Humans are increasingly being recognized as an integral part of an ecosystem, as our presence often modifies landscapes and important ecological processes in substantial ways. Over the last 15 years, scientists interested in understanding the complexity of environmental problems have been advocating for the inclusion of the ‘human dimension’ in the analysis of ecosystems.
The need to analyze social and ecological systems as one interconnected entity, instead of separate elements, has been stressed. There is increasing emphasis on how the analysis of coupled human-ecological systems is critical for the construction of future policy and management alternatives. The challenge, however, is to develop frameworks that both facilitate the maintenance of ecosystem health while, at the same time, recognizing and enhancing human livelihoods. The work proposed by Tropi-Dry aims to address this challenge.