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Applied Research for Enhancing Human Well-Being and Environmental Stewardship: Using Complexity Thinking in Southern Africa

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Type: Journal Article
Author: Palmer, Carolyn G.; Biggs, Reinette; Cumming, Graeme S.
Journal: Ecology and Society
Volume: 20
Date: 2015
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/9773
Sector: General & Multiple Resources
Region: Africa
Subject(s): complexity
Abstract: "Humans all over the planet are struggling and aspiring to engage with the scale and scope of the challenge of achieving human well-being and environmental stewardship for all. This special feature presents the products of processes in Southern Africa that have explored the potential use of complexity approaches to tackling the substantial social-ecological challenges in the region. Although the papers composing the special feature draw mainly on South African case studies, the thinking and participation in development processes were inclusive of the broader region. A concept that emerges through the papers is the inevitable conflation of human well-being and justice, and together they point toward social and ecological justice as an expression of human well-being, founded on environmental stewardship. Over the time the constituent papers have emerged, Mark Swilling and Eve Annecke have produced a most elegantly written and argued book Just Transitions (Swilling and Annecke 2012) that foregrounds the justice theme, deepens and complements several of the perspectives collectively presented in this feature, particularly complexity-based research, and adds an important economics lens."

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