A regional PECS node built from place-based social-ecological sustainability research in Latin America and the Caribbean

Rafael Calderón-Contreras, Patricia Balvanera, Micaela Trimble, Alfonso Langle-Flores, Esteban Jobbágy, Manuel Maass Moreno, Jorge Marcone, Néstor Mazzeo, Minerva M. Muñoz Anaya, Iván A. Ortiz-Rodríguez, Maria Perevochtchikova, Sophie Avila-Foucat, Martha Bonilla-Moheno, Laurie Beth Clark, Miguel Equihua, Bárbara Ayala-Orozco, Isabel Bueno, Loni Hensler, Juana Claudia Leyva Aguilera, Miguel Martínez RamosJuliana Merçon, M. Azahara Mesa-Jurado, Henrik Österblom, Raul Pacheco-Vega, Bonifacio Pérez Alcántara, Octavio Pérez-Maqueo, Luciana Porter-Bolland, Sandra Quijas, Laura Elisa Quiroz Rosas, Eduardo Rios Patron, Juan C. Rocha-Gordo, Iskra Alejandra Rojo Negrete, Luz Piedad Romero-Duque, Julieta A. Rosell, Marten Scheffer, Luis Bernardo Vázquez, Mariana Villada Canela, Mónica Velázquez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Sustainability requires a combination of meaningful co-production of locally relevant solutions, synthesis of insights gained across regions, and increased cooperation between science, policy and practice. The Programme for Ecosystem Change and Society (PECS) has been coordinating Place-Based Social-Ecological Sustainability Research (PBSESR) across the globe and emphasizes the need for regional scientific nodes from diverse biocultural regions to inform sustainability science and action. In this paper, we assess the strengths of the PBSESR communities in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). We provide an overview of PBSESR literature associated with this region and highlight the achievements of two prominent regional networks: The Social-Ecological Systems and Sustainability Research Network from Mexico (SocioEcoS) and the South American Institute for Resilience and Sustainability Studies from Uruguay (SARAS Institute). Finally, we identify the potential in these nodes to constitute a regional PECS node in Latin America and discuss the capacity needed to ensure such function. The results of the literature review show that while still loosely interconnected across the region, networks play key roles in connecting otherwise cloistered teams and we illustrate how the SocioEcoS network (focusing on transdisciplinary co-production of knowledge towards sustainability) and the SARAS Institute (focusing on innovative approaches for looking at complex social-ecological problems, rooted in slow science and arts) operate as key connectors in the region. We conclude that these organizations combined can embody a Latin American node for PECS, and would thereby not only contribute to regional but also global capacities to advance the sustainability agenda.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalEcosystems and People
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Ecology


  • Interdisciplinary research networks
  • Reinette Biggs
  • network analysis
  • place-based research
  • social-ecological systems
  • sustainability
  • transdisciplinary collaboration


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