The Southern African Program on Ecosystem Change and Society: An emergent community of practice

Sustainability-focused research networks and communities of practice have emerged as a key response and strategy to build capacity and knowledge to support transformation towards more sustainable, just and equitable futures. This paper synthesises insights from the development of a community of practice on social-ecological systems (SES) research in southern Africa over the past decade, linked to the international Programme on Ecosystem Change and Society (PECS)….

Social-ecological change: insights from the Southern African Program on Ecosystem Change and Society

Social-ecological systems (SES) research has emerged as an important area of sustainability science, informing and supporting pressing issues of transformation towards more sustainable, just and equitable futures. To date, much SES research has been done in or from the Global North, where the challenges and contexts for supporting sustainability transformations are substantially different from the Global South. This paper synthesises emerging insights on SES dynamics…

Prospects of low trophic marine aquaculture contributing to food security in a net zero-carbon world

To limit compromising the integrity of the planet, a shift is needed towards food production with low environmental impacts and low carbon footprint. How to put such transformative change towards sustainable food production whilst ensuring food security into practice remains a challenge and will require transdisciplinary approaches. Combining expertise from natural- and social sciences as well as industry perspectives, an alternative vision for the future…

Resilience and Development: Mobilizing for Transformation

In 2014, the Third International Conference on the resilience of social-ecological systems chose the theme “resilience and development: mobilizing for transformation.” The conference aimed specifically at fostering an encounter between the experiences and thinking focused on the issue of resilience through a social and ecological system perspective, and the experiences focused on the issue of resilience through a development perspective. In this perspectives piece, we…

Advancing sustainability through mainstreaming a social–ecological systems perspective

The concept of social–ecological systems is useful for understanding the interlinked dynamics of environmental and societal change. The concept has helped facilitate: (1) increased recognition of the dependence of humanity on ecosystems; (2) improved collaboration across disciplines, and between science and society; (3) increased methodological pluralism leading to improved systems understanding; and (4) major policy frameworks considering social–ecological interactions. Despite these advances, the potential of…

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