Northwest Fisheries Science Center

Display All Information

Document Type: Journal Article
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 8411
Title: Engage key social concepts for sustainability
Author: Christina Hicks, Arielle Levine, Arun Agrawal, Xavier Basurto, Sara Jo Breslow, Courtney Carothers, S. Charnley, Sarah Coulthard, Nives Dolsak, Jamie Donatuto, Carlos Garcia-Quijano, Michael B. Mascia, K. C. Norman, Melissa R. Poe, Terre Satterfield, Kevin St. Martin, P. S. Levin
Publication Year: 2016
Journal: Science
Volume: 352
Pages: 38-40

A new round of both national and international policy initiatives such as Future Earth, the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals, and the U.S. Magnuson-Stevens Sustainable Fishing Act explicitly seek to integrate social and environmental goals, and thus shape a sustainable future. However, a theoretically grounded understanding of how this integration can be achieved in practice is lacking. Here, we unpack seven, critical concepts (culture, values, governance, agency, power, inequality, and justice), that are foundational to environmental social science, but that non-social scientists often struggle to grasp. Integrating these concepts into environmental policy will require indicators to be socially disaggregated, necessitate participation from diverse social scientists, and involve egalitarian policies that counter dominant market forces. Such an approach is critical to understanding the consequences of future environmental forecasts on people, and enabling the necessary institutional, economic, and behavioral changes that can chart paths to sustainable futures.

Theme: Ecosystem approach to improve management of marine resources
Foci: Describe the interaction between human activities, particularly harvest of marine resources, and ecosystem function.