123 research outputs found

    Rethinking Economic Practices and Values As Assemblages of More-Than-Human Relations

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    The relational turn in the academic literature on environmental values explores ontologies that rethink the dualistic, hierarchical separations of humans from nature. In particular, the consideration of a plurality of values and ways in which humans connect to nature has brought new insights on the dynamic interconnections between people, place and environmental processes, all highly relevant for the world's sustainability challenges. How-ever, many conceptualizations of economic practices and values are still predominantly dualistic and anthro-pocentric. To overcome this human-nature divide we propose a conceptual integration of relational values with assemblages of more-than-human relations, illustrated with examples from the literature and ongoing empirical research. These concepts offer a way of representing meaningful and dynamic interrelationships, including humans, physical elements, materials (e.g. technologies, tools), immaterial entities (e.g. sounds, lights, colors), and other non-human beings. We argue that such conceptual integration provides a useful framework to rethink diverse economies as the processes through which humans and non-humans co-constitute their interrelated livelihoods. With this, we extend the relational turn to research on economic human-nature connections, following the call of many scholars in the field of ecological economics to unveil non-utilitarian values and consider multiple economic agencies

    Rethinking Economic Practices and Values As Assemblages of More-Than-Human Relations

    No full text
    The relational turn in the academic literature on environmental values explores ontologies that rethink the dualistic, hierarchical separations of humans from nature. In particular, the consideration of a plurality of values and ways in which humans connect to nature has brought new insights on the dynamic interconnections between people, place and environmental processes, all highly relevant for the world's sustainability challenges. How-ever, many conceptualizations of economic practices and values are still predominantly dualistic and anthro-pocentric. To overcome this human-nature divide we propose a conceptual integration of relational values with assemblages of more-than-human relations, illustrated with examples from the literature and ongoing empirical research. These concepts offer a way of representing meaningful and dynamic interrelationships, including humans, physical elements, materials (e.g. technologies, tools), immaterial entities (e.g. sounds, lights, colors), and other non-human beings. We argue that such conceptual integration provides a useful framework to rethink diverse economies as the processes through which humans and non-humans co-constitute their interrelated livelihoods. With this, we extend the relational turn to research on economic human-nature connections, following the call of many scholars in the field of ecological economics to unveil non-utilitarian values and consider multiple economic agencies.Peer reviewe

    Indigenous and local knowledge in biocultural approaches to sustainability: a review of the literature in Spanish

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    ABSTRACT Biocultural approaches are gaining attention for coping with current sustainability challenges. These approaches recognize that biological and cultural diversity are inextricably linked. Indigenous and local knowledge (ILK) plays an important role in biocultural approaches as these often build on local cultural perspectives. This review explores how ILK is conceptualized and applied in the scientific literature published in Spanish on biocultural approaches to sustainability and examines the status and trends of ILK described in this literature. For this, we reviewed 72 publications and conducted a category-based qualitative content analysis. We found multiple conceptualizations of ILK, although most of them shared some commonalities, such as the close link to specific biocultural contexts. The results suggests that there are three themes that seem to be both relevant and controversial within the reviewed literature: the different strategies to bridging diverse knowledge systems, the conflictive views on the role of ILK in sustainability, and the threats to ILK. We also show that future research would benefit from greater attention to power relations and context-specific dynamics in bridging diverse knowledge systems, as there is still room to improve approaches and tools to promote the co-production of knowledge while supporting and enhancing the self-determination of IPLC. We conclude that the way biocultural approaches to sustainability engage with ILK can support shape a variety of alternative futures, which may differ from currently dominant perspectives on sustainability, and further demonstrate that the design and implementation of conservation policies that protect both people and nature can be enhanced

    Using a leverage points perspective to compare social-ecological systems: a case study on rural landscapes

