Across the world, human population growth and increasing demands for natural resources lead to the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services, mostly driven by land-use, climate and governance change. A key global challenge is, thus, to develop sustainable relationships between people and nature.
Addressing this pressing topic requires social-ecological research toward understanding major components of the feedback loop between nature and people, including biodiversity, nature’s contributions to people, human well-being, governance and indirect and direct anthropogenic drivers. However, such integrative social-ecological research approaches are still in their infancy. The research project “The role of nature for human well-being in the Kilimanjaro Social-Ecological System” (Kili-SES) addresses these challenges at Kilimanjaro, an excellent study region with uniquely large environmental gradients and an unusual variety of stakeholder groups.
With Kili-SES we will advance fundamental social-ecological research and provide a scientific basis for political and societal decision-making that will facilitate transformation towards sustainable relationships between nature and people at Kilimanjaro.