How to Cite

Koh, L. P. (2013) Balancing Societies' Priorities: A Science-based Approach to Sustainable Development in the Tropics, in Conservation Biology : Voices from the Tropics (eds P. H. Raven, N. S. Sodhi and L. Gibson), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118679838.ch28

Editor Information

  1. 2

    Missouri Botanical Garden

  2. 3

    National University of Singapore

Author Information

  1. Department of Environmental Sciences, Zurich, Switzerland

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 12 JUL 2013
  2. Published Print: 16 SEP 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470658635

Online ISBN: 9781118679838

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Keywords:

  • biofuel demands;
  • food;
  • forest conservation;
  • land‐use decision makers;
  • tropics

Summary

This chapter highlights the key challenges facing land‐use decision makers in the tropics, and discusses some recent research that seeks to address these challenges. The challenges of meeting the demands of a growing human population require novel solutions. Paradoxically, some of the solutions being developed to address these challenges end up exacerbating the problem. For example, rising demands for renewable fuels and carbon credits are driven by solutions designed to mitigate global climate change. However, agricultural expansion (to produce biofuels) and forest protection (to generate carbon credits) are in fact competing land uses. Environmental scientists and land‐use decision makers should consider the widest range of societal priorities possible and, more crucially, recognize the trade‐offs among these often‐competing environmental and socioeconomic priorities. However, the challenges facing humans in the coming decades are cross‐scale, transcultural, and transdisciplinary, and so too must be the strategies being developed to meet these challenges.