Building Socio-Ecological Coviability: An Efficient Way to Combat Poverty, Reduce Inequality and Address Insecurity Risks

  • Amine Amar


The proliferation of conflicts throughout the world, increasing poverty, rising inequality, and the necessity of a social cohesion require adherence to the concept of socio-ecological systems (SES). This nexus constrains policies to be conceptualized in order to face, jointly, social and ecological dimensions and coerce identified decisions to spur mutual progress towards interlinked goals. To address such challenges with the required level of comprehensiveness and urgency, researchers and decision makers must first acknowledge the linkages between social and ecological problems within a coviability perspective. In addition, they are required to offer both empirical and analytical insights to these linkages in order to implement efficient policies, which are able to tackle major problems such as poverty, inequality, and insecurity risks. Traditional approaches to poverty eradication, for instance, often disregard environmental degradation and biodiversity loss as externalities, whereas the proposed SES approach considers not only the social but also the environmental cause, thereby providing a new redefinition of wealth and its components. Thus, efforts should be complemented by implementing initiatives aimed at enhancing social well-being for all people, and by addressing the root causes of poverty through coherent, coordinated and coviable strategies. To address the aforementioned issues in this chapter, some tools adapted from economic analyses and development economics, in addition to some success stories and empirical cases, are presented.


Coviability Development economics Differential and social-ecology vectors Inequality Insecurity risks Poverty Socio-ecological systems 


