Building Asia-Pacific Regional Hub for Social-Ecological Health: Visioneering the Doughnut Trilemma

Organizer: Joon Kim
Format: Online, Morning

Radical changes in social-ecological systems (SES) represent growing threats to social base (SB) as well as ecological ceiling (EC). Increasing interdependence of social-ecological health and unintended consequences are highly complex in terms of scale, urgency, equity and policy. Human health depends on flourishing natural ecosystems and wise stewardship of SES, requiring co-production of usable knowledge, implementation of wise policies, and decisive action with visioneering. What should researchers, practitioners and policy-makers know and do about? This was the key question addressed during the recent Future Earth East Asia International Symposium on ‘Social-Ecological Health in Asia,’ at Seoul National University Asia Center, Korea. Almost 200 participants from 12 countries shared their perspectives and experiences, which surfaced two fundamental questions: (1) what is the first principle that will guide us toward sustainability? and (2) how to establish partnership that will link knowledge to action beyond multiple perspectives? An encouraging outcome of the symposium was the initiative to set up the Asia-Pacific regional hub for social-ecological health as a liaison between Future Earth Health KAN and Planetary Health Alliance. To follow up on the above conundrum, we propose a session titled, “Building Asia-Pacific Regional Hub for Social-Ecological Health: Visioneering the Doughnut Economics Trilemma.” The humanity has continued transgressing ECs and we have chosen the lifestyles that are against the natural laws, at the expense of collapses in SB, which have resulted in the COVID-19 pandemic. Complex systems view provides not only the insight on the trilemma (i.e., upper limit of EC, lower limit of SB, and thermodynamic imperative) in coping with the pandemic but also the foresight toward healthy and sustainable SES. The session will use the “doughnut economics” by Kate Raworth as the conceptual framework, and invite contributions to examine its principles and to showcase its applications toward healthy SES from diverse perspectives.

Themes: Sustainable Solutions from the Global South, Integrated Action for the SDGs, Knowledge-to-Action, Sustainability for Who?