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MANAGING ECOSYSTEM RESOURCES Kenneth Arrow1 Gretchen Daily2 Partha Dasgupta3 Simon Levin4 Karl G ran M ler5 Eric Maskin6 David Starrett1 Thomas Sterner7 and Thomas Tietenberg8 October 26 1999 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Department of Economics Stanford University Stanford CA 94305 Department of Biological Sciences Stanford University Stanford CA 94305 Faculty of Economics and Politics Cambridge University Cambridge CB3 9DD UK Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Princeton University Princeton NJ 085441002 Tel 609 258 6880 Fax 609 258 6819 Email slevin eno princeton edu The Beijer Institute The Royal Swedish Academy of Science Box 50005 S 104 05 Stockholm Sweden Department of Economics Littauer 308 Harvard University Cambridge MA 02138 Resources for the Future 1616 P Street Washington DC 20036 Department of Economics Colby College Waterville ME 04901 1 Abstract We explore some of the special problems faced in the management of environmental resources paying particular attention to valuation of ecosystem services externalities uncertainty and the nonlinearities characteristic of complex adaptive highly interconnected systems Through consideration of case studies drawn from the management of lake and mangrove ecosystems we develop a theoretical perspective in which we analyze the challenges suggest approaches to their resolution and endeavor to derive principles that may guide management more generally Introduction Humans are part of Nature and must utilize the bounty it provides in order to survive However the choices we make regarding how to utilize natural systems have fundamental implications for their maintenance and ultimately therefore for the sustainability of the services they provide humans We rely on natural systems directly for food water oxygen fiber fuel and pharmaceuticals and indirectly for pollination for the stabilization of climates and coasts and for an uncountable list of other essential aspects of our quality of life 1 We deliberately modify some

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