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Irida Tsevreni

This article investigates the potential of contemplative learning through mindfulness in the framework of environmental education. Human alienation from the rest of nature and the separation from the more-than-human others are approached under the lens of eco-phenomenology. Fifty undergraduate students at a Pedagogical Department experienced mindfulness techniques in natural places and reflected on their experiences. The research results revealed that mindfulness contributed to the sensorial and embodied experience of nature as well as to their interaction and participation in the more-than-human world. However, difficulties and challenges also emerged. Contemplative environmental learning could contribute to the healing of human alienation from the rest of nature and the establishment of an embodied, sensorial empathy for all living creatures.

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The Coronavirus as Nature-Culture

Talking about Agency

Annette Schnabel and Bettina Ülpenich

We analyze how the coronavirus is fabricated at the interface between science and the public in order to be addressable by political strategies. By means of a content analysis of Christian Drosten’s podcasts, we follow (1) how SARS-CoV-2 is constructed in order to be understood by non-scientists, (2) how the specialist becomes a public expert, and (3) how this co-fabrication takes place. This provides insight into the “fabrication” of meaning and of how uncertainty is transformed into knowledge during times of major risk through focusing on the perception of the virus itself. Out of a perspective of speech act theory-informed assemblage thinking, the analysis emphasizes the role of the known-unknown and of the temporality of developments in formatting both virus and expert.

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Jodie Asselin, Gabriel Asselin, and Flavia Egli

The term forest can signify many different physical realities. However, discourse analysis of Irish National and European Union forestry-related documents indicates ambiguity around this term is often cultivated rather than clarified. We argue here that policy language often embraces the multiple potential affordances within the term forest as a means of discursively bridging contradictions between economic and conservation goals. While this technique increases the readability and acceptability of such documents by diverse user groups and government bodies, it mutes the on-the-ground tensions of what forests mean for locals. Moreover, cultivating ambiguity favors the status quo through circumventing points of contradiction and shifting the work of interpretation and application of such documents to those on-the-ground, therefore perpetuating existing power differentials. As forests are central to resource management and responses to climate change, addressing this tendency is crucial to finding meaningful and place-specific environmental solutions.

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Law Abiding Citizens

On Popular Support for the Illegal Killing of Wolves

Olve Krange, Erica von Essen, and Ketil Skogen

Conflicts over wolf management are a stable feature of Norwegian public debate. In some segments of the population, nature management, and especially predator management, have a very low legitimacy. A strong expression of these controversies is the illegal killing of wolves, a practice sufficiently extensive to impact wolf population size. In several studies, the killing of wolves is interpreted as politically motivated resistance/crime of dissent. This study contributes to the research field by examining the support for such illegal actions. We ask if the Norwegian public find such illegal actions to be acceptable or not. Analysis shows that acceptance joins a broader pattern of controversies, expressed by phenomena such as xenophobia, climate change denial, anti-elitism, and low confidence in institutions working to preserve nature.

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Leadership and development

Inclusiveness, education, and sustainability (LADIES)

Carmen Maganda, Edith Kauffer, Julia Ros-Cuellar, Citlalli A. González H., and Harlan Koff

Since the Consortium for Comparative Research on Regional Integration and Social Cohesion-Social Elevation (RISC-RISE) was founded in 2007 (RISC at the time), it has been characterized by two important traits: (1) a commitment to the principle of leadership within discussions of sustainable development; and (2) the presence of strong women leaders in the consortium’s governance structures and scientific initiatives. Neither RISC-RISE nor Regions & Cohesion would have thrived without the leadership shown throughout their decade of existence by a cross-regional community of strong women leaders. These women contributed to the success of these initiatives through the promotion of a people-based vision of sustainability (including gendered perspectives), an inclusive academic dialogue (including feminist approaches), and community engagement (including women leaders). Women engaged and directed this dialogue.

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Leadership for education

Promoting inclusion and social innovation

Toyin Janet Aderemi, Patricia Rea Ángeles, Esther Benjamin, and Citlalli A. González H.

