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1.
Ambio ; 49(1): 208-217, 2020 Jan.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31020612

RESUMO

In the context of continuing ecosystem degradation and deepening socio-economic inequality, sustainability scientists must question the adequacy of current scholarship and practice. We argue that pre-occupation with external phenomena and collective social structures has led to the neglect of people's 'inner worlds'-their emotions, thoughts, identities and beliefs. These lie at the heart of actions for sustainability, and have powerful transformative capacity for system change. The condition of people's inner worlds ought to also be considered a dimension of sustainability itself. Compassion, empathy and generosity, for example, are personal characteristics that mark individual expressions of sustainability. Sustainability science must take inner life more seriously by considering how language shapes and is shaped by paradigms about the world, prioritising enquiry into how spirituality, contemplation and sustainability transformation relate, and encouraging scholars and practitioners to intentionally cultivate their inner worlds to strengthen inner resources necessary for addressing sustainability challenges.


Assuntos
Ecossistema , Espiritualidade , Fatores Socioeconômicos
2.
Ambio ; 2019 Dec 19.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31858486

RESUMO

Transformational research frameworks provide understanding and guidance for fostering change towards sustainability. They comprise stages of system understanding, visioning and co-designing intervention strategies to foster change. Guidance and empirical examples for how to facilitate the process of co-designing intervention strategies in real-world contexts remain scarce, especially with regard to integrating local initiatives. We suggest three principles to facilitate the process of co-designing intervention strategies that integrate local initiatives: (1) Explore existing and envisioned initiatives fostering change towards the desired future; (2) Frame the intervention strategy to bridge the gap between the present state and desired future state(s), building on, strengthening and complementing existing initiatives; (3) Identify drivers, barriers and potential leverage points for how to accelerate progress towards sustainability. We illustrate our approach via a case study on sustainable development in Southern Transylvania. We conclude that our principles were useful in the case study, especially with regards to integrating initiatives, and could also be applied in other real-world contexts.

3.
Food Secur ; 11(1): 167-181, 2019.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30931047

RESUMO

Households combine capital assets in a process involving human agency and resourcefulness to construct livelihood strategies and generate well-being outcomes. Here, we (1) characterized types of livelihood strategies; (2) determined how different capital assets are associated with different livelihood strategies; and (3) determined how livelihood strategies differed in food security outcomes. We conducted a survey in southwestern Ethiopia and used principal component and cluster analyses. Five types of livelihood strategies, which differed mainly in food and cash crops comprising the strategy, were identified. These were, in order of decreasing food security: 'three food crops, coffee and khat', n = 68; 'three food crops and khat', n = 59; 'two food crops, coffee and khat', n = 78; 'two food crops and khat', n = 88; and 'one food crop, coffee and khat', n = 44. The livelihood strategy 'three food crops, coffee and khat' was associated with a wide range of capital assets, particularly having larger aggregate farm field size and learning from other farmers. A generalized linear model showed that livelihood strategies were significantly associated with food security outcomes. Particularly, a high number of food crops in a strategy was linked with relatively high food security. In this context, diversified livelihood strategies primarily through having a mix of food crops for subsistence, in combination with cash crops for income, are important for food security. This suggests a need to rethink dominant policy narratives, which have a narrow focus on increasing productivity and commercialization as the primary pathway to food security.

4.
Sustain Sci ; 13(5): 1389-1397, 2018.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30220917

RESUMO

Calls for humanity to 'reconnect to nature' have grown increasingly louder from both scholars and civil society. Yet, there is relatively little coherence about what reconnecting to nature means, why it should happen and how it can be achieved. We present a conceptual framework to organise existing literature and direct future research on human-nature connections. Five types of connections to nature are identified: material, experiential, cognitive, emotional, and philosophical. These various types have been presented as causes, consequences, or treatments of social and environmental problems. From this conceptual base, we discuss how reconnecting people with nature can function as a treatment for the global environmental crisis. Adopting a social-ecological systems perspective, we draw upon the emerging concept of 'leverage points'-places in complex systems to intervene to generate change-and explore examples of how actions to reconnect people with nature can help transform society towards sustainability.

