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Relational hubs for collaborative landscape stewardship

Cockburn J., Cundill G., Shackleton S., Cele A., Cornelius S.F.(., Koopman V., Le Roux J.P., McLeod N., Rouget M., Schroder S., Van den Broeck D., Wright D.R., Zwinkels M.. 2020. Society and Natural Resources, 33 (5) : p. 681-693.

Landscape stewardship is considered an important place-based approach to addressing sustainability challenges. Working at landscape-level requires collaboration between diverse landscape stakeholders. In this study, we partnered with local stewardship practitioners across six cases in South Africa to investigate how they facilitate collaboration towards social-ecological sustainability outcomes. We found that practitioners facilitate collaboration among stakeholders by operating as relational hubs in the landscape. Through these hubs, they build new inter-personal relationships among stakeholders, creating social networks which enable stewardship practice. The hubs deepen human-nature relationships by creating enabling conditions for stewards to put stewardship ethics into action. Drawing on insights from these cases, we call for a relational approach to landscape stewardship which focuses on human-to-human and human-to-nature relationships. Moreover, we argue that landscape stewardship initiatives need to re-focus stewardship on stewards, recognizing them as key agents of change in addressing the conflict between agriculture and conservation inherent in many landscapes.

Thématique : Economie et politique foncières

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