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    A leverage points perspective recognises different levels of systemic depth, ranging from the relatively shallow levels of parameters and feedbacks to the deeper levels of system design and intent. Analysing a given social-ecological system for its characteristics across these four levels of systemic depth provides a useful diagnostic to better understand sustainability problems, and can complement other types of cause-and-effect systems modelling. Moreover, the structured comparison of multiple systems can highlight whether sustainability challenges in different systems have a similar origin (e.g. similar feedbacks or similar design). We used a leverage points perspective to systematically compare findings from three in-depth social-ecological case studies, which investigated rural landscapes in southeastern Australia, central Romania, and southwestern Ethiopia. Inductive coding of key findings documented in over 60 empirical publications was used to generate synthesis statements of key findings in the three case studies. Despite major socioeconomic and ecological differences, many synthesis statements applied to all three case studies. Major sustainability problems occurred at the design and intent levels. For example, at the intent level, all three rural landscapes were driven by goals and paradigms that mirrored a productivist green revolution discourse. Our paper thus highlights that there are underlying challenges for rural sustainability across the world, which appear to apply similarly across strongly contrasting socioeconomic contexts. Sustainability interventions should be mindful of such deep similarities in system characteristics. We conclude that a leverage points perspective could be used to compare many other types of social-ecological systems around the world

    The role of perceptions and social norms in shaping women’s fertility preferences: a case study from Ethiopia

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    The population–environment–food nexus is a sustainability challenge for the Global South, and for Africa in particular, where rapid human population growth typically overlaps with high levels of food insecurity and environmental degradation. In this context, it is important to understand the reasons driving high fertility in these regions. Here, we examined possible determinants of women’s fertility preferences in rural southwestern Ethiopia. Using a survey tool (n = 120), we assessed women’s perceptions of four key environmental stressors, namely food insecurity, environmental degradation, human population growth, and land scarcity. Through statistical modelling we tested whether there was a relationship between perceptions of future trends in these stressors and women’s fertility preferences; expressed as their desired number of children and use of family planning methods. This analysis was complemented by a qualitative content analysis of the survey’s open-ended questions, to contextualize and interpret the quantitative data. Our quantitative results indicated that perceptions of future trends in key stressors had little effect on fertility preferences of respondents, with the exception of perceptions of human population growth. Our qualitative data suggested that this may be due to the influence of social-cultural norms and religion, decision-making with the husband, as well as a perceived utilitarian value of children. These findings have important implications for the development of interventions to slow down human population growth. Our findings suggest the need to look beyond improved physical access to family planning, and develop a new suite of deliberative approaches that engage with social norms, religion, and gender equity

    The role of perceptions and social norms in shaping women’s fertility preferences : a case study from Ethiopia

    Get PDF
    The population–environment–food nexus is a sustainability challenge for the Global South, and for Africa in particular, where rapid human population growth typically overlaps with high levels of food insecurity and environmental degradation. In this context, it is important to understand the reasons driving high fertility in these regions. Here, we examined possible determinants of women’s fertility preferences in rural southwestern Ethiopia. Using a survey tool (n = 120), we assessed women’s perceptions of four key environmental stressors, namely food insecurity, environmental degradation, human population growth, and land scarcity. Through statistical modelling we tested whether there was a relationship between perceptions of future trends in these stressors and women’s fertility preferences; expressed as their desired number of children and use of family planning methods. This analysis was complemented by a qualitative content analysis of the survey’s open-ended questions, to contextualize and interpret the quantitative data. Our quantitative results indicated that perceptions of future trends in key stressors had little effect on fertility preferences of respondents, with the exception of perceptions of human population growth. Our qualitative data suggested that this may be due to the influence of social-cultural norms and religion, decision-making with the husband, as well as a perceived utilitarian value of children. These findings have important implications for the development of interventions to slow down human population growth. Our findings suggest the need to look beyond improved physical access to family planning, and develop a new suite of deliberative approaches that engage with social norms, religion, and gender equity

    Using a leverage points perspective to compare social-ecological systems: a case study on rural landscapes

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    A leverage points perspective recognises different levels of systemic depth, ranging from the relatively shallow levels of parameters and feedbacks to the deeper levels of system design and intent. Analysing a given social-ecological system for its characteristics across these four levels of systemic depth provides a useful diagnostic to better understand sustainability problems, and can complement other types of cause-and-effect systems modelling. Moreover, the structured comparison of multiple systems can highlight whether sustainability challenges in different systems have a similar origin (e.g. similar feedbacks or similar design). We used a leverage points perspective to systematically compare findings from three in-depth social-ecological case studies, which investigated rural landscapes in southeastern Australia, central Romania, and southwestern Ethiopia. Inductive coding of key findings documented in over 60 empirical publications was used to generate synthesis statements of key findings in the three case studies. Despite major socioeconomic and ecological differences, many synthesis statements applied to all three case studies. Major sustainability problems occurred at the design and intent levels. For example, at the intent level, all three rural landscapes were driven by goals and paradigms that mirrored a productivist green revolution discourse. Our paper thus highlights that there are underlying challenges for rural sustainability across the world, which appear to apply similarly across strongly contrasting socioeconomic contexts. Sustainability interventions should be mindful of such deep similarities in system characteristics. We conclude that a leverage points perspective could be used to compare many other types of social-ecological systems around the world

