Bas verschuuren will discuss parts of the book Community Wellbeing in Biocultural Landscapes, Are we living well? COMPAS, UNU IAS & UNDOP Equator Initiative, Practical Action Publishing Ltd, Schumacher College, Bourton on Dunsmore, edited by Verschuuren B., Subramanian, S M., Hiemstra W. (2014)
There is a growing recognition that living well must go beyond economic and material plenty to encompass social and spiritual well-being. But what do we understand by these wider aspects of well-being? Community Well-being in Biocultural Landscapes: Are We Living Well? provides an introduction to the concept of human well-being as it relates to international rural development and conservation policy and practice. It demonstrates that well-being is understood and managed in a variety of ways in different cultures but also across the geographical scales at which decision-making processes take place, from the local, to regional, national and international scales. Using case studies and examples from a number of institutions the book presents different approaches to well-being measurement and provides valuable reflections on the applicability of these experiences.
This book shows how community well-being can be measured using indicators chosen by local people to reflect the worldviews of their culture. Deriving such indicators can be a lengthy process, but the results are typically locally owned and recognized. When assessing well-being between different communities, a quicker approach that relies more on uniform indicators is often needed – and some loss of local diversity is to be expected. This book discusses how both approaches may go hand-in-hand and provides a unifying approach that is flexible enough to be used by conservation and rural development workers.
- Bas Verschuuren is affiliated with the ETC-COMPAS Network; the department of Sociology of Development and Change at Wageningen University, Netherlands; and is co-Chair of the IUCN Specialist Group on Cultural and Spiritual Values of Protected Areas.
- Suneetha M. Subramanian is a Senior Research Fellow, United Nations University-Institute of Advanced Studies, Japan.
- Wim Hiemstra is International Programme Coordinator at ETC-COMPAS, the Netherlands.