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 | 2017-11-21
A new framework suggested to manage complex climate futures in the world’s most northern ocean
Research news | 2017-11-08
The Sakuraebi fishery in Taiwan is known as a success story among natural resource management scientists. New study looks at how leadership helped influence success
Research news | 2017-11-06
Why the need to understand the links between learning and action is critical to the sustainable management of natural resources
Research news | 2017-10-25
Centre contributes to new Lancet report showing one in six of all deaths worldwide is caused by pollution
Research news | 2017-10-16
How investments in solar energy go beyond access to electricity to positively affect people’s life expectancy and years of schooling
Research news | 2017-10-01
New paper explores links between conservation, development and sense of place on the Wild Coast of South Africa
2017 - Journal / article
An in-depth assessment was conducted on the functioning of a Taiwanese Sakuraebi (Sergia lucens) fishery management institution to understand the role of leadership in the context of long-term incentive creation. Interviews with relevant stakeholders and statistical analysis of fisheries data indicated that the daily vessel quota system and fishers’ collective efforts to influence the market resulted in increased sales value, ...
2017 - Dissertation
How can efforts to alleviate poverty better account for coevolving relationships between people and nature? Persistent poverty is often conceptualised as a poverty trap, a concept which has thus far failed to incorporate interdependencies between human well-being, nature and culture. As such, interventions to alleviate poverty are often ineffective or may even exacerbate poverty – especially in areas with rich biological and c...
2017 - Journal / article
Learning is considered as a promising mechanism to cope with rapid environmental change. The implications of learning for natural resource management (NRM) have not been explored in-depth and the evidence on the topic is scattered across multiple sources. We provide a qualitative review of types of learning outcomes and consider their manifestations in NRM across selected empirical literature. We conducted a systematic search ...
2017 - Journal / article
International schemes for financing conservation and climate mitigation, such as Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation and forest enhancement (REDD+), have generated concerns about the effect of large influxes of money on good governance, the human rights of local land users, and biodiversity. While there is agreement on the need for safeguards to prevent negative effects, how prescriptive or flexible those saf...
This project aims to identify determinants of successful co-management processes embracing the guiding principles of ecosystem-based management Read more here