  1. African Development Bank (AFDB) (2007) The poverty-environment Nexus in Africa. In: Gender, poverty and environmental indicators on African countries, vol 92, TunisGoogle Scholar
  2. Alesina A, Perotti R (1996) Income distribution, political instability and investment. Eur Econ Rev 40(6):1203–1228CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bacon N, Cochrane D, Woodcraft S (2012) Creating strong communities: how to measure the social sustainability of new housing developments. Berekeley Group, LondonGoogle Scholar
  4. Bertalanffy LV (1968) General system theory: foundations, development, applications. Braziller, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  5. Boyce JK, Narain S, Stanton EA (2007) Reclaiming nature: environmental justice and ecological restoration. Athem Press, LondonGoogle Scholar
  6. Cederman LE, Nils BW, Kristian SG (2011) Horizontal inequalities and ethno nationalist civil war: a global comparison. Am Polit Sci Rev 105(3):478–495CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Chandy L, Gertz G (2011) Poverty in numbers: the changing state of global poverty from 2005 to 2015. Brooking Institute, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  8. Collier P (2007) The bottom billion, Oxford. Oxford University PressGoogle Scholar
  9. Collier P, Hoeffler A (2002) Aid policy and growth in post-conflict societies. The World Bank, Washington DCCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific ESCAP (2014) annual report, ESCAP, Bangkok, ThailandGoogle Scholar
  11. Ferreira FHG, Gignoux J (2007) Inequality of economic opportunity in Latin America. The World Bank, Washington DCGoogle Scholar
  12. Folke C (2006) Resilience: the emergence of a perspective for social-ecological systems analyses. Glob Environ Chang 16:253–267CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Galbraith J (2012) Inequality and instability, Oxford\New York. Oxford University PressGoogle Scholar
  14. Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) (2009) Ecosystem resilience. Great Barrier Reef Outlook report, TownsvilleGoogle Scholar
  15. Jehan S, Umana A (2003) Environment-poverty nexus. Dev Policy J 3:53–70Google Scholar
  16. Keese, M (Ed) (2006) Live longer, work longer. OECD, ParisGoogle Scholar
  17. Krawczyk J, Pharo A, Serea OS, Sinclair SD (2013) Computation of viability kernels: a case study of by-catsh fisheries. Comput Manag Sci 10(4):365–396CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kuznets S (1955) Economic growth and income inequality. Am Econ Rev 65:1–28Google Scholar
  19. Laurent E (2015) Social-ecology: exploring the missing link in sustainable development. Standard UniversityGoogle Scholar
  20. Lopez-Calva LF, Lustig N, Scott J, Castaneda A (2012) Cash transfers and public spending on education and health in Mexico 1992–2010: impact on inequality and poverty. Mimeo. The World Bank, Washington DCGoogle Scholar
  21. Milanovic B (2012) Evolution of global inequality: from class to location, from proletarians to migrants. Global Pol 3(2):125–134CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Nafziger EW, Auvinen J (2002) Economic development, inequality, war and state violence. World Dev 30(2):153–163CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Norris ED, Kochhar K, Suphaphiphat N, Ricka F, Tsounta E (2015) Causes and consequences of income inequality: a global perspective. International Monetary Fund, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  24. ParisOstrom E (2007) A diagnostic approach for going beyond panaceas. Natl Acad Sci Proc 104 (39): 15181:15187Google Scholar
  25. Palma JG (2011) Homogeneous middles vs. heterogeneous tails and the end of the ‘Inverted-U’: the share of the rich is what it’s all about. Dev Chang 42(1):105–118CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Pottebaum D (2002) Economic and social welfare in war-affected societies. Cornel University, Ithaca/New YorkGoogle Scholar
  27. Robbins P (2004) Political ecology. A critical introduction. Blackwell Publishing, Malden MAGoogle Scholar
  28. Santa Fe Institute (SFI) (2012), an independent, not-for-profit research and education center, Santa Fe, New MexicoGoogle Scholar
  29. Sidaway JD (2013) Geography, globalization and the problematic of area studies. Ann Assoc Am Geogr 103(4):984–1002CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Stewart F (1993) War and underdevelopment: can economic analysis help reduce the costs? J Int Dev 5(4):357–380CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Stiglitz JE (2012) The price of inequality: how today’s divided society endangers our future. Kindle editionGoogle Scholar
  32. Stockholm Resilience Center (SRC) (2015) Applying resilience thinking: seven principles for building resilience in social-ecological systems, Stockholm UniversityGoogle Scholar
  33. Taylor G (2014) Viability: a priority criterion for the mitigation of climate change and other complex socio-ecological issues. J Futures Stud 19(1):77–96Google Scholar
  34. United Nations (UN) (2012) Renewable resources and conflict, United Nations Interagency Framework Team for Preventive Action, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  35. United Nations (UN) (2013a) The Millennium development goals report, Department of Economics and Social Affairs, New York and GenevaGoogle Scholar
  36. United Nations (UN) (2013b) Inclusion Matters: The Foundation for Shared Prosperity-Overview, Report on the world social situation, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Washington DCGoogle Scholar
  37. United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) (2014) Investing in the SDGS: An action plan. World investment report, New York and GenevaGoogle Scholar
  38. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) (2010) The real wealth of nations: Pathways to human development. Human development report, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  39. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) (2013) The rise of the South: Human progress in a diverse world. Human development report, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  40. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), World Resources Institute (2005) Sustaining the environment to fight poverty and achieve the MDGs: The economic case and priorities for action, prepared on behalf of the Poverty-Environment Partnership, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  41. United States Agency for International Development (USAID) (2005) Conflict, poverty, inequality, and economic, growth. Human development report, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  42. World Bank (2011) Conflict, Security, and Development Development Report. Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  43. World Bank (2016) Poverty and shared prosperity: taking on inequality, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  44. World Health Organization (WHO) (2005) Multi-country Study on Women’s Health and Domestic Violence against Women, GenevaGoogle Scholar
  45. World Wildlife Fund (WWF) (2014) Living planet report: species and spaces, people and places. SwitzerlandGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amine Amar
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.National Institute of Statistics and Applied Economics (INSEA)Mohamed V University of RabatRabatMorocco
  2. 2.Researcher at the Center for Research on Environment, Human Security and Governance (CERES)RabatMorocco

Personalised recommendations