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 | 2020-05-29
Colombia has a long tradition when it comes to nature conservation, but falls short on promoting the role of ecosystem services in their strategies. Here’s how to fix it
Research news | 2020-05-27
Broadening the analytical focus beyond harvesting is necessary in order to imagine new ways of governing the commons
Research news | 2020-05-25
How resource management can benefit from competition between interest groups
Research news | 2020-05-11
Why mobilizing different types of knowledges creates opportunities for long-term sustainable governance
Research news | 2020-04-24
How "prophets” help mobilize necessary resources to initiate partnerships, and benefit from them
Research news | 2020-04-15
For a network of seemingly disconnected actors to function properly, intermediaries are essential. A new approach reveals their influence
2020 - Journal / article
Global agriculture puts heavy pressure on planetary boundaries, posing the challenge to achieve future food security without compromising Earth system resilience. On the basis of process-detailed, spatially explicit representation of four interlinked planetary boundaries (biosphere integrity, land-system change, freshwater use, nitrogen flows) and agricultural systems in an internally consistent model framework, we here show t...
2020 - Journal / article
Research practice, funding agencies and global science organizations suggest that research aimed at addressing sustainability challenges is most effective when ‘co-produced’ by academics and non-academics. Co-production promises to address the complex nature of contemporary sustainability challenges better than more traditional scientific approaches. But definitions of knowledge co-production are diverse and often contradictor...
2020 - Book chapter
Mobilising indigenous and local knowledge systems has the potential to make their critical knowledge about landscapes and biodiversity meaningful as evidence in conservation and governance. Collaborative approaches to conservation must be equitable and just to be effective in the long term. The Multiple Evidence Base (MEB) is an inclusive approach to combining diverse sources of evidence. We review uptake of the MEB approach a...
2020 - Journal / article
As the bulk of the world’s population becomes urban, maintaining urban ecosystem services for environmental and social well-being in cities is crucial. According to resilience theory, maintaining such services requires for a complex adaptive systems perspective that helps in identifying key elements and dynamics behind cross-scale social-ecological interactions. In this context, the objective of this article is to use a resili...
This project aims to identify determinants of successful co-management processes embracing the guiding principles of ecosystem-based management Read more here