The PECS-II conference showcased place-based research and how it can help us work towards global sustainability in the Anthropocene
PECS is international and comparative. Sharing information and research in PECS is mainly virtual task, but every once and a while, meeting face to face allows for important interactions. That’s why every couple of years PECS meets – to share knowledge, but also create and build connections.
From November 7-10 2017, PECS hosted its second conference in Oaxaca, Mexico, known as PECS-II, as a way to bring together scholars working within the programme, and others independent of PECS working with place-based sustainability research. As a programme, PECS highlights place-based research that can help inform our actions as we work towards global sustainability.
Different key themes were highlighted for the conference. To get everyone in the same line of thinking, keynote speakers started Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday morning with presentations focused around one of the key themes.
The first day kicked off with presentations from Sandra Diaz (Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Argentina) and SRC’s Victor Galaz, which focused on the role of place-based research for global sustainability. Speakers Fikret Berkes (University of Manitoba) and Xiaver Basutro (Duke University) gave presentations that touched on Thursday’s theme of stewardship with local institutions and governance, as well as co-producing knowledge and scaling up. Friday’s more forward looking theme focused on opportunities available to us in the Anthropocene, with presentations from Juliana Mercon (Universidad Veracruzana) and Elena Bennett (McGill University).
More videos, including interviews with the keynote speakers, can be found here
While the conference programme focused on key themes, sessions at PECS revealed a number of topics that require more attention and research in the coming years.
Scaling up, which is applying what is learned at the local level to regional, national, or global scales, was a reoccurring theme throughout the conference. Many scholars reflected on the purpose of scaling up, and what it means to scale up. In moving the research agenda forward, another key theme also emerged: coproduction of knowledge. Many of the sessions touched on the coproduction of knowledge, and incorporating local perspectives into the research process.
For a small conference, PECS II was able to connect far beyond its own place base, a venue in Oaxaca, Mexico. Field trips were offered to conference participants, as a way to understand the social-ecological landscape, surrounding the conference venue. Conference participants had the opportunity to visit a number of different places, such as the ancient Zapotec city of Monte Alban, or small towns on the outskirts of Oaxaca, viewing traditional art and handicrafts along the way. PECS-II also showcased a number of different styles of Oaxacan and Mexican art, such as handicrafts, music, and traditional dancing.
At the end of the conference, PECS director Albert Norström reflected on how far the programme has come: “PECS has witnessed an amazing growth over the past eight years, through the coordination and nurturing of social-ecological place-based research from around the world. We’re just so grateful and happy to have been able to bring so many participants together in Oaxaca, which is a social and ecological diversity hotspot in itself.”
PECS - Programme on Ecosystem Change and Society
Stockholm Resilience Centre
SE-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
Visiting address: Kräftriket 2
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WHAT IS PECS
The Programme on Ecosystem Change and Society (PECS), is a core project of Future Earth. It aims to integrate research on the stewardship of social–ecological system and the relationships among natural capital, human wellbeing, livelihoods, inequality and poverty.