J. David Tàbara

J. David Tàbara
Autonomous University of Barcelona | UAB · Departament Geografia

Phd

About

112
Publications
40,321
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4,544
Citations
Introduction
Sustainability Science, participatory knowledge integration methods, transformative climate science, positive tipping points, arts-based sustainability research, Global Environmental Change, Mediterranean land use change, transformative solutions and pathways.

Publications

Publications (112)
Preprint
Environmental assessments increasingly call for just transformations, yet do not offer concrete visions of what these might be. This paper conceptualizes and operationalizes Earth system justice (ESJ) through articulating just ends which minimize significant harm to humans from Earth system change while ensuring access to needed resources for all a...
Article
Organisations can play a decisive role in steering societies towards sustainable, resilient, and regenerative pathways of development. However, little is known empirically about how they do so. Such knowledge is vital as COVID-19 has laid bare the need for a wide range of systemic transformations. We examine the role of Sustainability-Oriented Hybr...
Article
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As human activity threatens to make the planet unsafe for humanity and other life forms, scholars are identifying planetary targets set at a safe distance from biophysical thresholds beyond which critical Earth systems may collapse. Yet despite the profound implications that both meeting and transgressing such targets may have for human wellbeing,...
Article
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Notions, such as leverage points, sensitive interventions, social tipping points, transformational tipping points, and positive tipping points, are increasingly attracting attention within sustainability science. However, they are also creating confusion and unresolved questions about how to apply these concepts when dealing with urgent global chal...
Article
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Given current limitations of global and national governance arrangements in redirecting economic globalisation towards a climate-safe and sustainable world, it is crucial to understand how organisations that aim to tackle social and environmental problems using market mechanisms can contribute to fostering sustainability transformations. This revie...
Article
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Formalised knowledge systems, including universities and research institutes, are important for contemporary societies. They are, however, also arguably failing humanity when their impact is measured against the level of progress being made in stimulating the societal changes needed to address challenges like climate change. In this research we use...
Article
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Formalised knowledge systems, including universities and research institutes, are important for contemporary societies. They are, however, also arguably failing humanity when their impact is measured against the level of progress being made in stimulating the societal changes needed to address challenges like climate change. In this research we use...
Chapter
Confronting the urgent challenges posed by accelerated climate change and the fast and irreversible disappearance of life-forms on Earth—vital for ensuring human sustainability in the long term requires—deep transformations in the societal means that shape our present perceptions, sense-making processes and collective actions. This challenge demand...
Article
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This research explores the agent dynamics, learning processes, and enabling conditions for the implementation of microscale win-win solutions that contribute to energy poverty eradication and climate resilience in a selection of low-income rural and peri-urban communities in India, Indonesia, and South Africa. We define these micro-solutions as ene...
Article
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Win-win solutions (WWSs) that reconcile climate with economic goals offer a new suite of opportunities to build the necessary economic conditions for achieving a good life for all and reaching the Sustainable Development Goals. However, a systematic assessment of such solutions is still missing. Addressing this gap, a Global Dialogue on win-win sol...
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The original version of this article was revised. The order of the author group was changed and a typo in the last name of J. David Tàbara was corrected.
Article
Transformations towards more sustainable consumption and production cannot be achieved through mainstream organisational management rationales and practices. These management rationales and practices tend to impose rigid, fictitious dichotomies between what occurs internally within the orga- nisation and what occurs ‘out there’ in biophysical syste...
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High-end climate change (HECC) raises unprecedented challenges for the transformation of society’s governance arrangements. In such potentially dangerous situation, these challenges have profound moral—rather than only scientific, technical, or managerial—implications. Unfortunately, despite the growing recognition of the necessity for morally-grou...
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High-end climate change requires transformative solutions, as conventional strategies and solutions will not be enough if major disruptions in social-ecological systems are to be avoided. However, conventional climate assessment approaches and methods show many limitations if they are to provide robust knowledge and support to the implementation of...