5.
Sustain Sci ; 13(5): 1469-1482, 2018.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30220919

RESUMO

Transgenic Golden Rice has been hailed as a practical solution to vitamin A deficiency, but has also been heavily criticized. To facilitate a balanced view on this polarized debate, we investigated existing arguments for and against Golden Rice from a sustainability science perspective. In a structured literature review of peer-reviewed publications on Golden Rice, we assessed to what extent 64 articles addressed 70 questions covering different aspects of sustainability. Using cluster analysis, we grouped the literature into two major branches, containing two clusters each. These clusters differed in the range and nature of the sustainability aspects addressed, disciplinary affiliation and overall evaluation of Golden Rice. The 'biotechnological' branch (clusters: 'technical effectiveness' and 'advocacy') was dominated by the natural sciences, focused on biophysical plant-consumer interactions, and evaluated Golden Rice positively. In contrast, the 'socio-systemic' branch (clusters: 'economic efficiency' and 'equity and holism') was primarily comprised of social sciences, addressed a wider variety of sustainability aspects including participation, equity, ethics and biodiversity, and more often pointed to the shortcomings of Golden Rice. There were little to no integration efforts between the two branches, and highly polarized positions arose in the clusters on 'advocacy' and 'equity and holism'. To explore this divide, we investigated the influences of disciplinary affiliations and personal values on the respective problem framings. We conclude that to move beyond a polarized debate, it may be fruitful to ground the Golden Rice discourse in facets and methods of sustainability science, with an emphasis on participation and integration of diverging interests.

6.
Conserv Lett ; 11(3): e12429, 2018.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30034527

RESUMO

Agricultural land use is a key interface between the goals of ensuring food security and protecting biodiversity. "Land sparing" supports intensive agriculture to save land for conservation, whereas "land sharing" integrates production and conservation on the same land. The framing around sparing versus sharing has been extensively debated. Here, we focused on a frequently missing yet crucial component, namely the governance dimension. Through a case-study in Ethiopia, we uncovered stakeholder preferences for sparing versus sharing, the underlying rationale, and implementation capacity challenges. Policy stakeholders preferred sparing whereas implementation stakeholders preferred sharing, which aligned with existing informal institutions. Implementation of both strategies was limited by social, biophysical, and institutional factors. Land use policies need to account for both ecological patterns and social context. The findings from simple analytical frameworks (e.g., sparing vs. sharing) therefore need to be interpreted carefully, and in a social-ecological context, to generate meaningful recommendations for conservation practice.

9.
Trends Ecol Evol ; 32(5): 335-345, 2017 05.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28284373

RESUMO

Given the serious limitations of production-oriented frameworks, we offer here a new conceptual framework for how to analyze the nexus of food security and biodiversity conservation. We introduce four archetypes of social-ecological system states corresponding to win-win (e.g., agroecology), win-lose (e.g., intensive agriculture), lose-win (e.g., fortress conservation), and lose-lose (e.g., degraded landscapes) outcomes for food security and biodiversity conservation. Each archetype is shaped by characteristic external drivers, exhibits characteristic internal social-ecological features, and has characteristic feedbacks that maintain it. This framework shifts the emphasis from focusing on production only to considering social-ecological dynamics, and enables comparison among landscapes. Moreover, examining drivers and feedbacks facilitates the analysis of possible transitions between system states (e.g., from a lose-lose outcome to a more preferred outcome).


