Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 560864
Title Overcoming socio-ecological vulnerability through community-based social learning: the case of Lomba do Pinheiro in Porto Alegre, Brazil
Author(s) Souza, Daniele T.; Jacobi, Pedro R.; Wals, Arjen E.J.
Source Local Environment 25 (2020)2. - ISSN 1354-9839 - p. 179 - 201.
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/13549839.2020.1714569
Department(s) WASS
Education and Learning Sciences
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2020
Keyword(s) Community-based initiatives - grassroots initiatives - social learning - transformative learning - vulnerability
Abstract

Community-based initiatives and collective learning practices are key themes in sustainability transition processes. This paper presents the results of a participatory study that investigated a local initiative in the community of Lomba do Pinheiro in south Brazil to examine social learning processes in the context of socio-ecological vulnerability. In this community, a group composed of local residents and members representing the public sector and local educational institutions has promoted several learning-oriented actions aimed at restoring a degraded local watershed and improving residents’ livelihoods. This study used social learning as a lens through which the initiative enacted by this group may be understood, and analysed how local conditions, determined by a context of vulnerability, have influenced local processes. We applied a multi-dimensional analytical framework that included individual, collective, and territorial dimensions. The analysis focused on the leading group, the individuals who comprise it, and their actions in the territory, while considering local constraints. Our findings highlight the importance of (1) shared values, mutual trust, and affective bonds for group cohesion as well as concerted action, equalisation of diverse languages within the group, knowledge integration, and initiative persistence; (2) a practical-reflexive approach based on a sequence of actions that catalyses group learning and facilitates advancement within the wider community; and (3) the role of inter-sectoral articulations and the establishment of partnerships to support actions. This paper raises questions about the limits of an exclusively bottom-up approach to solve complex problems in the context of extremely precarious conditions.

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