How can norms and policies be shifted to promote Earth stewardship and create sustainable futures?


To tackle the major challenges our planet and society faces today, it is increasingly clear that transformations in wider society are needed to shift from the current growth paradigm to more sustainable pathways. Recent studies suggest that there are potential social tipping points that could shift us toward an Earth stewardship vision, which emphasizes sustainable built, natural, human, and social capital across society and nations. Chapin et al. (2022) aim to show that movement toward a stewardship vision could be facilitated by either policy incentives or social norms, and that there are other factors that many inform practical stewardship strategies.

The authors define earth stewardship as the proactive shaping of biological, social, and physical conditions to maintain, rather than degrade, critical earth-system processes to support the wellbeing of nature and humans from local to planetary scales. A stewardship-oriented transformation would involve system change with very different human-environment interactions and feedbacks…

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