Assuntos
Agricultura , Biodiversidade , Conservação dos Recursos Naturais , Abastecimento de Alimentos , Ecossistema
10.
Ambio ; 46(1): 30-39, 2017 Feb.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27344324

RESUMO

Despite substantial focus on sustainability issues in both science and politics, humanity remains on largely unsustainable development trajectories. Partly, this is due to the failure of sustainability science to engage with the root causes of unsustainability. Drawing on ideas by Donella Meadows, we argue that many sustainability interventions target highly tangible, but essentially weak, leverage points (i.e. using interventions that are easy, but have limited potential for transformational change). Thus, there is an urgent need to focus on less obvious but potentially far more powerful areas of intervention. We propose a research agenda inspired by systems thinking that focuses on transformational 'sustainability interventions', centred on three realms of leverage: reconnecting people to nature, restructuring institutions and rethinking how knowledge is created and used in pursuit of sustainability. The notion of leverage points has the potential to act as a boundary object for genuinely transformational sustainability science.


Assuntos
Conservação dos Recursos Naturais/métodos , Ecologia/métodos , Ecossistema , Modelos Teóricos , Projetos de Pesquisa , Resolução de Problemas , Meio Social
11.
Trends Ecol Evol ; 31(12): 900-902, 2016 12.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27771143

Assuntos
Pesquisa
13.
PLoS One ; 11(6): e0151650, 2016.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27285118

RESUMO

Farmland biodiversity is strongly declining in most of Western Europe, but still survives in traditional low intensity agricultural landscapes in Central and Eastern Europe. Accession to the EU however intensifies agriculture, which leads to the vanishing of traditional farming. Our aim was to describe the pollinator assemblages of the last remnants of these landscapes, thus set the baseline of sustainable farming for pollination, and to highlight potential measures of conservation. In these traditional farmlands in the Transylvanian Basin, Romania (EU accession in 2007), we studied the major pollinator groups-wild bees, hoverflies and butterflies. Landscape scale effects of semi-natural habitats, land cover diversity, the effects of heterogeneity and woody vegetation cover and on-site flower resources were tested on pollinator communities in traditionally managed arable fields and grasslands. Our results showed: (i) semi-natural habitats at the landscape scale have a positive effect on most pollinators, especially in the case of low heterogeneity of the direct vicinity of the studied sites; (ii) both arable fields and grasslands hold abundant flower resources, thus both land use types are important in sustaining pollinator communities; (iii) thus, pollinator conservation can rely even on arable fields under traditional management regime. This has an indirect message that the tiny flower margins around large intensive fields in west Europe can be insufficient conservation measures to restore pollinator communities at the landscape scale, as this is still far the baseline of necessary flower resources. This hypothesis needs further study, which includes more traditional landscapes providing baseline, and exploration of other factors behind the lower than baseline level biodiversity values of fields under agri-environmental schemes (AES).


Assuntos
Agricultura , Conservação dos Recursos Naturais , União Europeia , Guias como Assunto , Polinização/fisiologia , Pesquisa/tendências , Agricultura/legislação & jurisprudência , Agricultura/métodos , Animais , Abelhas , Biodiversidade , Borboletas , Conservação dos Recursos Naturais/legislação & jurisprudência , Conservação dos Recursos Naturais/métodos , Ecossistema , Pradaria , Dinâmica Populacional , Romênia
15.
Ambio ; 45(4): 490-500, 2016 May.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26779907

RESUMO

Facilitating human-carnivore coexistence depends on the biophysical environment but also on social factors. Focusing on Central Romania, we conducted 71 semi-structured interviews to explore human-bear (Ursus arctos) coexistence. Qualitative content and discourse analysis identified three socially mediated thematic strands, which showed different ways in which perceived interactions between people, bears and the environment shape coexistence. The "landscape-bear strand" described perceptions of the way in which the landscape offers resources for the bear, while the "landscape-human strand" related to ways in which humans experience the landscape. The "management strand" related to the way bears was managed. All three strands highlight both threats and opportunities for the peaceful coexistence of people and bears. Management and policy interventions could be improved by systematically considering the possible effects of interventions on each of the three strands shaping coexistence. Future research should explore the relevance of the identified thematic strands in other settings worldwide.


