Update on People in Nature: New name and call for CEESP member inputs

People in Nature (PIN), formerly known as Human Dependence on Nature (HDN), is an IUCN knowledge basket that aims to promote learning and build understanding on the interrelationships of people in nature. It is being developed through the One Programme approach, led by CEESP. People in Nature as an alternative name emerged out of a recent workshop held to review progress in South Africa.

The People in Nature team meets with the NRGF Southern African partnership group 
in Johannesburg, South Africa, in October 2015.

The People in Nature knowledge basket has been endorsed by the IUCN Council at their recent meeting and it has been included as one of eight programme priorities for CEESP for 2017-2020. People in Nature will promote learning amongst participants to improve our understanding of how nature contributes to local livelihoods and well-being. It will focus on material use (such as food and nutrition, health and medicine, energy, artisanal materials, shelter and water) while recognizing that use is embedded within worldviews that include deep-seated cultural norms, values, identities and beliefs. It will also consider symbolic interrelationships with nature expressed through cultural narratives and ceremony.

The development of People in Nature has centred around conceptual refinement, defining its focus, as well as exploring opportunities for early application of PIN approaches within selected IUCN and partner projects and initiatives. East and Southern Africa and Meso-America have been identified as priority regions for early application of People in Nature. A project has been identified and work has started to pilot test the People in Nature approach and methodologies in the Sixaola watershed in Costa Rica. This includes some early integration work with the IUCN Species Programme focused on bringing together data sets from species assessments (from the IUCN Species Information Service) with use and nutrition data.

Potential application sites in Africa include the SUSTAIN programme in Tanzania and Mozambique and a project focused on food security and climate change adaptation in Malawi, as a collaborative project between Chancellor College University of Malawi, University of Manitoba and Open Society Initiative of Southern Africa (OSISA). In addition, opportunities for synergies with the Natural Resources Governance Framework (NRGF), another CEESP-led knowledge basket, are under discussion.

Get involved!

Over the past year, significant progress has been made in the conceptual thinking around the interrelationships between people and nature, the result of which can be seen in six draft discussion papers. Four of these papers were presented and discussed during at the recent Forests and Livelihoods: Assessment, Research, and Engagement (FLARE) conference in Paris at the end of November. The session at FLARE was part of the People in Nature engagement strategy, aimed at seeking active input and engagement on the conceptual underpinnings and methodological framework of PIN from other scholars and practitioners working on related issues.

As part of the engagement strategy, the discussion papers are currently open for consultation from CEESP members via the Union Portal. The papers are:

1. Understanding the interrelationships between nature, livelihoods, well-being and poverty (https://portals.iucn.org/union/node/10677/4788)
2. Values and valuing (https://portals.iucn.org/union/node/10678/4788)
3. A Mixed methodology for People in Nature landscape assessment (https://portals.iucn.org/union/node/10680/4788)
4. Towards a People in Nature data module: Concepts and tools for data discovery, management and governance (https://portals.iucn.org/union/node/10679/4788)
5. Nature's Contributions to Pathways of Resilience (https://portals.iucn.org/union/node/11103)
6. Governance, rights-based approaches and protocols related to knowledge and data (link coming soon)

We We would like to invite all CEESP members with expertise in these areas to read these discussion papers and provide feedback and input into them. If you are particularly interested in a certain topic and wish to contribute more substantively please provide comments indicating that you would be willing to work as part of the authorship team developing the paper.

The papers are available on the Union Portal website, and can be accessed through here. You can provide feedback and engage with the authors by leaving comments under each paper in the "add new comment" section. The first four papers from the list above are ready for review and the two remaining papers will be added shortly.

We would like to receive your feedback by Sunday 10 January.

Your feedback and engagement are crucial for the development of this new and exciting IUCN knowledge product and will be highly appreciated!

Author’s contact
Seline Meijer at [email protected]



Work area: 
Social Policy
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