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Wednesday, August 5 • 16:00 - 16:30
Complexity and Environmental Sustainability in Socio-Ecological Systems: The Case of the Winton Wetlands in Victoria, Australia

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Sustainability in socio-ecological systems is a complex matter, not only because it deals with the interactions among social, ecological and economic dimensions but also because of the varied perspectives and motivations that different stakeholders have of different aspects of sustainability. The aim of this paper is to discuss the systemic nature of environmental sustainability by analysing the varied perspectives and motivations of different stakeholders around the restoration project in South-eastern Australia, the Winton Wetlands  project. In this paper, sustainability is studied in a holistic way even though only one dimension of sustainability, such as the environmental one, is specifically queried. This is due to the interactions between social and economic aspects that are revealed in the stakeholder’s interpretations of environmental sustainability. To address this, 502 people were surveyed about their perspectives and values regarding the environmental sustainability of the Winton Wetlands restoration project. The answers were coded for themes. Stakeholder values about environmental sustainability were analysed in terms of other underlying social and economic dimensions of sustainability implied from the responses. The breadth of values, perspectives and knowledge about environmental sustainability in the Winton Wetlands and their interactions with ecological restoration goals and outcomes reflect the features of complexity in that these interactions are non-linear and experience time delays, among others. This result suggests that even when dealing with one dimension of sustainability (environmental) there are important social and economic implications. Hence, more targeted actions can be developed when analysing or addressing sustainability in a systemic manner, regarding the elements and interactions set in place as well the features of complex systems reflected.   

Presenter / Artist

Luisa Helena Perez Mujica

PhD Candidate, Charles Sturt University
ISSS Student

Wednesday August 5, 2015 16:00 - 16:30 CEST
Elk Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz, Gabriele-Tergit-Promenade 19, 10963 Berlin, Germany

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