Project deliverable Open Access
Fleury, Philippe; Guisepelli, Emmanuel; Vincent, Audrey; Prazan, Jaroslav; Miller, David
In UNISECO, a Social-Ecological Systems approach was used in transdisciplinary action science (Irvine et al., 2019; D7.2) for the analysis of how interacting sub-systems influence a given situation (“Focal Action Situation”). It provided a common structure for the analysis of the case studies, identification of drivers and barriers towards agro-ecology transitions, identification of individual agro-ecological practices, and the establishment of a candidate list of innovative market and policy incentives.
The Social-Ecological System and each of the component sub-systems provided the structure for characterising the case studies and their analysis. It was operationalised in the 15 case studies across Europe, covering a wide range of farming systems, socio-economic contexts and stages of agro-ecological transitions. It’s validation was based on the experiences gained by the project case study teams it that operationalisation, which were captured in a questionnaire.
Key findings from the survey of case study partners concluded:
In its operationalisation, the case study partners noted some challenges for its use, most notably:
The team responsible for designing and sharing the approach with other partners noted challenges of obtaining the balance between sharing knowledge and raising capabilities in the use of the framework to the same level across all partner teams. This was of particular significance when drawing conclusions about the assessments of the systems.
Case study partners identified considerable potential for the use of the Social-Ecological Systems approach in future research. One condition for much of those uses is the need to share a common understanding of both Social-Ecological Systems theory and an operational framework, especially for projects with high numbers of teams and a diversity of expertise.
Overall, the structure and logic of the Social-Ecological Systems were found to be well suited to the use of story telling approaches for communicating narratives about agro-ecological transitions across Europe, for which UNISECO used Story maps, made accessible through a map-based interface. Combined, these tools provide flexible and practical tools for explaining farming systems and agro-ecological transitions.
UNISECO is a European research project aiming to develop innovative approaches to enhance the understanding of socio-economic and policy drivers and barriers for further development and implementation of agro-ecological practices in EU farming systems. Learn more about the project: https://uniseco-project.eu/
This project has received funding from the European Union's H2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 773901.
This publication reflects only the authors' view and the European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.
UNISECO D2.3 Report on Practice-Validated SES Framework for Sustainability Assessments of Farming Systems and Recommendations for Future Applications.pdf