The complexity of environmental and human systems and their relation with sustainability


  • Alexandre André Feil Doutorando na Universidade Feevale e Docente do Centro Universitário Univates.
  • Dusan Schreiber Universidade Feevale.
  • José Galizia Tundisi Universidade Feevale



Visão holística e reducionista, Sistemas complexos, Interação humana e ambiental


It is a consensus that the function and structure of the human and environmental systems are complex when analyzed in an isolated and/or integrated way. This subject is part of a current debate about sustainability. In this sense, this research has the goal of offering a literature review about the complexity of the integration between the human and environmental systems, and its relation with the concept of sustainability. This is a qualitative study with an exploratory descriptive design as to the method, and a bibliographical review As to the technical procedures. The results reveal that the idea of sustainability is only feasible when the functioning of the human and environmental systems are observed, because the process of co-evolution, or panarchy, must be considered when identifying the elements or subsystems which should be preserved or kept. Comprehending the complexity of the interactions of the human and environmental systems is essential when defining the idea of sustainability, because they evidence the essence of its purpose.


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Author Biographies

Alexandre André Feil, Doutorando na Universidade Feevale e Docente do Centro Universitário Univates.

Graduado em Ciências Contábeis (1998-2003), Pós-graduado em Cooperativismo e Gestão de Negócios (2005-2006), Mestrado em Ambiente e Desenvolvimento (2008-2010) pelo Centro Universitário Univates e Doutorando em Qualidade Ambiental (2013) na Universidade Feevale. No mestrado a linha de pesquisa foi na área Espaço e Problemas Socioambientais, com ênfase em caracterização, modelagem matemática de Sistemas de Abastecimento de Água (SAA). No Doutorado a linha de pesquisa está sendo na área de Sustentabilidade Empresarial - Métodos e Critérios para mensurar a sustentabilidade corporativa, e seu desempenho econômico versus o social e ambiental.

Dusan Schreiber, Universidade Feevale.

Prof. Dr. do Programa de Pós-graduação em Qualidade Ambiental, no mestrado e Doutorado.

José Galizia Tundisi, Universidade Feevale

Prof. Dr. do Programa de Pós-graduação em Qualidade Ambiental, no mestrado e Doutorado.


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How to Cite

Feil, A. A., Schreiber, D., & Tundisi, J. G. (2015). The complexity of environmental and human systems and their relation with sustainability. Sustainability in Debate, 6(1), 37–52.