Leaving no one behind in education: A focus on children with disabilities (p.48) Toyin Janet Aderemi

Barriers to education exist at multiple levels for children with disabilities, especially in developing or middle-income countries: stigma and discrimination in families, communities and in schools; households living in poverty; lack of assistive devices; lack of teachers’ training and preparation; and inaccessible transportation. Inclusive education is a system that includes all learners, welcomes and supports them, irrespective of their identities and abilities. Inclusive education entails not only accessibility of the school but also teachers’ preparation, adapted curricula, and participation of the learner to achieve his or her potentials. Furthermore, inclusive education fosters inclusive societies and equity. Children with disabilities have the right to education. This article addresses inclusive education in school, communities, and policy contexts, contending that there is huge need for a multi-sectoral approach.

Inclusive and community education for children with disabilities: Tools to combat discrimination and social inequality (p.55) Patricia Rea Ángeles

This scientific article addresses the issue of children with disabilities and their inclusion in formal and community education. For many years, children with disabilities have been excluded from educational systems on the grounds of their fragility, creating a spiral of discrimination and social inequality. This article is an attentive call to governments, public policy makers, social leaders, civil society organizations, and other strategic actors to generate models of inclusive education inside and outside the classroom, attached to international law, with a multisectoral and intercultural perspective of gender, community engagement, and generation of an education for life that promotes social cohesion, community participation, and successful and meaningful educational experiences for all children.

Leadership, education, and global social impact (p.64) Esther Benjamin

Traditional development often focuses on the economic and social development of nations and their peoples, the implementation of international aid, and development assistance. Conversely, global engagement is focused on equity and rights, as we strive to uphold fairness and justice in our work and actions. Global engagement is about creating opportunities for one another. It is about inclusion. This article, proposes global social impact as “development 2.0.” It identifies global engagement and holistic thinking as the basis for establishing new approaches to development that start with the individual, before addressing the interconnectedness of people, organizations, sectors, and programmatic areas.

Pensamiento de diseño para la complejidad socioecosistémica (p.71) Citlalli A. González H.

El enfoque de pensamiento de diseño, con una perspectiva centrada en las personas, puede ser una herramienta útil para contribuir a soluciones innovadoras en el marco del compromiso global para el desarrollo y la sustentabilidad. A partir de una lectura reflexiva y critica del enfoque, se identifican algunos retos y oportunidades que permitan un abordaje comprehensivo de las problemáticas sociecológicas. Se sugiere la necesidad de aportar a un cuerpo de conocimientos más robusto, con sustentos teórico-metodológicos y filosófi cos que eviten aplicaciones reduccionistas del pensamiento de diseño. Asimismo, se requiere fortalecer las capacidades en sectores, como la sociedad civil, para adaptar los modelos y herramientas de innovación en contextos diversos y múltiples escalas. La innovación para la sustentabilidad y la equidad requiere de colaboraciones, alianzas y sinergias mejoradas y más amplias, entre actores y campos de conocimiento.

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Leadership for inclusiveness

Advancing gender equality in development

Bandana Rana, Tara Lipovina, Mónica Carrasco Gómez, and Perla O. Fragoso Lugo

Scaling the summit for women’s rights: From local to global and global to local (p.21) Bandana Rana

Finding your voice and identity for many women in South Asia, including Nepal, is like climbing Mt. Everest, the highest peak in the world—not an easy task with deeply embedded patriarchal values and gender norms. Violence against women, particularly domestic violence, is the biggest deterrent to women’s advancement and development. However, with support from a vibrant women’s movement and civil society activism, scaling this mountainous hurdle can be possible. This article examines both the challenges that women in Nepal face and the progress that women’s rights groups have achieved in promoting gender equality in that country. Through both personal and systemic reflections, world-renown women’s rights activist Bandana Rana presents her journey for gender equality from the local to the global and back.

Tradition, development, and gender equality: Addressing the incoherences through collective action (p.32) Tara Lipovina

This article addresses gender coherence for development, defined as transformative development that addresses systemic power differences that discriminate against women. Following the contribution from Bandana Rana, this scientific article reflects on challenges that women face in Nepal, with specific discussion of patriarchal traditions. However, the analysis notes that the development does not necessarily positively effect gender equality. Regional policies, such as the European Union’s neighborhood policies in the Western Balkans (specifically in Montenegro), and the Association of Southeast Asian Nation’s economic policies often undermine the gender equality initiatives from these regions. The article identifies collective action and norm ownership as important bases for achieving transformative development that promotes gender equality.

