Integrating insights from social-ecological interactions into sustainable land use change scenarios for small Islands in the western Indian ocean

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Small islands are vulnerable to the synergistic effects of climate change and anthropogenic disturbances due to the fact of their small area, geographical isolation, responsive ecologies, rapidly growing and developing populations and exposure to sea level and climate change. These changes exert pressures on ecosystem services, such as the provisioning of resources, and therefore threaten the sustainability of livelihoods. We reviewed key sustainability and livelihoods literature to bring together concepts of environmental livelihood resilience and stability across temporal and spatial scales and integrated them to produce a new conceptual framework for dynamic environmental livelihood sustainability (DESL). This framework aims to facilitate the incorporation of local community perspectives into water, energy and food nexus thinking about sustainable land use to support local livelihoods. Finally, we provide insights from this case study to evaluate the effectiveness of the DESL framework in addressing gaps in existing frameworks. We suggest this framing provides a mechanism for enhancing the agency of communities to produce more cohesive and inclusive land use management plans that can lead to enhanced environmental sustainability pathways.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1340
Number of pages22
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 12 Feb 2020

Bibliographical note

©2020 by the authors.


  • Climate change
  • Decision making
  • Human well-being
  • Nexus
  • Participatory methods
  • Poverty alleviation
  • Zanzibar

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