Enhancing equity and resilience in an interconnected world

The working group, comprising researchers and practitioners, employs a metacoupling framework to analyze the intricate dimensions of (in)equity within three southern African case studies linked to export horticultural value chains and transboundary fisheries. Understanding how resources are distributed in a place, for instance, is often seen as mainly influenced by local laws, norms, and governance decisions, but external factors such as global market dynamics can have a significantly influence as well. The concept of “metacoupling” addresses the interconnections and interdependencies of social-ecological systems across multiple scales, including local, neighboring, and global levels. This helps us understand complex relationships and reveals sources of power that can create inequalities by limiting access to resources and opportunities. The working group’s approach sheds light on the power dynamics and disparities embedded in the value chains of agricultural commodities and fisheries traded between local and global systems. By emphasizing cross-scale connections, the working group aims to unveil critical leverage points for fostering resilience and equity, empowering local actors within an increasingly interconnected global landscape. 

Working group members

Dr Nadia Sitas, Centre for Sustainability Transitions, Stellenbosch University, South Africa and SouthSouthNorth, South Africa
Dr Odirilwe Selomane, Department of Agricultural Economics, Extension and Rural Development, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Catherine Pringle, Centre for Sustainability Transitions, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Dr Lutendo Mugwedi, Department of Geography & Environmental Sciences, University of Venda, South Africa
Britta Hackenberg, Namibia Nature Foundation, Namibia
Willem Malherbe, Centre for Sustainability Transitions, Stellenbosch University, South Africa

Working group outputs

Spotlighting power dynamics

Research summary brief

Empowering marginalised communities in biosphere reserves

Case study

Key principles for applying a metacoupling framework