Assuntos
Conservação dos Recursos Naturais , Ursidae , Animais , Cultura , Humanos , Romênia , Fatores Socioeconômicos
16.
Ambio ; 45(2): 185-95, 2016 Mar.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26458391

RESUMO

Wood-pastures are associated with high cultural and biodiversity values in Europe. However, due to their relatively low productivity, large areas of wood-pastures have been lost over the last century. In some areas, incentive schemes have been developed to revive wood-pastures. We investigated the effects of one such scheme in western Estonia. We compared the structure of grazed wood-pastures (old and restored) to those of abandoned wood-pastures and ungrazed forest stands to explore the effects of management, and conducted interviews with 24 farmers to investigate their motivations to carry out the management. We found a positive influence of active management on the semi-open structure of wood-pastures. Financial support was vital for management, but personal values related to tradition also played an important role. The interviewees differed widely in their range of motivations, suggesting that other strategies in addition to financial incentives would further improve the management of wood-pastures in the region.


Assuntos
Agricultura , Biodiversidade , Conservação dos Recursos Naturais/métodos , Florestas , Pradaria , Estônia
17.
Proc Biol Sci ; 282(1814)2015 Sep 07.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26336169

RESUMO

Apex predators perform important functions that regulate ecosystems worldwide. However, little is known about how ecosystem regulation by predators is influenced by human activities. In particular, how important are top-down effects of predators relative to direct and indirect human-mediated bottom-up and top-down processes? Combining data on species' occurrence from camera traps and hunting records, we aimed to quantify the relative effects of top-down and bottom-up processes in shaping predator and prey distributions in a human-dominated landscape in Transylvania, Romania. By global standards this system is diverse, including apex predators (brown bear and wolf), mesopredators (red fox) and large herbivores (roe and red deer). Humans and free-ranging dogs represent additional predators in the system. Using structural equation modelling, we found that apex predators suppress lower trophic levels, especially herbivores. However, direct and indirect top-down effects of humans affected the ecosystem more strongly, influencing species at all trophic levels. Our study highlights the need to explicitly embed humans and their influences within trophic cascade theory. This will greatly expand our understanding of species interactions in human-modified landscapes, which compose the majority of the Earth's terrestrial surface.


Assuntos
Cadeia Alimentar , Atividades Humanas , Comportamento Predatório , Animais , Cervos , Cães , Raposas , Modelos Teóricos , Dinâmica Populacional , Romênia , Ursidae , Lobos
18.
Int J Colorectal Dis ; 30(6): 797-806, 2015 Jun.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-25922143

RESUMO

PURPOSE: This study aimed to investigate the outcome for stage II and III rectal cancer patients compared to stage II and III colonic cancer patients with regard to 5-year cause-specific survival (CSS), overall survival, and local and combined recurrence rates over time. METHODS: This prospective cohort study identified 3,355 consecutive patients with adenocarcinoma of the colon or rectum and treated in our colorectal unit between 1981 and 2011, for investigation. The study was restricted to International Union Against Cancer (UICC) stages II and III. Postoperative mortality and histological incomplete resection were excluded, which left 995 patients with colonic cancer and 726 patients with rectal cancer for further analysis. RESULTS: Five-year CSS rates improved for colonic cancer from 65.0% for patients treated between 1981 and 1986 to 88.1% for patients treated between 2007 and 2011. For rectal cancer patients, the respective 5-year CSS rates improved from 53.4% in the first observation period to 89.8% in the second one. The local recurrence rate for rectal cancer dropped from 34.2% in the years 1981-1986 to 2.1% in the years 2007-2011. In the last decade of observation, prognosis for rectal cancer was equal to that for colon cancer (CSS 88.6 vs. 86.7%, p = 0.409). CONCLUSION: Survival of patients with colon and rectal cancer has continued to improve over the last three decades. After major changes in treatment strategy including introduction of total mesorectal excision and neoadjuvant (radio)chemotherapy, prognosis for stage II and III rectal cancer is at least as good as for stage II and III colonic cancer.