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Humanity has never lived in a world of global average temperature above two degrees of current levels. Moving towards such High-End Climate Change (HECC) futures presents fundamental challenges to current governance structures and involves the need to confront high uncertainties, non-linear dynamics and multiple irreversibilities in global social-e...
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El presente artículo revisa las metodologías y los resultados de medición de la percepción ambiental por parte de la sociología. En primer lugar, examina cómo esta disciplina ha resuelto en el ámbito internacional un conjunto de cuestiones entrelazadas respecto al qué medir, quién medir, cómo medir y para qué medir En segundo lugar, hace un repaso...
Article
The search for decisive actions to remain below 1.5 C of global temperature rise will require profound cultural transformations. Yet our knowledge of how to promote and bring about such deep transformative changes in the minds and behaviours of individuals and societies is still limited. As climate change unravels and the planet becomes increasingl...
Article
The challenge of meeting the UNFCCC CoP21 goal of keeping global warming ‘well below 2 °C and to pursue efforts towards 1.5 °C’ (‘the 2–1.5 °C target’) calls for research efforts to better understand the opportunities and constraints for fundamental transformations in global systems dynamics which currently drive the unsustainable and inequitable u...
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Either meeting the UNFCCC Paris agreement to limit global average warming below the 2–1.5 °C threshold, or going beyond it entails huge challenges in terms of institutional innovation and transformation. This research describes a participatory integrated assessment process aimed at exploring the options, opportunities, necessary capacities and impl...
Article
Recent GHG emissions trends are in stark contrast with the Paris Agreement’s target to hold the increase in average global warming to “well below 2 °C and pursue efforts to stay below 1,5 °C” by the end of the century compared with preindustrial times. This disconnect has further unveiled the limitations of current knowledge production and communic...
Article
Conventional water management strategies, that serve solely socio-economic demands and neglect changing natural conditions of the river basins, face significant challenges in governing complex human-hydrological systems, especially in the areas with constrained water availability. In this study we assess the possibility to harmonize the inter-secto...
Conference Paper
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The main challenge for sustainable river management is the harmonization of the natural dynamics of water systems to ensure ecological integrity with the dynamics imposed by socioeconomic systems and policy goals. The headwaters of the Tagus River basin provide an excellent example of strongly altered human-hydrological systems. The natural strong...
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Providing opportunities for younger generations to voice out their views in the building of our common futures within the limits, opportunities, and dynamics of the biosphere is a central component in sustainability learning. To this aim, a novel methodological approach using participatory theater was implemented to explore future scenarios with yo...
Article
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Learning how to boost collective imagination and creativity is a key component in transformative processes supporting community-based natural resource management (CBNRM). The use of the arts in such contexts is becoming a prominent methodological approach in strategies aimed at opening new spaces for public dialogue and reflection. The arts play a...
Conference Paper
The Arctic region is climatically one of the fastest changing regions worldwide, as exemplified by the decreasing extent and volume of Arctic sea ice. These changes are attributed mostly to cumulative effects of consumption and production patterns in industrialized countries beyond the Arctic’s southern borders - specifically the increasing emissio...
Conference Paper
This paper introduces the concept of the ‘Conditions for Sustainability’ and reviews some of the main conceptual approaches dealing with the relationships between complexity, social learning and global environmental change. The aim is to produce fresh theoretical insights and to outline an operational synthesis to better understand the types of int...
Article
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Coping with global environmental change demands new forms of civic engagement and interaction able to transform passive audiences attending to the drama of unsustainability into committed actors for sustainability. This entails linking diverse sources of scientific knowledge with personal experiences, emotion and ethical judgments. In this paper, w...
Chapter
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In the new open knowledge landscape, social scientists have a unique opportunity to take on a more influential role in accelerating global sustainability learning and transformation. Decisions concerning sustainability are not to be made by policymakers or experts alone, but by different knowledge holders organised around context-specific needs and...
