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Portland, OR 2012:


Human Behavior and Sustainability: Addressing Barriers to Change

Tuesday, 8-11:30am: Portland Ballroom 253, Oregon Convention Center

Find details and see who’s speaking

This symposium proposal addresses the conference theme of Preserving, utilizing and sustaining
our ecosystems through a coherently integrated series of interdisciplinary research projects. The
unifying argument of the symposium is that the primary barriers to sustainability are not a lack of
existing knowledge, but obstacles hindering our capacity to act on the basis of that knowledge. The
symposium groups its presentations around five priority areas that would help overcome these
barriers and transform human behaviour to more sustainable living. These themes are (i) reforming
formal policy institutions; (ii) strengthening the institutions of civil society and fostering citizen
engagement; (iii) changing the per capita impact of consumption; (iv) embedding equity and justice
into decision making; and (v) reflecting on dominant values and belief systems. Each study relates
one or more of these themes to research into human utilization of ecosystem.

Following remarks introducing the five themes, the first speaker will contrast intensity of agriculture
with extent of biodiversity in Australia and Romania, with implications for wildlife conservation
policy. The following speaker will discuss frameworks for engaging local communities in large scale
landscape conservation, drawing lessons for civic engagement processes that cross local to regional
and national scales. The third speaker will present an interdisciplinary study of food consumption
practices in low income, high population nations in terms of human and environmental health.
By contrast, the fourth speaker will discuss mechanisms by which high income, high resource
consuming populations might take greater responsibility for the global consequences of their
behaviour. The ethical dimension of this high resource consumption scenario is developed in a
presentation of perceptions of fairness in water sharing between food producers, ecosystem needs
and urban consumers in Australia. The following speaker will discuss how values, beliefs, and
personal history of members of fishing communities in North Carolina results in different attitudes
to habitat conservation and utilization of ecosystem services. The final two speakers will discuss
pathways to more sustainable futures via improved policy innovation in sustainably managing
coupled human and natural systems. The floor will then open for a discussion about how to move
towards sustainable and fair utilization of Earth’s ecosystems.

Fun Things:

Social Mixer:
joint with Applied Ecology, Agroecology, Urban Ecosystem Ecology, and Environmental Justice Sections
Tues, Aug 7, 6:30 PM-8:00 PM: Portland Ballroom 258
Section Business Meeting:
Come meet us and decide what our future has in store! Newcomers especially welcome.
Wed, Aug 8: 11:30 AM – 1:15 PM, Weidler, Doubletree
Section Information Booth:
find us in the trades hall and get  information on what the Human Ecology Section is about.

Past Symposia:

Austin, TX 2011: Global Perspectives of Earth Stewardship and special session ‘Earth Stewardship: Workshop and Roundtable Discussion for a Potential Issues in Ecology

Pittsburgh, PA 2010: Socioecological Adaptations to Climate Change

Albuquerque, NM 2009: Bridging the Divide: Integrating Human Ecology and Ecology to Improve Research and Management

Posted May 26, 2011 by esahumanecology

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