    Advancing research on ecosystem service bundles for comparative assessments and synthesis

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    Social-ecological interactions have been shown to generate interrelated and reoccurring sets of ecosystem services, also known as ecosystem service bundles. Given the potential utility of the bundles concept, along with the recent surge in interest it is timely to reflect on the concept, its current use and potential for the future. Based on our ecosystem service bundle experience, expertise, and ecosystem service bundle analyses, we have found critical elements for advancing the utility of ecosystem service bundle concept and deepening its impact in the future. In this paper we 1) examine the different conceptualizations of the ecosystem service bundle concept; 2) show the range of benefits of using a bundles approach; 3) explore key issues for improving research on ecosystem service bundles, including indicators, scale, and drivers and relationships between ecosystem services; and 4) outline priorities for the future by facilitating comparisons of ecosystem service bundle research

    Using a leverage points perspective to compare social-ecological systems: a case study on rural landscapes

    No full text
    A leverage points perspective recognises different levels of systemic depth, ranging from the relatively shallow levels of parameters and feedbacks to the deeper levels of system design and intent. Analysing a given social-ecological system for its characteristics across these four levels of systemic depth provides a useful diagnostic to better understand sustainability problems, and can complement other types of cause-and-effect systems modelling. Moreover, the structured comparison of multiple systems can highlight whether sustainability challenges in different systems have a similar origin (e.g. similar feedbacks or similar design). We used a leverage points perspective to systematically compare findings from three in-depth social-ecological case studies, which investigated rural landscapes in southeastern Australia, central Romania, and southwestern Ethiopia. Inductive coding of key findings documented in over 60 empirical publications was used to generate synthesis statements of key findings in the three case studies. Despite major socioeconomic and ecological differences, many synthesis statements applied to all three case studies. Major sustainability problems occurred at the design and intent levels. For example, at the intent level, all three rural landscapes were driven by goals and paradigms that mirrored a productivist green revolution discourse. Our paper thus highlights that there are underlying challenges for rural sustainability across the world, which appear to apply similarly across strongly contrasting socioeconomic contexts. Sustainability interventions should be mindful of such deep similarities in system characteristics. We conclude that a leverage points perspective could be used to compare many other types of social-ecological systems around the world

    Using a leverage points perspective to compare social-ecological systems : a case study on rural landscapes

    No full text
    A leverage points perspective recognises different levels of systemic depth, ranging from the relatively shallow levels of parameters and feedbacks to the deeper levels of system design and intent. Analysing a given social-ecological system for its characteristics across these four levels of systemic depth provides a useful diagnostic to better understand sustainability problems, and can complement other types of cause-and-effect systems modelling. Moreover, the structured comparison of multiple systems can highlight whether sustainability challenges in different systems have a similar origin (e.g. similar feedbacks or similar design). We used a leverage points perspective to systematically compare findings from three in-depth social-ecological case studies, which investigated rural landscapes in southeastern Australia, central Romania, and southwestern Ethiopia. Inductive coding of key findings documented in over 60 empirical publications was used to generate synthesis statements of key findings in the three case studies. Despite major socioeconomic and ecological differences, many synthesis statements applied to all three case studies. Major sustainability problems occurred at the design and intent levels. For example, at the intent level, all three rural landscapes were driven by goals and paradigms that mirrored a productivist green revolution discourse. Our paper thus highlights that there are underlying challenges for rural sustainability across the world, which appear to apply similarly across strongly contrasting socioeconomic contexts. Sustainability interventions should be mindful of such deep similarities in system characteristics. We conclude that a leverage points perspective could be used to compare many other types of social-ecological systems around the world
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