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A Fundamental Misrepresentation of the Planetary Boundaries Framework

November 21, 2017 |

This article was originally published on Stockholm Resilience Centre.

Responding to recent criticism, the main authors behind the framework explain how Planetary Boundaries does not rely on an assumption of thresholds or “tipping points” in the biosphere


  • This is a response to recent criticism of the planetary boundary framework, and in particular the biodiversity (biosphere integrity) boundary
  • The criticism is founded on a deep misunderstanding of the Planetary Boundaries framework. The Planetary Boundaries research has never claimed that there is a planetary scale biodiversity tipping point
  • The planetary boundaries approach is not intended as a replacement for ecosystem management approaches but a complement that takes Earth system considerations into consideration
  • The Planetary Boundaries framework has never been proposed as a panacea to replace all the necessary and important approaches, from conservation policies, payment schemes for ecosystem services to marine protected areas and Aichi targets
  • It is, in short, an Earth system-level framework that builds upon and supports sustainable development and ecosystem management across scales. It does not replace them…”

Read the full article at: Stockholm Resilience Centre.

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