Nature-society Relations

Elsevier, Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, Volume 50, June 2021
Droughts are significant drivers of land degradation, which in turn has adverse effects on resource-dependent rural populations and can potentially lead to livelihood losses and subsequent migration out of affected areas. Linkages between land degradation and migration are complex and not particularly well documented, as they occur within a larger context of multi-scale interactions of socio-economic, political, demographic, and environmental processes. Given these uncertainties, further research in this field is needed.
This paper explores physical, psychological, social, and institutional vulnerabilities associated with slow-onset events (SoEs) of climate change. Based on review of interdisciplinary research in the context of Pakistan, this paper reviews the relevance of multi-level vulnerabilities and how they exacerbate impacts of SoEs of climate change. The physical vulnerabilities of climate change have been relatively well researched; however, research on the psychological, social, and institutional vulnerabilities and their intersectional associations with SoEs have been rare.
Elsevier, Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, Volume 50, June 2021
Non-economic loss and damage induced by climate change in the Pacific Islands region has been reported as fears of cultural loss, deterioration of vital ecosystem services, and dislocation from ancestral lands, among others. This paper undertakes an in-depth systematic review of literature from the frontlines of the Pacific Islands to ascertain the complexities of non-economic loss and damage from climate change.
The COVID-19 pandemic has stalled and rolled back progress on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Ecosystem services (ESs), defined as the contributions of ecosystems to human well-being, underpin the achievement of SDGs. To promote SDG achievement in post-pandemic era, we teased out the links between ESs and SDGs while examining the impact of COVID-19. We found that ESs benefited all SDGs, yet man-made pressures led to degradation of ecosystems and their services. There is broad consensus that the virus lurks in degraded ecosystems and generates spillover due to human interference.
Food exchange between human populations can mitigate the risk arising from variable food production. Networks of exchange vary according to context but tend to fall into a relatively small number of qualitatively different types, including altruism, reciprocity, and resource pooling. This apparent canalization raises the question of whether specific networks of food exchange exhibit features that allow them to persist in the longer term, and we address this question by using a model of food exchange among multiple populations.
A grand challenge facing humanity is how to produce food for a growing population in the face of a changing climate and environmental degradation. Although empirical evidence remains sparse, management strategies that increase environmental sustainability, such as increasing agroecosystem diversity through crop rotations, may also increase resilience to weather extremes without sacrificing yields.
Elsevier, Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, Volume 34, October 2018
The relationships between the natural environment and poverty have been a central theme in the sustainability and development literatures. However, they have been less influential in mainstream international development and conservation policies, which often neglect or fail to adequately address these relationships. This paper examines how the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) may influence the framing of environment–poverty relationships. We argue that the SDGs’ comprehensive nature could provide an opportunity for better environment–poverty integration.
Elsevier, Trends in Ecology and Evolution, Volume 33, August 2018
Efforts to protect nature are facing a growing crisis, one that often revolves around the burgeoning impacts of roads and other infrastructure on biodiversity and ecosystems. Potential solutions are possible but they will involve serious trade-offs and the confrontation of deep misconceptions. Here, I identify some time-critical tactics to aid scientists in informing and influencing the global infrastructure debate.
Deforestation worldwide could have important consequences for diet quality and human nutrition given the numerous ecosystem services that are provided by forests and biodiverse landscapes. Yet, empirical research assessing the links between deforestation and diets is lacking. In this study, we examined the association between deforestation and diet diversity among children using geolocated Demographic and Health Survey data for 33,777 children across 15 countries of sub-Saharan Africa coupled with remotely-sensed data on forest cover loss.