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

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  • Albert V. Norström
  • Bina Agarwal
  • Patricia Balvanera
  • Brigitte Baptiste
  • Elena M. Bennett
  • Eduardo Brondízio
  • Reinette Biggs
  • Bruce Campbell
  • Stephen R. Carpenter
  • Juan Carlos Castilla
  • Antonio J. Castro
  • Wolfgang Cramer
  • Graeme S. Cumming
  • María Felipe-Lucia
  • Carl Folke
  • Ruth DeFries
  • Stefan Gelcich
  • Juliane Groth
  • Chinwe Ifejika Speranza
  • Sander Jacobs
  • Johanna Hofmann
  • Terry P Hughes
  • Amanda Manyani
  • Megan Meacham
  • Hannah Moersberger
  • Harini Nagendra
  • Laura Pereira
  • Stephen Polasky
  • Michael Schoon
  • Lisen Schultz
  • Odirilwe Selomane
  • Marja Spierenburg

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
JournalEcosystems and People
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)598–608
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 31.12.2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

    Research areas

  • Ecosystems Research - Ecosystem social-ecological systems, sustainability science, transformations, valuation, co-production, reflexive