Socio-metabolic risk and tipping points on islands

Simron J. Singh, Tailin Huang, Nidhi Nagabhatla, Pia Johanna Schweizer, Matthew Eckelman, Jasper Verschuur, Reshma Soman

研究成果: Article同行評審

3 引文 斯高帕斯(Scopus)


Small Island Developing States (SIDS) face enormous sustainability challenges such as heavy reliance on imports to meet basic needs, tenuous resource availability, coastal squeeze, and reduced waste absorption capacity. At the same time, the adverse effects of global environmental change such as global warming, extreme events, and outbreaks of pandemics significantly hinder SIDS' progress towards sustainable development. This paper makes a conceptual contribution by framing the vulnerability of small islands from the perspective of socio-metabolic risk (SMR). SMR is defined as systemic risk associated with the availability of critical resources, the integrity of material circulation, and the (in)equitable distribution of derived products and societal services in a socio-ecological system. We argue that specific configurations and combinations of material stocks and flows on islands and their 'resistance to change' contribute to the system's proliferation of SMR. For better or for worse, these influence the system's ability to consistently and effectively deliver societal services necessary for survival. By positioning SMR as a subset of systemic risk, the paper illustrates SMRs and tipping points on small islands using insights from three sectors: water, waste, and infrastructure. We also identify effective leverage points and adaptation strategies for building system resilience on small islands. In conclusion, our synthesis suggests that governing SMR on SIDS would mean governing socio-metabolic flows to avoid potential disruptions in the circulation of critical resources and the maintenance of vital infrastructures and services while inducing interventions towards positive social tipping dynamics. Such interventions will need strategies to reconfigure resource-use patterns and associated services that are sustainable and socially equitable.

期刊Environmental Research Letters
出版狀態Published - 2022 6月 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • 可再生能源、永續發展與環境
  • 環境科學 (全部)
  • 公共衛生、環境和職業健康


深入研究「Socio-metabolic risk and tipping points on islands」主題。共同形成了獨特的指紋。