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Co-Creating Sustainability: Integration of Local Ecological Knowledge in Art Works

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2021) | Viewed by 1027

Special Issue Editors

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Guest Editor
Department of Environmental Sciences, Informatics and Statistics, Ca' Foscari University of Venice, Via Torino 155, Mestre, 30172 Venice, Italy
Interests: ethnobotany; ethnobiology; ecosemiotics; biocultural diversity; Eastern Europe; post-Soviet
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Institute for Environmental Solutions, "Lidlauks”, Priekuļu Parish, LV-4126 Priekuļu, Latvia
Interests: ethnobotany; citizen science; fish values

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues, 

Scholars and practitioners note the potential and functional outcome of art and artistic processes while discussing sustainability issues including climate change (Thornes, 2008; Eernstman, 2014; Shimbo, 2016). As recent studies note, art and artistic contributions may not only share scientific knowledge through the artwork but also take part in knowledge co-creation with the communities of interest (Rathwell and Armitage, 2016). There are also several examples of artists working with local communities co-fostering the local knowledge, acknowledging its importance and vulnerability without the direct involvement of scientific collaboration. This Special Issue will collect works which show the interplay between local ecological knowledge (LEK) and various forms of art. We welcome both theoretical and empirical studies which explore the link between environmental art and local ecological knowledge, such as research on the roles of art (e.g., learning about LEK through artwork and methods of integrating local community members in co-creation processes). Additionally, valuable insight could be provided by the reflection of existing case studies regarding the potential of artwork to serve as a driving force to preserve LEK and/or safeguard its existence. There is a wide variety of types and forms of integrating art in knowledge transmission and co-creation, such as recycled art, botanical and culinary arts, promoting the sustainable use of the environment through storytelling, street art, design, music, or dance, etc. We are also expecting contributions that discuss how and to what extent various art processes are applied in connection with LEK, including the power of art in terms of change and the re-creation of responsibility. We encourage the use of novel and unconventional approaches with high interdisciplinary ground. Further, we welcome various disciplinary members to submit their studies, including researchers from the applied sciences (e.g., architecture), social science and humanities (e.g., culinary arts), as well as professional artists practising various types of art including but not limited to visual arts. 


Eernstman, N. (2014) Art as a source of learning for sustainable development. Dissertation. University of Arts London in partnership with Falmouth University.

Rathwell, K. J., Armitage, D. (2016) Art and artistic processes bridge knowledge systems about social-ecological change: An empirical examination with Inuit artists from Nunavut, Canada. Ecology and Society, 21(2):21.

Thornes, J. E. (2008) A Rough Guide to Environmental Art. Annual Review of Environment and Resources.

Shimbo, S. (2016) Environmental Art and Ikebana: Reflection of Wye River Project.International Journal of Ikebana Studies, Vol.4

Prof. Dr. Renata Soukand
Prof. Dr. Andrea Pieroni
Dr. Baiba Prūse
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Traditional
  • Knowledge
  • Local knowledge
  • Environmental art
  • Co-creation through artworks

Published Papers

There is no accepted submissions to this special issue at this moment.
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