Sunset in Kenya

Beyond policy statements: how politics and ecology combine in land, water and forests

Governing land, water and forests (so-called ‘nexus’ resources) is critical for sustaining livelihoods, especially in the face of emerging shocks such as climate change. This also means that the effectiveness of interventions aimed at addressing climate change and other livelihood issues will heavily depend on how these resources are governed – including how they are…

Introducing the new STEPS Centre and Global Consortium website

You might have noticed that the STEPS Centre has a new website. As the final step to our online facelift, we have just launched a new global section of the website. It highlights the exciting work of the Pathways to Sustainability Global Consortium hubs in Africa, China, South Asia, North America, Latin America and Europe….

Boundary object

How rethinking local people’s agency could help navigate Xochimilco’s troubled waters

Xochimilco, Mexico City is the last remnant of the complex lacustrine system of wetlands that was the basis for agriculture and livelihoods (the chinampa system) in pre-Columbian times. However, the water is no longer provided by natural springs, but is reliant on the discharge of treated wastewater from the neighboring, densely populated and impoverished borough…

Argentina workshop

Could new alliances for seeds in Argentina be a way to nurture agricultural diversity?

Over the last three decades there has been an unprecedented process of concentration in world and regional seed markets. Seed R&D has shifted from being widely distributed over hundreds of medium and large seed firms and public sector institution to being heavily concentrated in just five or six multinational agro-chemical firms.

butterfly

Why rapid transitions are more possible than you might think

In the face of climate change and social inequality, changing to a greener and fairer society might feel impossible – but rapid, radical transitions may be more possible than you might think, according to a new booklet published by the STEPS Centre and the New Weather Institute.

Tsetse fly

To combat neglected tropical diseases, we need more than just drugs and vaccines

Neglected tropical diseases have been in the news this week. A big meeting at the World Health Organisation in Geneva has resulted in big pledges from the UK aid progamme and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to banish the scourge affecting around a billion people worldwide. This is good news, and to be commended….

Submarine

Is Trident Influencing UK Energy Policy?

What explains the UK government’s enthusiasm for nuclear power, despite its various problems – including technical difficulties and cost? Could one hidden factor be the pressure to support the infrastructure needed for military programmes such as Trident? SPRU researcher Philip Johnstone and our co-director Andy Stirling have been researching this question, and explore their findings…

Flight instructions - brace position

Facts vs truth: Brexit and sustainability in turbulent times

Today the UK’s Article 50 letter will be delivered, formally marking the UK’s intention to leave the European Union. Two weeks ago a conference on ‘Sustainability in Turbulent Times’ was held in London to discuss the uncertainties around Brexit and other momentous political developments in the global North, which seem to be driven by a…

Mobile phone with Kenyan shillings

How can solar power be part of transformations to sustainability in Kenya?

Transforming pro-poor energy access is a priority goal for many countries in Africa. Many poorer households are not connected to the grid, so use kerosene, paraffin or batteries, or have to travel to charge mobile phones. In Kenya, solar home systems (SHS) via mobile payment systems are tackling this problem by giving access to renewable…

water pipe

Just another drop in the bucket on World Water Day?

Each year, the United Nations uses World Water Day as an opportunity to raise awareness and demand action around the global water crisis. Each year, there is a theme. This year’s theme is wastewater, framed as a ‘grossly undervalued as a potentially affordable and sustainable source of water, energy, nutrients and other recoverable materials’ (pdf)….