Understanding our responses to environmental change

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Frontiers in Social Ecological Research Colloquium

Meeting in Cape Town, 15-16 April 2013 

botanicgardens

I attended a fantastic meeting at the beautiful Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens (see image) in Cape Town organised by the South Africa Programme on Ecosystem Change and Society – SAPECS .

I was invited as keynote speaker – alongside Brian Walker, Marja Spierenburg, Garry Peterson, Dirk Roux, Deon Nel and Albert Norström. I presented findings from P-Mowtick and other ESPA funded work and talked about the links between ecosystems and wellbeing. There is an exciting and vibrant research community developing around the programme and the meeting showcased an impressive breadth and depth of research.

The colloquium was structured around the six SAPECS research themes:

  • Links between ecosystem services and human well-being, with an emphasis on poverty and inequality;
  • How governance and management institutions and practices affect social-ecological systems, including the capacity for learning and transformation;
  • Potential traps and transformations in the structure and dynamics of social-ecological systems, and the consequences of different trajectories of development for human well-being;
  • Cross-scale connections that impact the structure and dynamics of social-ecological systems at different scales;
  • Transdisciplinary modes of collaborative research and training; and
  • Mainstreaming and communication of social-ecological research.

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