Potentials of Biocultural Approaches for Sustainability Research

SCIENCE FOR SUSTAINABILITY

Sustainability science is a discipline actively seeking solutions to current sustainability challenges. Core components include the adoption of a social-ecological systems perspective, the implementation of inter‐ and transdisciplinarity, and the commitment to solution-oriented work. For sustainability science to foster equality and amplify marginalized voices, the plurality of human–nature interactions and worldviews needs to be accounted for. To that end, a concept called biocultural approaches is increasingly perceived as a valuable tool. In their recent paper, Hanspach et al. (2020) present a systematic review of the application of biocultural approaches to sustainability in scientific journal articles published over the last 30 years. The authors identify seven distinct ways of understanding and applying biocultural approaches and analyze them with regard to their relation to the key aspects of sustainability science.

The concept of biocultural approaches to sustainability originates from the field of biological anthropology. Over the last decades, however, it has been…

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