The Centre for Sustainability Transitions is proud to announce the publication of a new paper on the Southern African Program on Ecosystem Change and Society (SAPECS) in Ecosystems and People. The paper, co-authored by leading CST researchers Prof. Oonsie Biggs, Dr. Rika Preiser, Dr. Hayley Clements, Dr. Maike Hamann, and Dr. Nadia Sitas, reflects on the experiences of building a community of practice focused on social-ecological systems (SES) research in Southern Africa over the past decade.

SAPECS is a network of researchers who conduct place-based SES research in Southern Africa and interact through cross-cutting working groups, public colloquia, and student and practitioner training events. The core objectives of SAPECS are to derive new approaches and empirical insights on SES dynamics in Southern Africa, have a tangible impact by mainstreaming knowledge into policy and practice, and grow the community of practice engaged in SES research and governance.

This paper represents a significant collaborative effort among SES researchers working in Southern Africa, and highlights the value of sustainability-focused research networks and communities of practice in facilitating research and action to support transformation towards more sustainable, just, and equitable futures,” said Prof. Oonsie Biggs, lead author of the paper.

The paper synthesises insights from the development of SAPECS, with the aim of supporting the development of similar networks in other regions of the world, particularly in the Global South, and builds on the paper, Social-ecological change: insights from the Southern African Program on Ecosystem Change and Society, released last year.

The Centre for Sustainability Transitions is committed to supporting the SAPECS community and believes that the insights shared in this paper will be valuable to other sustainability-focused communities around the world.

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