The research stream on Biosphere stewardship originates in the realization that humans can, and need to, act in concert with the living systems we depend on (the biosphere). Our research explores what kind of knowledge systems, values, management practices, behaviors, and governance arrangements that build sustainability in an increasingly interconnected and turbulent world.
The concept of biosphere stewardship directs attention to human-nature relationships that generate positive outcomes for biodiversity and ecosystem services, emphasizing notions of care, learning and collaboration.
We build on our strong legacy of place-based studies of social-ecological systems, and the insight that in the Anthropocene, stewardship needs to be studied and enacted beyond the local scale. Biosphere stewardship can emerge in traditional as well as modernized societies, at local to global levels, and in urban as well as rural settings. It is a process that engages individuals, communities, networks, organizations and institutions in shared visions, building capacity to live with change, adapt and transform. In order to understand coupled social-ecological dynamics, our research engages with actors at diverse levels and mobilizes multiple sources of evidence and experience.
Research in this stream combines research on ecosystem dynamics, e.g. the role of functional diversity, fast and slow variables and regime shifts, and aspects of interrelated social dynamics including e.g. emergence of ecosystem based management and adaptive governance, social learning, strategic interventions to influence behavior, and changes in norms and institutions conducive with stewardship.
The cultural dimension of complex adaptive social-ecological systems is also part of this stream, and spans from research involving traditional societies, to recent developments in the area of cultural ecosystem services.
Research in this stream encourage explorations of methods that enable new ways to study social-ecological systems as inherently interlinked in time and space, including mixed methods and tools and approaches for co-constructing knowledge with actors at multiple scales.
Research news | 2016-11-18
New model of economic development is needed and Europe should take the lead, new report states
Research news | 2016-11-15
A 3 million SEK grant from Swedish Research Council awarded to centre researchers Örjan Bodin and Erik Andersson
Research news | 2016-11-04
Why cooperation alone is not enough to secure sustainable use of a resource
Research news | 2016-10-07
Better representation of human behaviour needed in models of social-ecological systems
Research news | 2016-10-05
Global examples of a thriving sustainable social-ecological future published
Research news | 2016-08-25
New study provides a guide for social-ecological researchers to better include policy science in their work
2017 - Journal / article
Formal models are commonly used in natural resource management (NRM) to study human-environment interactions and inform policy making. In the majority of applications, human behaviour is represented by the rational actor model despite growing empirical evidence of its shortcomings in NRM contexts. While the importance of accounting for the complexity of human behaviour is increasingly recognized, its integration into formal mo...
2016 - Journal / article
The scale of the decarbonisation challenge to meet the Paris Agreement is underplayed in the public arena. It will require precipitous emissions reductions within 40 years and a new carbon sink on the scale of the ocean sink. Even then, the world is extremely likely to overshoot. A catastrophic failure of policy, for example, waiting another decade for transformative policy and full commitments to fossil-free economies, will h...
2016 - Journal / article
Ethnic divides play a major role in many armed conflicts around the world and might serve as predetermined conflict lines following rapidly emerging societal tensions arising from disruptive events like natural disasters. We find evidence in global datasets that risk of armed-conflict outbreak is enhanced by climate-related disaster occurrence in ethnically fractionalized countries. Although we find no indications that environ...
2016 - Policy brief or report
• Ecosystem-based management (EBM) has become a leading principle in environmental governance and constitutes an overarching strategy for how to deal with the complexity of environmental challenges • EBM implies a management process in which an ecosystem-based perspective is evident in management goals and strategies, and guides processes of monitoring and evaluation • Collaboration across management levels, and stakeholder ...
This project aims to identify determinants of successful co-management processes embracing the guiding principles of ecosystem-based management Read more here