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This paper explores to what extent moving towards the 30% GHG emission reductions by 2020 with respect to 1990 in the EU can be considered a transformative target. To do so, we first define the concept of transformative targets from a complex systems perspective and show a novel approach and original results using an extended application of the GEM...
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The rapid acceleration and intensity of global environmental change places great demands on humanity for developing innovative views and processes for the integration of knowledge in ways that are conducive to sustainability learning. In this paper, we argue that in order to develop robust sustainability learning feedbacks between knowledge and act...
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Linking knowledge with action for effective societal responses to persistent problems of unsustainability requires transformed, more open knowledge systems. Drawing on a broad range of academic and practitioner experience, we outline a vision for the coordination and organization of knowledge systems that are better suited to the complex challenges...
Article
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The failure of the Tous dam in 1982 caused one of the most important socio-natural disasters in Spain during the twentieth century. That event triggered a paradigm change in the way disaster risks were perceived and managed, not only locally, but also at multiple levels of governance. Fifteen interviews with relevant stakeholders, content analysis...
Article
Both biological and cultural diversities seem to be diminishing together along with the progressive interconnection of peoples and ecosystems of the earth under the rules and dynamics of global markets. This has led some conservationists and social scientists to highlight the need for enhanced knowledge on the complex interrelationships between cul...
Conference Paper
Worldviews about the nature, purposes, and dynamics of Human Information and Knowledge Systems (HIKS) affect the nature, intended transformations and dynamics of global Social-Ecological Systems (SES) as well as our capacity to learn from and adapt to them. Modifying the core assumptions about HIKS –and the attendant practices related to these assu...
Book
This book provides an evaluation of the science and policy debates on climate change and offers a reframing of the challenges they pose, as understood by key international experts and players in the field. It also gives an important and original perspective on interpreting climate action and provides compelling evidence of the weakness of arguments...
Chapter
Whereas the literature on adaptation is rich in detail on the impacts of, vulnerability to, and constraints of climate adaptation, less is known about the conditions that facilitate adaptation in practice. We examined the constraints and opportunities for adaptation in water and land use planning in three regions: the Guadiana River Basin in Spain...
Article
While developing climate change policies, regional governments and agents may have different purposes, follow different strategies, and use different appraisal procedures than those of national governments or other regions within the same countries. Climate change adds an additional source of problematisation to the functioning of traditional natio...
Book
This book provides the reader with a state-of-the-art view of research on sustainable development. Its emphasis lays on the transformative dimension of this research: sustainable development can only be realized through a far-reaching transformation of the situation humankind finds itself in at the beginning of the third millennium. The contributio...
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The agro-food domain in Europe is characterized by the appearance of recurrent unwanted surprises. These events, although causing obvious physical consequences, in essence depart from the expectations of the society. We argue that this unstable situation is best understood as an identity crisis of agriculture rather than as a contingent crisis of a...
Article
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We introduce a new pragmatic procedure called the ‘climate learning ladder’ to structure policy analysis, support reflection and identify critical decisions to support climate adaptation. This tool is the result of the reflexive learning process that occurred while developing innovative appraisal methods in the Alxa League of Inner Mongolia, China,...
Article
This chapter examines the constraints and opportunities for mainstreaming adaptation to climate change in land use and water management in three study regions of the ADAM project: the Guadiana River Basin in Spain and Portugal, the Tisza River Basin in Hungary and the Alxa region in western Inner Mongolia, China. We analyse the conditions that eith...
Article
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In this paper we analyse the role played by cross-border organisations in the Guadiana river basin in Iberia, and the extent to which new emerging institutional arrangements carry on adaptive management practice as a response to mounting climate change risks in the river basin. Particular attention is paid to the new transboundary agencies, as prom...
Article
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There is a widespread assumption that associates the rural with the unchanged and unchangeable. However, what constitutes ‘the rural’ is under constant transformation. In rural Europe a rapid process of social recomposition and economic restructuring is taking place causing increasing social complexity and new disputes about what is and should beco...
