Abstract for:Easter Island - Overshoot and Collapse

Easter Island is located in the Pacific Ocean. The island has a total area of 163 square kilometers with a current population of about 7,750 people. History of Easter Island from 900 AD until the arrival of Europeans in 1700s AD is an example of the Overshoot and Collapse System Archetype. The island had a small population at about 900 AD which grew alongside rampant consumption of island’s natural resources. Natural resources depleted to such an extent that it could not sustain the high population resulting in a population crash amid wide spread starvation. This paper attempts to reproduce this period of Easter Island showing the interaction between population (including its belief systems and resulting construction of statues) and natural resources which in this case is the forest cover. Model simulation reproduces this overshoot and collapse behavior. However, the population peak occurs at a much earlier time than what is known from actual evidence. The model behavior outcome reiterates the importance for sustainable growth by focusing on natural resource conservation in addition to the short term demands such as increase in food production and construction of artifacts like Moai statues.