‘This book makes an important contribution to the quest for measuring human well-being and monitoring progress to achieve it. Much has been said about this need yet solutions are still elusive. Complementarities, diversity, cultural context, and pluralism of approaches are advocated in this book as necessary ingredients for alternative paradigms – the reader will find here some inspiring ideas.’
Gonzalo Oviedo, Senior Adviser on Social Policy, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
‘More and more people are realizing there is something desperately wrong in our current materialistic model of development and progress. While it has brought prosperity for a section of humanity, it has impoverished or left behind vast numbers of people, and has violated every principle of living sustainably. Current and future generations, as well as non-human species, are severely threatened. In such a situation the search for alternative worldviews and practices that could lead us to a sustainable and equitable future is by far humanity’s most urgent and pressing quest. This book is a valuable addition to such exploration. Its integration of ecological, economic, cultural, and social aspects of life, through the lens of biocultural landscapes and localized community action, is exciting and fresh. In putting together real-life experiences and analyses based on these, the editors and authors of this book have provided pathways for all of us to explore and build on.’
Ashish Kothari, Kalpavriksh and ICCA Consortium
‘The dominant development paradigm of our times is one-dimensional. Economic growth is the almost universal prime policy goal of governments. Competitive self-enhancement and the relentless pursuit of self-interest reign supreme. This type of development is self-defeating, like rushing full speed into a dead-end street. It leads to senseless consumerism, growing inequalities, erosion of social cohesion and environmental collapse. In this climate, Community Well-being in Biocultural Landscapes is like a sorely needed breath of fresh air. It draws our attention to alternative concepts of human and social well-being. It highlights how culture and nature are intertwined in integrated cultural–ecological systems. And it shows the wide variety of such biocultural landscapes across the globe. Presenting more than a single ray of hope, this book projects a very rainbow of pathways towards equitable and sustainable development.’
Henk Molenaar, Executive Director, WOTRO Science for Global Development
‘In an ever-technologizing and globalizing world filled with savage inequalities and ecological decadence, a sane voice on wellness where nature and culture are in balance is paramount. Community Well-being in Biocultural Landscapes brings to life the realities of communities whose feelings of wellness defy conventional notions. The experiences from three continents – Africa, Asia and South America – in their uniqueness and sharedness, teach lessons of living in wellness. It is a must-read for those seeking a transformation from communities of violent prosperity into caring communities where balance defines wellness.’
Agnes Atia Apusigah, Faculty of Education, University for Development Studies, Tamale-Northern Region, Ghana
Bas Verschuuren Bas Verschuuren is associate coordinator with the ETC-COMPAS Network; and co-Chair of the IUCN’s Specialist group on Cultural and Spiritual Values of Protected Areas.
Suneetha M. Subramanian Suneetha M. Subramanian is a Senior Research Fellow, United Nations University-Institute of Advanced Studies, Japan.
Wim Hiemstra Wim Hiemstra is trained in bio-dynamic agriculture, a holistic European form of organic farming. He is senior advisor at ETC Foundation, the Netherlands, a non - profit foundation facilitating innovative international networks in participatory rural development, energy and health. He is currently the international coordinator of the COMPAS – Comparing and Supporting Endogenous Development, a programme operating in 15 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.