(548w) The Search for Sustainability in an Integrated Economic-Ecologic-Social Model through the Use of Feedback Loops

Authors: 
Rico-Ramirez, V., Tecnologico Nacional de Mexico en Celaya
Rodriguez-Gonzalez, P. T., Tecnologico Nacional de Mexico en Celaya
Rico-Martinez, R., Instituto Tecnologico de Celaya
Diwekar, U. M., Vishwamitra Research Institute
The Search for Sustainability in an Integrated Economic-Ecologic-Social Model Through the Use of Feedback Loops

Pablo T. Rodriguez-Gonzaleza, Vicente Rico-Ramireza*, Ramiro Rico-Martineza and Urmila M. Diwekarb

aTecnologico Nacional de Mexico en Celaya, Departamento de Ingenieria Quimica, Av. Tecnologico y Garcia Cubas S/N, Celaya, Guanajuato, Mexico 38010

bVishwamitra Research Institute, 368 56th Street, Clarendon Hills, IL, 60514, USA

pbl_tet@hotmail.com, vicente@iqcelaya.itc.mx, ramiro@iqcelaya.itc.mx,

urmila@vri-custom.org

Abstract

It has been recognized that the study of human-ecosystems sustainability must consider an integrated point of view. Current developments on sustainability theory intend to integrate social and economic responses to environmental problems, including the simultaneous analysis of various human systems (finance, politics, production, energy, transportation, etc.). The goal is to support the understanding of the interactions between human activities and natural resources as well as the effect of economic and social issues on the sustainability of such systems. In the end, it is expected that such basic understanding will allow the development of systematic approaches that can be used to provide sustainable policy guidelines for complex integrated systems.

Literature reports considerable modeling efforts to represent complex integrated ecosystems. As a recent contribution, we presented a sustainability assessment of an enhanced compartmental ecological-economic-social model that proposes the incorporation of social inequity as a key concept in social sustainability. Such concept was introduced by including two human compartments in order to represent the differences in income, demand and consumption levels of the population; in addition, external stochastic influences were incorporated through Ito processes (time dependent uncertainties) on demographic parameters.

This work represents an extension of such work. In particular, we try to analyze the effect of incorporating feedback loops as a mechanism to support the resilience of a system that is being perturbed by external-internal stochastic factors which may drive the system to undesirable states (a system collapse). The feedback loop under study is related to the demographic parameters, since we expect that such parameters can indeed be modified by human response. Our results indicate a favorable impact of such loop in the resilience and sustainability of the system.

Keywords: Sustainability, modeling, feedback loops