Designing a methodology to evaluate local knowledge on global change and its role in the construction of future land use scenarios by local actors (SGP-HD 009)


Scheme of study area in Amazonia, Brazil
1 Amazonia, Brazil, May 2008
2 Huaraz, Peru
3 Change Islands, Canada

Project information

Jean-François Tourrand (
Universidade de Brasília – Center for Sustainable Development (UnB-CDS), Brazil

Executive summary Investigators

Executive summary

How do American rural producers perceive and assimilate climate changes and incorporate this knowledge into their future scenarios? Which policies, both at the local and the regional level, will lead to improved environmental governance? This research group tests and validates local knowledge on global change and land-use scenarios in order to document people’s perceptions of global environmental change and how such knowledge affects future land uses and decision making.

Elaborate, test and validate a methodology to evaluate local knowledge on global change and how this may be used for the construction of future land use scenarios

Contribute to increasing scientific understanding of local knowledge and expectations on land use using interdisciplinary approach of environmental and social sciences

Transfer scientific global change related knowledge to communities and reinforce individual/community awareness

Develop an interdisciplinary network on social & environmental aspects of global change based on participative methods in order to generate new scientific knowledge and foster capacity building including new tools for decision making

The project’s main objective is the development of a methodology to evaluate local knowledge, the Local Knowledge Scenarios (LKS) method that combines field work with the application of Agent-Based Models for the participative construction of land use scenarios. Workshops and field work were held in all five project areas (Pampa in Uruguay; Amazonian Rainforest in Brazil; North Atlantic Coast in Newfoundland and Canada; Andean Mountain in Peru; North American Prairie in Canada) to elaborate, test and validate the method.

The LKS method is being applied in the study sites and has generated first results. The complex policy challenge of global change is often difficult to address with local policies. In the Amazon, an increased awareness of the local population to hydrological changes and soil degradation due to deforestation is noted, but the application of environmental laws especially those related to deforestation, remains difficult, as they are not accepted by the local population. In the Change Islands, Canada, the goal to maintain a decent standard of living for the fishing community while diversifying into other sources of income such as tourism, cannot be reached without a national public policy that allows adaptation to specific situations.

Links to Other IAI Projects
This project contributes with CRN 2031 and CRN 2061

Project investigators

Jean-François Tourrand –
Universidade de Brasília – Center for Sustainable Development (UnB-CDS), Brazil

Laura G. Duarte, UNB-CDS, Brasil
Silvina Cecilia Carrizo, CONICET-CEUR, Argentina
Maureen Woodrow, University of Ottawa, Canadá
Hermes Morales Grosskopf, IPA, Uruguay
Paulo Dabbad Waquil, UFRGS, Brasil

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