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Concluding Reflections

1. MAHB is part of a global development which is forging links among researchers in the physical sciences, social sciences, and humanities—as well as with non-scientists.

2. MAHB stresses the necessity of behaviorally-focused approaches to achieving sustainability processes. One challenge is to identify and develop the kind of social science and humanities information, knowledge, and wisdom which could play a useful, even if not decisive, role in policyand decision-making. Areas which social scientists have shown to be important include: (a) cognitive and framing concepts; (b) social networks; (c) social movements; (d) social power; (e) social change and evolution; and (f) methods and theoretical frameworks encompassing systems analysis, social ecology, human interaction and agency.

3. In spite of considerable progress in science, it seems that policy and strategy development for sustainable resource management is not informed enough by or through the social sciences and humanities. Social scientists and humanists need to learn from physical scientists who have become increasingly skillful in reformulating scientific knowledge into everyday language and communicating with concerned citizens who seek such knowledge.

4. The social sciences and humanities may identify policy openings and unseen opportunities as well as policy and institutional barriers.

5. All in all, the social sciences and the humanities have had rich and productive histories providing a substantial scholarly base upon which to draw for sustainable resource management. Integrating that knowledge means systematically applying it for encouraging behavior that will support sustainability processes.

MAHB is a unique initiative, establishing a permanent arena for dialogue and collaboration amongst all scientists, humanists, and non-scientists in the context of public policy engagement and outreach.


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