Food security and biodiversity conservation in Ethiopia: A social-ecological perspective


Globally, food insecurity and biodiversity conservation are major challenges. These issues are highly interlinked, as agriculture is a prerequisite for food security, but also drives biodiversity loss. The intersection of these issues has often been tackled from a natural-science viewpoint, yet to understand the issue from a different and more comprehensive perspective, Fischer et al. (2021) set out to use a social-ecological perspective. They applied this perspective to a smallholder dominated region of southwest Ethiopia to explore relationships between food insecurity and biodiversity conservation there.

Southwest Ethiopia: Photograph by Girma Shumi

The authors applied the theoretical framework by Wittman et al. (2017), which suggested that as food security and biodiversity conservation are strongly interconnected, they cannot be meaningfully addressed in isolation from another. Further, Fischer et al. (2021) followed theoretical integration principles by “place, case and process”, to create a study design that was truly place-based and transdisciplinary. The authors…

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