This line of research studies social systems from the point of view of their coevolution with natural systems, paying special attention to the conditions that these impose on their development and the impact that social actions have on their environment. It is therefore a question of knowing and reinterpreting the past in the key of sustainability, unraveling the relationship that societies establish with nature over time and historically locating the origins of the environmental crisis that we are experiencing today. This approach to the study of agricultural exploitation thus acquires an eminently practical vocation since, through the study of the socio-ecological transformations of the past, it also aims to guide the future transition of the current unsustainable industrial model towards a relationship with the environment that is sustainable, and not only in its environmental aspect, also in the social one. Agroecology and Bioeconomy nurture the focus of work in this area, with special attention to the use of energy and nutrient cycles. For its part, forest history addresses the historical analysis of contemporary forestry reality in its economic, social, political, institutional and ecological aspects, trying to provide a synthetic, reasoned and multi-causal vision of its varied problems during the period corresponding to the centuries XIX and XX. To this end, the study of changes in the ownership and exploitation regime, the analysis of the multifunctional uses of forest areas over time, the understanding of their interweaving with agrarian and industrial systems and the conflict generated under protection of these issues, always keeping in mind the political processes, economic realities and environmental conditions.
This line is divided into two subfields:
- Landscapes, agroecology and works of the territory and energy in the history of contemporary rural societies - Technological change and innovation systems: organic agriculture, green revolution and sustainability.