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Darwin Centre for Bushfire Research, Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods, Charles Darwin University, Darwin 0810, Australia


The historical evidence is used to argue that the application of knowledge and modernization of the current economic and conservation approaches for directly relating to human dependence on nature are critical for advancing human well-being. Over the last ~50 years, despite our sound understanding of various ecological impacts at local, regional and global scales, we have largely failed to prevent decline in the health of natural systems worldwide. Our current approaches continue to promote utilitarian economy, focusing on materials. This paper advocates a shift from the current paradigms of economics and resource use, by proposing an ethical approach both to nature and economics, towards holistic development. The approach is based on peoples’ well-being. It outlines how by integrating ethics, economy and nature, and finding simple solutions within the reach of public, sustainable development can become achievable much more efficiently and quickly than following our current lengthy and complex processes.


Nature, natural systems, ecosystem services, sustainable development, economics, human well-being.

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