Key features for more successful place-based sustainability research on social-ecological systems.

PECS scientists assess what contributes to or hinders the success of place-based social-ecological sustainability research and outline practical strategies for running social-ecological research projects.

Place-based social-ecological sustainability research is the foundation of the Programme on Ecosystem Change and Society (PECS). This community of projects and researchers provides a unique opportunity to assess what features contribute to or detract from the success of place-based social-ecological sustainability research. The leaders of PECS-affiliated projects were surveyed about their experiences within six themes: problem orientation, research team, context, concepts, methods, and evaluation.

 

Figure 4 in the paper illustrates the desirable aspects and enabling factors that contribute to the success of place-based social-ecological sustainability research.

 

http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol22/iss1/art14/figure4.html

 

Figure 5 in the paper illustrates the undesirable aspects and obstacles that hinder the success of place-based social-ecological sustainability research.


http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol22/iss1/art14/figure5.html

 

The authors prescribe 5 strategies for fostering successful place-based social-ecological sustainability research.

 

  1. Allowing enough time for better understanding of social-ecological dynamics and the fostering of concrete and trusted engagements with stakeholders
  2. Early identification of the role played by different project members and the scope of the project
  3. Identification of short-, medium-, and long-term products
  4. Adaption of internal monitoring processes to evaluate success
  5. Pay particular attention to the lessons that can be learned from failure

 

Funding and support is needed to galvanize the collaborative solutions-oriented research that sustainability challenges require. Research communities such as PECS help to create space in the reward structures of academic institutions and funding agencies for socially relevant research. PECS has a vital role to play in developing inclusive approaches to building more sustainable approaches to managing social-ecological systems.


 

Balvanera, P., T. M. Daw, T. Gardner, B. Martín-López, A. Norström, C. Ifejika Speranza, M. Spierenburg, E. M. Bennett, M. Farfan, M. Hamann, J. N. Kittinger, T. Luthe, M. Maass, G. D. Peterson, and G. Pérez-Verdin. 2017. Key features for more successful place-based sustainability research on social-ecological systems: a Programme on Ecosystem Change and Society (PECS) perspective. Ecology and Society 22(1):14.
https://doi.org/10.5751/ES-08826-220114external link, opens in new window


 

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PECS - Programme on Ecosystem Change and Society

Stockholm Resilience Centre

Stockholm University
SE-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
Visiting address: Kräftriket 2

WHAT IS PECS

The Program on Ecosystem Change and Society (PECS), is a new initiative jointly sponsored by ICSU and UNESCO. It aims to integrate research on the stewardship of social–ecological system and the relationships among natural capital, human wellbeing, livelihoods, inequality and poverty.