Tag Archives: PECS

PhDs at PECS 2015

Hi Everyone,

Megan MeachamIt is My Sellberg and Megan Meacham here to introduce ourselves to you and kick off a series of blog posts dedicated to PECS 2015! PECS 2015 is a scientific conference focused on the social ecological dynamics of the anthropocene, hosted by the Programme on ecosystem change and society (PECS) in Stellenbosch, South Africa the 3rd – 5th November, 2015.

My SellbergWe are both PhD students at the Stockholm Resilience Centre as well as one half of the dream team that makes up the PECS International program office. Megan’s PhD work focuses on the dynamics of multiple ecosystem services and My’s PhD engages with the development and practice of resilience assessment.

We will be among the waves of social ecological systems scholars descending upon South Africa next week to join with the dynamic SES community based there. We are hoping for a week full of discussions, lively debates, provoking presentations, lots of fun, and of course a bit of wine.

We will use this space to share our perspectives on the conference and surrounding events as well as engage with other young and young-at-heart scholars. We hope that you will follow along as we depart the ever darker Stockholm and immerse ourselves in all the science and fun of sunny Stellenbosch and Cape Town.

Follow us on Twitter: @meganmeacham and @MySellberg

The “Ctrl+Alt+Del” of Global Change Sciences

This is one of those important things that seldom make the headlines. While climate change science has received considerable public attention, especially since the controversies around the IPCC scientific assessments, another fact is seldom, if ever, acknowledged – that  a number of international global change programmes are reorganizing to better match the increasing need for policy-relevant, integrated sustainability science.

The Earth System Science Partnership (ESSP) as an example, has been reorganizing its work the last years, to better integrate the natural and social sciences and acknowledge the non-linear features of global change. This integration is to be developed by a range of ESSP associated research programmes and projects, including (prepare for an alphabet soup….) DIVERSITAS, IGBP, IHDP, WCRP,GCP, GECAFS, GWSP , GECHH, START and MAIRS. This paper lays out the thinking behind the ongoing reorganization.

One important change under the ESSP, and the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change, is the reorganization of the previous programme Institutional Dimensions of Global Environmental Change (IDGEC, lead by the international institutions legend Oran Young), into a new initiative: the Earth System Governance Project (ESG). The ESG, lead by Frank Biermann in Amsterdam, aims to study the role of multilevel governance, institutions and actor-networks in dealing with global environmental change, and includes several international research centres.

In addition, the International Council for Science (ICSU), in partnership with UNESCO and the United Nations University, is launching a new international initiative based on the insights and framework provided by the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: the Programme on Ecosystem Change and Society (PECS). PECS ambition is to address the following question: ‘how do policies and practices affect resilience of the portfolio of ecosystem services that support human well-being and allow for adaptation to a changing environment?’. PECS will provide scientific knowledge to the newly launched “IPCC-like” Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). An article published in PNAS in 2009, lays out the thinking behind the PECS programme.

So, if you ever get the question “where are the scientists that will help save the world”, the answer is easy: it’s ESSP, PECS, DIVERSITAS, ICSU, IPBES, ESG, IHDP, IGBP, WCRP,GCP, GECAFS, ….