Biosphere stewardship is about humans recognizing that they are part of and indeed dependent on the biosphere to maintain their own well-being. When humans recognize that, they are also responsible for the sustainable use and protection of the living systems we depend on. But what kind of knowledge systems, values, management practices, behaviour and governance arrangements could help foster this biosphere stewardship? Ikerbasque Professor Unai Pascual from the Basque Centre for Climate Change offered his views on the issue. He highlighted the benefits of incorporating relational values in ecosystem assessments.
Unai Pascual mentioned that societies, groups of people, stakeholders and individuals value things that matter to them from an instrumental point of view but there are also other values that are based on cultural principles underpinning certain types of relations such as altruism or solidarity. He went on to discuss why are these relational values important for biosphere stewardship for conservationists and non-conservationists alike. IN addition, he argued that while these relational values tend to articulate at the local level, we need to understand that local stewardship could entail placing conservation burden elsewhere (see Pascual et al 2017). What if protecting our childhood favourite forest imply logging to depletion other patch of forest? What if on top of that, the depleted forest is a sacred forest for other group of people? He thus suggested that it is imperative to take into account relational values as part of the plurality of values across sites and cultures, as well as their effects across scales.
More information about the keynote here.