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Culture is the outcome of a complex set of interactions between the economy, society and the environment which comprise the human ecosystem. The unprecedented population growth of the human population seen during the 20th century has affected these relationships in both positive and negative ways. Economic growth has created immense wealth in some areas of the globe, but left others behind. It has resulted in record levels of pollution and habitat destruction. Understanding the essential elements that can reduce inequalities and stabilise the interaction between people and natural resources is an urgent need for people and their governments.