Future Earth and Belmont Forum Partnership on Transdisciplinary Research for Pathways to Sustainability

The Belmont Forum has announced 13 new awardees, funded under the multilateral, transdisciplinary Collaborative Research Action (CRA) focusing on Transdisciplinary Research for Pathways to Sustainability. The call supports the establishment of transdisciplinary networks to develop innovative solutions for sustainable development pathways. Funders have committed approximately 2.5M€ of monetary and in-kind resources to support 13 research networks involving 136 personnel from 37 countries over the next 1-2 years. Reaching a new milestone, 28% of personnel supported by this call are from African Nations due to the generous support and partnership from Future Earth, AllEnvi, GEO, NIMR, and NRF. Find more here.

Future Earth is a partner of this CRA by (1) providing research funds from the PEGASuS program to support research synthesis by African research consortia; (2) organising a virtual capacity building workshop for early career researchers from Africa interested in joining Belmont Forum consortium proposals; and (3) supporting global coordination and facilitation of the Collaborative Research Action with the goal of creating synergies among the funded projects in line with the Future Earth Pathways initiative.

Just Transitions in Biodiversity Governance

This one-year project is co-developed by the Programme on Ecosystem Change and Society (PECS) and funded by the British Academy. It explores just transitions in biodiversity governance through three case studies in Japan, the UK and South Africa. This research aims to understand the effects for both scholarly theory and policy/practice of (1) governing biodiversity conservation and restoration through a just transitions lens; (2) considering how biodiversity governance in a locality may yield deeper insight into competing or contested visions of what a just transition is; and (3) helping to co-create pathways to achieve biodiversity and climate objectives in a just and equitable manner.

Mountain Biodiversity and the SDGs: Knowledge for Synergistic Action

A project undertaken by the Global Mountain Biodiversity Assessment in collaboration with research partners from Tanzania, Nepal and Bolivia. The project investigates the role of biodiversity conservation for achieving the Sustainable Development Agenda in mountains, using key informant and household interviews and existing databases. Overall, the project aims to (1) assess trends in biodiversity and ecosystem services and human wellbeing in mountains under the IPBES framework, and (2) look at interactions between SDGs using the SDG 15 (life on land) as an entry point.

Cross-scale Interactions (Telecouplings) Workshop

A project developed between Future Earth and the Global Land Programme focused on organizing a workshop aimed at conceptualizing and addressing the roles of cross-scale and cross-national interactions (telecouplings) in science-based pathways. The project has the following two objectives: (1) to identify candidate frameworks, theories, methods and tools that would support detection and evaluation of telecouplings; and (2) to prototype an approach/process for working with delimited stakeholder groups in contextualized settings to evaluate and negotiate trade-offs and synergies towards governing telecouplings across scales.

The in-person workshop on “identifying and accounting for cross-scale interactions in navigating pathways towards better outcomes for biodiversity and human well-being” was held on 14-16 May 2022 outside of Paris. A total of 25 participants gathered from several FE global research networks including ESG and PECS, as well as GLP fellows, early-career researchers, and SSC members. Updates on project progress and next steps will be posted shortly.

Series of National Workshops in France, in the Philippines and in Canada

The Future Earth French hub organized three Pathways workshops within France on biodiversity, freshwater and land between 2019 and 2020. The workshops involved different stakeholders and were based on a participatory approach to build normative and qualitative scenarios for France (with 2030 horizon), taking into account interactions among different SDGs. The workshops resulted in the publication of numerous outputs, including a literature review of “The Main Challenges and Drivers of Biodiversity Loss in France” (English), and a report on “Biodiversity and the 2030 Agenda: What Pathways for Zero Net Loss of Biodiversity in Metropolitan France?” (English, French).

The Future Earth Philippines Programme produced SDG-oriented problem tree analysis frameworks through regional multi-stakeholder workshops in 2019. Knowledge-into-action scenarios and roadmaps were subsequently formulated by national scientists in a national workshop in February 2020. These scenarios have been shared back with the participants of the regional workshops the following year via online conferences to explore and share problem-solving initiatives that can be undertaken at the national and local levels.

For the Canadian arm of this initiative, Biodiversity Pathways for Sustainability in Canada (BPSC) a participatory, invitation-only workshop was hosted for 25 participants, by the Canada Hub of Future Earth and Sustainability in the Digital Age, in May 2021. The goal of this workshop was to co-develop with national policy and conservation experts, biodiversity-centered pathways for sustainable development in Canada with shared targets and vision.

Preliminary results were presented to about 20 stakeholders from government and academia at a forum hosted by Canada’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). A summary of workshop results will be presented at the Canadian Science Policy Conference in November 2021, with an evidence brief and final report to be published on the SSHRC website by the end of the year. The project is guided by a prestigious and multi-disciplinary advisory committee including representatives of GeoBon (Group on Earth Observations Biodiversity Observation Network), the Indigenous Circle of Experts, and Statistics Canada.

Read the full report here