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Case #1028

Eco Tipping Points and Environment Sustainability


The EcoTipping Points project began in January, 2004, when human ecologist (Gerry Marten) and journalist Steve Brooks were brainstorming how to communicate principles of sustainable human-environment interaction. Gerry had already presented the principles in his textbook Human Ecology: Basic Concepts for Sustainable Development and now wanted to convey them to a broader audience.

Gerry and Steve concluded that “tipping points” embrace many of the most important principles, showing how people can turn environmental decline around to restoration. To explore how this new perspective would hold up in the real world, journalist Amanda Suutari compiled nearly a hundred environmental success stories. The stories span a diversity of ecosystems, cultural and socio-economic contexts, and environmental problems from around the world. And every story seems to have a tipping point.

We conducted site visits to document about twenty of the stories in greater depth, using the EcoTipping Point paradigm to extract lessons that can inspire and guide everyone’s efforts to achieve sustainability.” EcoTipping Points are levers for restoring sustainability to our imperiled environment – small actions that tip the balance from decline to restoration by tapping the inborn power of nature and human societies to heal them selves.

Concrete Objective of the Eco-tipping point project: Refine the EcoTipping Points paradigm and its basic principles, explaining how EcoTipping Points work and how they can be applied. Develop a procedural toolkit for people to create EcoTipping Points in their own communities. Disseminate EcoTipping Point principles and procedures through a variety of media. Collaborate to assist people who want to put EcoTipping Points into action.

Most of us are seriously concerned about the current and future impacts of environmental problems on our lives. We want to do something but feel overwhelmed by the scale and complexity of the problems and the powerful social forces that are driving them. EcoTipping Points provide a lens for making sense of the complexity in a way that points to effective action.


WHAT WORKED: It's a great platform of information regarding community engagement and activism. A good resource for individuals and groups who are looking to act. There is really no downside to a project like this, it just needs more media attention and increased information dissemination practices.
Location: Global
Action: Community Organizing, Restoration
Setting: Developed World, Semi-Developed
Extent of Action: International
Issues: Conservation, Environment
Year(s): 2004
Outcome in progress
Source: (no source entered)


Prepared By: JG
Rating: 0
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