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 | 2016-10-07
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
Research news | 2016-08-03
How to develop and manage networks to solve complex social issues, in particular how to develop holistic approaches to environmental management
Research news | 2016-07-21
New understanding of power shows important relations between humans and nature
Research news | 2016-07-13
New study explores new ways of describing the connection between people and planet
2016 - Policy brief or report
This report was produced by the independent, tripartite, Working Group on Resilience Management and the Circular Economy working under the aegis of the High Level Group on Innovation Policy Management . Its members – senior civil servants drawn from the European and national administrations, experts and managers from leading innovative companies and prominent scholars from academia – have participated in its work in their pe...
2016 - Journal / article
Anthropogenic changes to the Earth now rival those caused by the forces of nature and have shepherded us into a new planetary epoch – the Anthropocene. Such changes include profound and often unexpected alterations to coral reef ecosystems and the services they provide to human societies. Ensuring that reefs and their services endure during the Anthropocene will require that key drivers of coral reef change – fishing, water qu...
2016 - Journal / article
Most methods to assess ecosystem services have been developed on large scales and depend on secondary data. Such data is scarce in rural areas with widespread poverty. Nevertheless, the population in these areas strongly depends on local ecosystem services for their livelihoods. These regions are in focus for substantial landscape investments that aim to alleviate poverty, but current methods fail to capture the vast range of ...
2016 - Journal / article
Institutional fit is operationalized by transferring transaction costs economics (TCE) to the analysis of instances of social-ecological interdependence. We carefully spell out the differences with conventional TCE and outline analytical steps based on discriminating alignment that enable a TCE analysis of environmental governance of “nature-related transactions”. We illustrate the approach through the example of wildlife mana...
This project aims to identify determinants of successful co-management processes embracing the guiding principles of ecosystem-based management Read more here