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 | 2019-11-29
Sharing knowledge between local communities and researchers strengthens ties between science and society. And encourages well-being and sustainability
Research news | 2019-11-20
A study of local sustainability projects in Africa offers a new approach to understanding how grassroots projects address the SDGs
General news | 2019-11-18
Praised for its efforts to disseminate knowledge and hope about the transition to a more sustainable system
Research news | 2019-11-18
Indonesia has ambitious goals for its aquaculture investments. If they are serious, environmental assessments must be included too
Research news | 2019-11-12
Research on water governance suggests that increasing engagement from groups outside the confined borders of central governance means rethinking those borders in the first place
Research news | 2019-10-25
Little research has been done on the untapped potential and unintended consequences of human-made water bodies like ditches, fishponds, weirs, reservoirs, fish ladders, and irrigation channels
2020 - Journal / article
Over the past several decades, environmental governance has made substantial progress in addressing environmental change, but emerging environmental problems require new innovations in law, policy, and governance. While expansive legal reform is unlikely to occur soon, there is untapped potential in existing laws to address environmental change, both by leveraging adaptive and transformative capacities within the law itself to...
2019 - Journal / article
We present two new approaches for assessing the relative contributions of different types of actors to heterogeneous brokerage in networks. These approaches distinguish between the tendency of certain types of actors to (1) mediate between dissimilar actors (heterogeneous brokerage “activity”), and (2) be the sole mediators between dissimilar actors (“exclusivity”). We present methods for implementing these approaches, using b...
2019 - Journal / article
Indonesia is the world's second largest producer and third largest consumer of seafood. Fish is thus essential to the nation, both financially and nutritionally. Overfishing and the effects of climate change will, however, limit future capture fisheries landings, so any increases in future seafood production will need to come from aquaculture. Aquaculture's ecological effects are dependent upon the choice of species, managemen...
2019 - Journal / article
Rural people’s livelihoods are intimately linked to the landscapes in which they live and are particularly vulnerable to changes in these landscapes (Suich et al. 2015 [ 1 ]). At the same time changes in livelihood activities may have negative feedbacks on landscapes and the ecosystem services they provide. In much of Africa, rural landscapes are subject to increasing pressures from environmental and socio-economic change. T...
This project aims to identify determinants of successful co-management processes embracing the guiding principles of ecosystem-based management Read more here