Tuesday 6
Adaptation strategies
Elin Enfors
› 15:40 - 16:40 (1h)
Social-ecologies of Crisis: Assessing the Back-to-the-Land Movement in Greece
Karina Benessaiah  1@  
1 : Arizona State University

A global financial crisis has been affecting most of the world's economies since 2008, constituting a major driver of social-ecological changes at different scales with ramifications that have yet to be fully explored and analyzed. In Greece, the economic crisis and associated structural adjustments imposed by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund have contributed to widespread unemployment affecting a third of the population, a decrease of 15% of market-based household consumption and high risks of poverty. Using Greece as a case-study, this research assesses the social-ecological changes induced by the rapid economic collapse in Greece. Specifically I examine how the economic crisis affects the ways people relate to and manage the environment as a safety net, focusing particularly on the back to the land trend whereby people newly engage in food production, weaving new ties with rural areas in order to cope and adapt to the ongoing economic recession. I also examine the emergence of new networks and institutions that facilitate this return to the ‘land. Thus my research aims to understand how people- and new “farmers” in particular- adapt to the economic crisis and its intersection with other forms of crises (environmental, climatic, and social). I am particularly interested in the pathways that enable natural capital- and land in particular- to become a safety net in times of crisis, highlighting the different formal and informal institutional arrangements that facilitate access (or lack thereof) to key ecosystem services for households seeking to adapt to widespread economic, social and ecological changes. This research contributes to a wider social-ecological scholarship which seeks to understand how people and the landscapes they inhabit adapt to rapid change under conditions of multiple exposures, focusing on the role played by land and associated ecosystem services for the resilience of these households. This research also seek to understand which new pathways and transformations are forged in response to these adaptations. 

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