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Beyond social-ecological traps: fostering transformations towards sustainability

Hampus Eriksson, WorldFish, Honiara, Solomon Islands; Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security (ANCORS), University of Wollongong, Australia
Jessica L. Blythe, Environmental Sustainability Research Centre, Brock University, Canada
Henrik Ísterblom, Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University, Sweden
Per Olsson, Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University, Sweden


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This Special Feature is motivated by the rigorous, and growing, theoretical and empirical body of literature on social-ecological traps. Building on the foundational literature, which describes the context in many of the places where we work, we now look forward and ask how we can better understand and enable the breaking and escaping of social-ecological traps. In this Special Feature we focus on this frontier in the field and use the trap metaphor as a unifying framework for collating empirically derived insights on overcoming challenges across diverse geographies, sectors, and social-ecological contexts. We requested contributions to this feature that, as well as possible under each context, explore tangible pathways for disrupting social-ecological traps. Thematic relevance and clear contribution to social-ecological scholarship was emphasized in the invited contributions, but authors were not constrained by methodological approach, context, geographical location, or sector. Our ambition with this editorial is to synthesize the novel insights these papers highlight and situate their contributions within the relevant literature.

Key words

comanagement; gender; livelihoods

Copyright © 2021 by the author(s). Published here under license by The Resilience Alliance. This article is under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. You may share and adapt the work for noncommercial purposes provided the original author and source are credited, you indicate whether any changes were made, and you include a link to the license.

Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087