Enhancing Sustainability by Reconnecting with Nature: Leverage Points associated with Human-Nature Connectedness


Multiple threats face the sustainability and survival of social-ecological systems. In recent years, a growing focus on the potential of different actions in producing lasting change has emerged. Meadows’ (1999) paper concerning leverage points has been a catalyst for the growth of this field. However, the application of this perspective to real-world scenarios and cultural landscapes has been slow. Riechers et al. (2021) discuss the ability of human-nature connections to produce changes in sustainability through a leverage points perspective (see Box 1). The authors analyse the ways in which different aspects of human-nature connectedness portray leverage points, at which interventions could be key in reversing unsustainable cultural landscape changes in five different communities throughout Europe.

Box 1. Description of terms used regarding the leverage points perspective. These descriptions are partly direct quotes from the sources named below, partly defined or edited by the authors (Riechers et al. 2021:2).

Riechers et…

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