Mujeres indígenas, desarrollo y derecho a una vida libre de violencia (p.40) Mónica Carrasco Gómez y Perla O. Fragoso Lugo

En este artículo se argumenta la relevancia de la participación directa de las mujeres indígenas en la planeación, modelación, ejecución y evaluación de las políticas públicas dirigidas a ellas como una población diversa, con agendas comunes a las de las mujeres mestizas, pero también con necesidades, problemáticas y propuestas distintas e incluso diferenciadas según su propio grupo cultural. Para ello nos centramos en el abordaje de los programas gubernamentales y la literatura producida en torno al desarrollo social y al combate a la violencia de género contra las mujeres en el estado de Chiapas, la entidad con el mayor número de habitantes hablantes de una lengua indígena en México.

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Leadership for sustainability

Protecting the environment

Wanjira Mathai and Ma. del Socorro Aguilar Cucurachi

Fasten our green belts toward a resilient and sustainable future (p.4) Wanjira Mathai

A more resilient future requires urgent actions to establish harmony between human development and nature, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic. Climate change adaptation requires investing in green belts as nature-based solutions, where innovative grassroots action, local and indigenous knowledge, and gender equality are key. Mathai discusses the question, what does it mean to tighten our green belts? Food systems, the protection of the “earth’s lungs,” the reduction of waste, and the restoration of landscapes are mainly addressed. The Green Belt Movement, led by women in Africa, showed how grassroots action scales up and impacts through long-term sustainable solutions. Restoration movements and initiatives worldwide represent a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to restore landscapes for productivity, fight carbon emissions, and recover the ecosystem services to sustain human lives.

Percepciones locales para la restauración ecológica (p.12) Ma. del Socorro Aguilar Cucurachi

A partir de las experiencias sobre el Movimiento Cinturones Verdes, presentadas por Wanjira Mathai en el marco de las Kapuscinski Development Lectures (en febrero 2021), destaco la importancia de la di-mensión social en los procesos de restauración y delineo cuatro formas posibles en las que las percepciones locales se vinculan con la restaura-ción ecológica: (1) las percepciones como impulso para la restauración; (2) la restauración ecológica como objeto de percepción; (3) las percepciones sobre la participación local en la restauración ecológica; y (4) la importancia de las sinergias epistémicas, multiactorales y multidimensio nales. La restauración ecológica implica una base científi ca, que considera entre sus principios la dimensión social, con benefi cios signifi cativos para el bienestar humano.

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Ready to discuss our future?

The Kapuscinski Development Lectures

Jan Szczyciński

What world do we want? And how to achieve it? When we are designing our future, words matter. Interaction between people, expertise, and leadership play important roles as well. For 13 years, thousands of students and top global thinkers have been exchanging important words contributing to our future at the Kapuscinski Development Lectures (KAPTalks). Come and join the community!

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Scale Matters

Relating Wetland Loss and Commercial Fishing Activity in Louisiana across Spatial Scales

Amy Freitag, Suzana Blake, Patricia M. Clay, Alan C. Haynie, Chris Kelble, Michael Jepson, Stephen Kasperski, Kirsten M. Leong, Jamal H. Moss, and Seann D. Regan

Interdisciplinary science and environmental management involve bringing together data and expertise at multiple spatial scales. The most challenging part of merging scales is aligning the scale of inquiry with the research application. Through the Louisiana case study relating wetland loss and commercial fishing, we examine how the nature and strength of the relationship changes depending on the scale of investigation. Resulting management implications also vary because of tradeoffs in choosing the scale of inquiry. State-level fisheries managers may miss effects of wetland loss in fishing communities because they are looking at aggregate data. Scientific information must directly address the constituent scale, where managers can enact policy. The case study demonstrates why scalar considerations should be an explicit part of the planning process for both science and management.