Assuntos
Adenocarcinoma/mortalidade , Adenocarcinoma/cirurgia , Neoplasias do Colo/mortalidade , Neoplasias do Colo/cirurgia , Neoplasias Retais/mortalidade , Neoplasias Retais/cirurgia , Adenocarcinoma/patologia , Idoso , Neoplasias do Colo/patologia , Humanos , Terapia Neoadjuvante , Recidiva Local de Neoplasia , Estadiamento de Neoplasias , Estudos Prospectivos , Neoplasias Retais/patologia , Taxa de Sobrevida , Resultado do Tratamento
19.
PLoS One ; 9(7): e103256, 2014.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-25058307

RESUMO

European farmland biodiversity is declining due to land use changes towards agricultural intensification or abandonment. Some Eastern European farming systems have sustained traditional forms of use, resulting in high levels of biodiversity. However, global markets and international policies now imply rapid and major changes to these systems. To effectively protect farmland biodiversity, understanding landscape features which underpin species diversity is crucial. Focusing on butterflies, we addressed this question for a cultural-historic landscape in Southern Transylvania, Romania. Following a natural experiment, we randomly selected 120 survey sites in farmland, 60 each in grassland and arable land. We surveyed butterfly species richness and abundance by walking transects with four repeats in summer 2012. We analysed species composition using Detrended Correspondence Analysis. We modelled species richness, richness of functional groups, and abundance of selected species in response to topography, woody vegetation cover and heterogeneity at three spatial scales, using generalised linear mixed effects models. Species composition widely overlapped in grassland and arable land. Composition changed along gradients of heterogeneity at local and context scales, and of woody vegetation cover at context and landscape scales. The effect of local heterogeneity on species richness was positive in arable land, but negative in grassland. Plant species richness, and structural and topographic conditions at multiple scales explained species richness, richness of functional groups and species abundances. Our study revealed high conservation value of both grassland and arable land in low-intensity Eastern European farmland. Besides grassland, also heterogeneous arable land provides important habitat for butterflies. While butterfly diversity in arable land benefits from heterogeneity by small-scale structures, grasslands should be protected from fragmentation to provide sufficiently large areas for butterflies. These findings have important implications for EU agricultural and conservation policy. Most importantly, conservation management needs to consider entire landscapes, and implement appropriate measures at multiple spatial scales.


Assuntos
Agricultura/métodos , Biodiversidade , Borboletas , Conservação dos Recursos Naturais/métodos , Animais , Borboletas/classificação , Ecossistema , Pradaria , Dinâmica Populacional , Romênia , Estações do Ano
20.
Oecologia ; 174(2): 545-57, 2014 Feb.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-24114403

RESUMO

New insights into community-level responses at the urban fringe, and the mechanisms underlying them, are needed. In our study, we investigated the compositional distinctiveness and variability of a breeding bird community at both sides of established edges between suburban residential areas and woodland reserves in Canberra, Australia. Our goals were to determine if: (1) community-level responses were direct (differed with distance from the edge, independent of vegetation) or indirect (differed in response to edge-related changes in vegetation), and (2) if guild-level responses provided the mechanism underpinning community-level responses. We found that suburbs and reserves supported significantly distinct bird communities. The suburban bird community, characterised by urban-adapted native and exotic species, had a weak direct edge response, with decreasing compositional variability with distance from the edge. In comparison, the reserve bird community, characterised by woodland-dependent species, was related to local tree and shrub cover. This was not an indirect response, however, as tree and shrub cover was not related to edge distance. We found that the relative richness of nesting, foraging and body size guilds also displayed similar edge responses, indicating that they underpinned the observed community-level responses. Our study illustrates how community-level responses provide valuable insights into how communities respond to differences in resources between two contrasting habitats. Further, the effects of the suburban matrix penetrate into reserves for greater distances than previously thought. Suburbs and adjacent reserves, however, provided important habitat resources for many native species and the conservation of these areas should not be discounted from continued management strategies.


Assuntos
Aves/classificação , Aves/fisiologia , Ecossistema , Animais , Austrália , Árvores
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