Article
This article was submitted without an abstract, please refer to the full-text PDF file.
Article
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This article was submitted without an abstract, please refer to the full-text PDF file.
Article
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Persistent unsustainable problems are not problems occurring 'out there', independently from our individual and collective behaviours in our daily interactions with the environment. Most current tools and methods for the assessment and management of unsustainability tend to focus on representing changes on -apparently distant- biophysical changes,...
Article
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The present paper applies and adapts the methodology of integrated assessment focus groups (IA-FGs) in order to understand and analyse the enhancing factors, as well as the constraints which drive or limit the take-off and development of sustainable forest biomass energy systems in a selected large forested area of the Mediterranean basin. Our stud...
Article
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There is a mounting body of literature dealing generally with the dynamics of transitions of human systems towards sustainability and specifically with the different stages and processes of transitions. However, the question of why transition processes occur in the first place remains largely unexplained. This paper explores the concept of transiti...
Article
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Natural resources management in general, and water resources management in particular, are currently undergoing a major paradigm shift. Management practices have largely been developed and implemented by experts using technical means based on designing systems that can be predicted and controlled. In recent years, stakeholder involvement has gained...
Article
Full-text available
This paper describes the co-development and implementation of visioning and experimenting exercises, agent-based modelling, and gaming tools in Integrated Sustainability Assessments (ISAs) involving stakeholders. These new tools are aimed at supporting reflexive learning and at building alternative policy relevant knowledge and evaluative paradigms...
Article
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The complex and multidimensional nature of coastal erosion risks makes it necessary to move away from single-perspective assessment and management methods that have conventionally predominated in coastal management. This article explores the suitability of participatory multicriteria analysis (MCA) for improving the integration of diverse expertise...
Article
Currently water resources management is undergoing a major paradigm shift. Water resources management has a strong engineering tradition based on controlling environmental problems with technical solutions. The management of risks relied on the ability to predict extremes and limit their impact with technical means such as dikes, dams and reservoir...
Article
This deliverable reports on the work done in ADAM work package P3d. It examines the constraints and opportunities for mainstreaming adaptation to climate change in land use and water management in three study regions: the Guadiana River Basin in Spain and Portugal, the Tisza River Basin in Hungary and the Alxa region in western Inner Mongolia, Chin...
Article
Full-text available
"We contribute to the normative discussion on sustainability learning and provide a theoretical integrative framework intended to underlie the main components and interrelations of what learning is required for social learning to become sustainability learning. We demonstrate how this framework has been operationalized in a participatory modeling i...
Article
Full-text available
"Natural resources management in general, and water resources management in particular, are currently undergoing a major paradigm shift. Management practices have largely been developed and implemented by experts using technical means based on designing systems that can be predicted and controlled. In recent years, stakeholder involvement has gaine...
Article
Full-text available
"We present and analyze 10 case studies of participatory river-basin management that were conducted as part of the European HarmoniCOP project. The main theme was social learning, which emphasizes the importance of collaboration, organization, and learning. The case studies show that social learning in river-basin management is not an unrealistic i...
Article
This paper focuses on the harmonization of feed-in laws in the European Union as a support mechanism for the promotion of renewable electricity. In particular, it proposes a methodology for harmonization based on a feed-in law with a modular and transparent premium for renewable electricity producers. This premium considers technology costs, some g...
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El artículo argumenta que el proyecto internacional entorno al movimiento de conservación de las aves puede llegar a servir de gran ayuda, para enfrentarse con algunos de los más importantes límites culturales a la sostenibilidad, si bien puede hacerse a través de medios diferentes a los puramente científicos o racionales. Históricamente, el desarr...
Article
In the EU, regions are acquiring greater decisional powers in the recent years. However, the ‘new regions’ do not longer correspond to the divisions that once were useful to the particular goals of the old nation-states, but are now created upon other new cooperation goals, including environment and sustainability, that transcend country borders. T...