A new geological era, the Anthropocene, has been recently proposed to suggest the existence of a period characterized by rapid environmental changes on a global scale. These changes are caused by phenomena such as globalization and the expansion of the market economy, large-scale exploitation of the biosphere, and infrastructure development. The consequences of these processes are both social and environmental. These phenomena and its impacts require a deepening and re-conceptualization of the relationship between society and the environment, and in particular the processes and mechanisms that facilitate or hinder social adaptation, human development and socio-environmental resilience.
In this context, the principal aim of LASEG is to analyse the relationship between societies and their environment, in both urban and rural contexts, and examine socio-environmental dynamics of change in a globalized world characterized by rapid changes in interdependent biophysical and social systems. The group’s research focuses on understanding:
1) the nature of socio-environmental changes in different contexts and spatial-temporal scales, emphasizing the effects of such changes on human welfare, traditional knowledge and local forms of natural resource management;
2) local strategies of mitigation and adaptation measures aimed at countering the negative impact of environmental change, paying particular attention to land-use management options, including forest conservation or sustainable agriculture; and
3) the links between ecosystem services, human wellbeing and development, designing and testing strategies for integrated ecosystem services assessment, and problematising the effects of natural resource management strategies on the provision of such services.
Esteve Corbera Elizalde