The IAI held discussions during the 46th Session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC-46) with IPCC Vice-Chairs from the Americas on how to enhance contributions from scientists from Latin America and communicate scientific results generated by IAI project scientists under the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) and future assessments. National plans under the Paris Agreement are based on scientific information made available to decision-makers. The IAI and IPCC Co-Chairs are considering ways to further engage early career scientists and researchers in AR6 expert reviews.
Consultations also centered on possible contributions by the IAI to the upcoming special reports on climate change and oceans and the cryosphere, and on climate change, desertification, land degradation, sustainable land management, food security, and greenhouse gas fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems.
The data and information needs required by the AR6 and the special reports are complex and transdisciplinary. In this vein, the IAI presented its new efforts to better link social, economic research and the sustainable development goals to the physical sciences. The IAI will also increase efforts to reach out to indigenous peoples and local communities.
“This multi-factor approach to science adopted by the IAI feeds well into the concerns voiced during the IPCC plenary on the need to better taken into account the needs of these communities and to expand the information received to include additional areas of research and analyses” said Marcos Regis da Silva, IAI Executive Director.
“The IAI plays an important role in the region and in stimulating scientific studies that integrate natural and social sciences, with a vision towards sustainable development. The interdisciplinary teams that the IAI successfully pulls together through its Research Network Programs allow innovative research to be carried out that is of relevance to the scientific assessment reports and special reports of the IPCC”, Thelma Krug, IPCC Vice-Chair, speaking on the many interacting factors impacting on climate change.
It is particularly important that the IAI helps identify research gaps in the region in its focus area, and promote a greater participation of young scientists and women researchers in its work. Each region of the world is unique and faces different challenges. Central and South America are impacted by multiple stressors on natural and human systems that threaten their unique ecosystems and impressive biodiversity.
“Advancing regional knowledge to cope with these stressors is fundamental and the IAI has an important role to play. The IPCC will certainly benefit from the scientific results generated by the regional research supported by the IAI” Krug added.
Maria Amparo Martinez Arroyo, Director General of the Instituto Nacional de Ecología y Cambio Climático (INECC) and focal point in Mexico for the IAI indicated that “INECC, as the focal point in Mexico to the IAI and as the focal point also to the IPCC is willing to collaborate closely with the IAI to join efforts with the Member Countries to build a robust scientific perspective to support the implementation of National Plans under the Paris Agreement, Agenda 2030 and the AR6. Working together taking advantage of the IAI’s position as a science-policy organization, we will improve our effectiveness and the scientific collaboration among the Americas”.
In its discussions with the Vice-Chairs, Future Earth and other organizations, the IAI offered its support for increased collaboration and partnerships with the many organizations working with the IPCC. “It is crucial that research institutions and organizations adopt a collaborative participatory approach to scientific inquiry. The challenges related to climate change are too complex for any unique research institution to find solutions on its own”, speaking on the need for an increased participatory approach to research, Marcos Regis da Silva stated.
Meeting participants agreed on a number of short-term steps and long-term actions to ensure collaboration between the IAI and the IPCC. Among these steps are making IAI research data more easily available, working with IAI Member Countries to recommend nominations from the region for representation in the assessments, enhancing regional studies in South, Central America and the Caribbean, encouraging participation of early-career scientists, collaborating on science communication and training, submitting IAI research results to relevant areas of work under the IPCC. In addition, IAI will be working closely with Future Earth and other partner organizations to communicate AR6 results and the special reports while increasing awareness of the need to reach out to indigenous peoples and local communities.
At its 46th Session in Montreal, Canada, the IPCC agreed the outlines of the three working group contributions to AR6, which will all be delivered in 2021. The next step for the IPCC is to invite nominations through Governments and observers organizations for authors from among the international research community, who will prepare the report.
“The agreed outline combines scientific expertise across a range of disciplines with policymakers’ priorities. It will allow IPCC authors to prepare a comprehensive, balanced and objective assessment of our knowledge of climate change that is relevant to policymakers at all levels and in all regions,” said IPCC Chair Hoesung Lee.
The IPCC includes three working groups: Working Group I assesses the physical science basis of climate change; Working Group II is responsible for impacts, adaptation and vulnerability; and Working Group III assesses the mitigation of climate change. It also includes a Task Force on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories that focuses on developing internationally agreed methodologies for calculating and reporting greenhouse gas emissions.