The cooperation in Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) between European Union (EU) and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) is strong at numerous levels. During the 2010 EU-CELAC Summit in Madrid, the EU and CELAC agreed to establish an EU-CELAC Action Plan, whereby “science, research, innovation and technology” constitutes an independent chapter. In addition, the Joint Initiative on Research and Innovation (JIRI) was adopted with the objective to promote a regular bi-regional dialogue on STI. Since 2011 seven Senior Officials’ Meetings (SOM) have been organized in order to support the implementation of the JIRI. As the bi-regional partnership evolved over the years, the Common Research Area (CRA) was announced at the EU-CELAC Summit in June 2015 and adopted at the V EU-CELAC Senior Officials Meeting of the Joint Initiative on Research and Innovation in March 2016 with the aim to further strengthen the bi-regional partnership in R&I by synchronizing the manifold and various activities conducted by many different parties in both regions under three pillars: “mobility of researchers”, “international outreach of research infrastructures” and “jointly addressing global challenges”. A fourth pillar focused on "Innovation” was added to the CRA in the latest SOM held virtually in October 2020.
The CRA EU-CELAC through the “Pillar jointly addressing global challenges”, together with key international institutional stakeholders, face common challenges for research in support of a sustainable transition towards Climate Change adaptation and mitigation.
The initiative SINCERE comes in response to a need, its main purpose being to widen international Climate Change research cooperation activities on climate adaptation and mitigation building on and further developing on-going efforts and outcomes of the Joint Programming Initiative "Connecting Climate Knowledge for Europe" (JPI Climate). The JPI Climate Strategic Agenda 2016-2025 (SRIA) recognises the need for internationalising innovative, relevant and informative Climate Change research. A greater investment is crucial for building a structured dialogue for research collaborations on developing mechanisms to increase the visibility and impact of the climate science related research, in support of the NDC targets and SDGs.
In this context, the JPI Climate has defined “Flagship Actions” as the identification of strategies, partnerships and funding mechanisms for climate change research collaborations between EU and CELAC entities. In doing so, a “Flagship Action for Latin America” is being developed with the frame of the EU-CELAC community, which would benefit from addressing common challenges jointly, in a systemic and integrated way, as this would foster greater cost-efficiencies, increase the visibility of joint activities and enhance the impact on policymaking (e.g. the European Green Deal, climate policy, SDGs…).
This Flagship Action for Latin America has been designed to be central to implement the JPI Climate SRIA, via the following key activities: 1) Identifying opportunities for specific international climate change research collaboration; 2) Promoting / integrating the Social Sciences and Humanities in global climate change research; and 3) Selection of priority scientific themes within climate science of common interest for EU-CELAC and identifying funding mechanisms for joint actions.
In May 2019, SINCERE organized a first joint workshop within the framework of this Flagship Action for Latin America. This led to the identification of shared priorities between EU and CELAC in relation to climate change as well as barriers and enablers for implementation. Several priorities were identified at that time: IPCC scenarios, uncertainty reduction, hot spots in climate science, Social Sciences and Humanities, methodological differences in EU and CELAC, lessons learned on Climate Change adaptation, biodiversity and climate science interaction, and last but not least, main synergies between CELAC and EU climate communities. Following this first workshop, a second workshop was held in December 2019, consisting in a civil society side event of the COP25 in Madrid. The event was used to validate the findings from a previous workshop with a wider audience.
In this context, the next step is to work on the development of a strategic cooperation agenda at the crossroad of the identified priorities between EU and CELAC and to set a long-term strategic cooperation. Within this framework, the partners of the “Flagship Action for Latin America” have decided to organize this new joint workshop to update their shared priorities and go a step further, identifying common needs in the area and activities that could be implemented to fill these needs. The Joint Workshop will be organized in the context of the SINCERE Action (Task 4.2)
This workshop will be open to JPI Climate Partners, funding agencies from CELAC, as well as to representatives from the JPI Climate Transdisciplinary Advisory Board and from DG ENV, DG CLIMA and DG RTD and to a few selected stakeholders (for instance regional organizations from CELAC, like SICA (Sistema de integracion centroamericana) and UNASUR (Union de naciones suramericanas).
This open workshop would be followed by a closed session restricted to SINCERE partners involved in the Flagship Action for Latin America (to be organised at a later date). Building on the outputs of the open workshop, this closed session would aim at working on the synthetizing of a common vision for collaboration between EU-CELAC and a joint Implementation Plan for collaborative activities.