Title

Creation of a karst sustainability index.

SelectedWorks Author Profiles:

Kaya van Beynen

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2012

ISSN

1090-6924

Abstract

With growing populations and ever increasing pressure on resources, the need to live sustainably with our environment has increased in significance. When considering such anthropogenic pressures, karst landscapes are as vulnerable, if not more so, than any other environment. Such vulnerability arises from the rapid transit times of percolating water, the poor filtering ability of carbonate bedrock, and the highly specialized biota of subterranean karst. The Karst Sustainability Index (KSI) was created as a standardized metric of sustainable development practices in karst settings. The KSI uses predetermined targets to ascertain the overall sustainability of a karst region. Indicators are designed to incorporate common measures of sustainability for the three domains of social, environmental, and economic resource use. Benchmarking the current state of karst environments allows the comparison of sustainability practices temporally and spatially to highlight areas where remedial policies or actions are needed. This is the first index to incorporate the emerging field of environmental sustainability with karst landscape assessment. To test the applicability of the KSI, a study was undertaken in the Tampa Bay Metropolitan Area, which encompasses four counties that are entirely karst. The TBMA was found to be progressing towards the sustainable management of karst resources, and the KSI provided a robust measure of sustainability.

Language

en_US

Publisher

The National Speleological Society

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.