Socio-ecosystem functioning


What is the dynamics of the socio-ecosystem in the face of environmental changes and what role can Hwange National Park play in the resilience of the socio-ecosystem?



Research objectives

The common goal of all the research developed inn the Hwange LTSER is to understand the functioning of the socio-ecosystem as a whole. The combination of approaches at different scales of time and space, the complementarity of disciplinary research on the components of the system and the interdisciplinary integration of questions are the major strengths of the consortium and the pillars of the work on the functioning of the socio-ecosystem. The peculiarity of the socio-ecosystem of the Hwange LTSER is to be organized around a protected area, and thus the links between the ecological and social dynamics of the socio-ecosystem depend strongly on the linkages between the protected area and its periphery, and on the functioning of the interface.


Research questions

→ How can the results from different disciplines be assembled to develop a diagnosis of the dynamics of the socio-ecosystem?

→ How can the linkages between the protected areas of the system (national park, forest areas) serve as a source of sustainability of the system, offering different options to the stakeholders of the system?

→ What are the adaptive capacities of the system and its stakeholders in response to environmental changes (rainfall, availability of water and natural resources, human population pressure and elephant population increase)?

→ How are their adaptive capacities expressed in terms of the resilience and identity of the Hwange system, through local perceptions, value systems and power strategies?


Main results

The research question ” How can the results of different research be assembled to develop a diagnosis on the dynamics of the socio-ecosystem?” is centred on the elaboration of a conceptual framework that is conceived in synergy with all partners of the LSTER network.