Managing Environmental Systems

Theme summary

Growing populations, rapid urbanization and increased consumption put unprecedented pressure on land, water and air resources. We show how to manage these resources together to protect food security, human health and biodiversity.


We provide new insights on how to manage land, air and water resources together in order to protect food security, human health and biodiversity.

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All this undermines the ability of ecosystems to provide the services that function as the basis for social and economic development.

Human health, ecosystems and economic development are threatened by:
- pollution of air and water resources

- rapidly growing demand for water resources

- lack of appropriate and sustainable sanitation systems.

Worldwide food security can be improved by combining conservation agriculture, water harvesting and productive sanitation. However, poor management of soil and water resources contributes to global environmental change, and undermines the resilience needed to deal with social and environmental shocks.

SEI helps to:
- identify sustainable pathways to reach the Millennium Development Goals

- enhance food security for an expected global population of nine billion people by 2050

- reduce health impacts caused by air pollution and lack of sustainable sanitation

- balance trade-offs between the ecosystem services provided by land, water and biodiversity and the provision of food, fibre and fuel

SEI-ThemeSheet-ManagingEnvironmentalSystems-150x212Read more about Managing Environmental Systems on the theme factsheet...
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