Advancing sustainability through mainstreaming a social–ecological systems perspective


The concept of social–ecological systems is useful for understanding the interlinked dynamics of environmental and societal change. The concept has helped facilitate: (1) increased recognition of the dependence of humanity on ecosystems; (2) improved collaboration across disciplines, and between science and society; (3) increased methodological pluralism leading to improved systems understanding; and (4) major policy frameworks considering social–ecological interactions. Despite these advances, the potential of a social–ecological systems perspective to improve sustainability outcomes has not been fully realized. Key priorities are to: (1) better understand and govern social– ecological interactions between regions; (2) pay greater attention to long-term drivers; (3) better understand the interactions among power relations, justice, and ecosystem stewardship; and (4) develop a stronger science–society interface.

1 Figure or Table

Citations per Year

Citation Velocity: 13

Averaging 13 citations per year over the last 2 years.

Learn more about how we calculate this metric in our FAQ.

Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Fischer2015AdvancingST, title={Advancing sustainability through mainstreaming a social–ecological systems perspective}, author={Joern Fischer and Toby Alan Gardner and Elena M. Bennett and Patricia Balvanera and R. Michael Biggs and Stephen R. Carpenter and Tim M Daw and Carl S Folke and Rosemary Hill and Terry P. Hughes and Tobias Luthe and Manuel Maass and Megan Z Meacham and Albert V. Norstr{\"{o}m and Garry D. Peterson and Cibele Queiroz and Ralf Seppelt and Marja J. Spierenburg and John Tenhunen}, year={2015} }