The programme on ecosystem change and society (PECS) - a decade of deepening social-ecological research through a place-based focus

Albert Norstrom V, Bina Agarwal, Patricia Balvanera, Brigitte Baptiste, Elena M. Bennett, Eduardo Brondizio, Reinette Biggs, Bruce Campbell, Stephen R. Carpenter, Juan Carlos Castilla, Antonio J. Castro, Wolfgang Cramer, Graeme S. Cumming, Maria Felipe-Lucia, Joern Fischer, Carl Folke, Ruth DeFries, Stefan Gelcich, Juliane Groth, Chinwe Ifejika SperanzaSander Jacobs, Johanna Hofmann, Terry P. Hughes, David P. M. Lam, Jacqueline Loos, Amanda Manyani, Berta Martin-Lopez, Megan Meacham, Hannah Moersberger, Harini Nagendra, Laura Pereira, Stephen Polasky, Michael Schoon, Lisen Schultz, Odirilwe Selomane, Marja Spierenburg

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-articlepeer-review


The Programme on Ecosystem Change and Society (PECS) was established in 2011, and is now one of the major international social-ecological systems (SES) research networks. During this time, SES research has undergone a phase of rapid growth and has grown into an influential branch of sustainability science. In this Perspective, we argue that SES research has also deepened over the past decade, and helped to shed light on key dimensions of SES dynamics (e.g. system feedbacks, aspects of system design, goals and paradigms) that can lead to tangible action for solving the major sustainability challenges of our time. We suggest four ways in which the growth of place-based SES research, fostered by networks such as PECS, has contributed to these developments, namely by: 1) shedding light on transformational change, 2) revealing the social dynamics shaping SES, 3) bringing together diverse types of knowledge, and 4) encouraging reflexive researchers.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)598-608
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 30-Oct-2022

Thematic List 2020

  • Nature & society

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