The science policy nexus and the need for open, transdisciplinary global change research in Latin America and the Caribbean

Networking Hour hosted by the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research, at the Sustainability Research & Innovation Congress 2021 (SRI2021)
June 12-15, 2021. Online and onsite in Brisbane, Australia


There is an urgent need for science-policy knowledge and tools to address the global change challenges faced by humanity, which are increasingly complex, dynamic, and with considerable uncertainties. Global change is defined as, “the interactions of biological, chemical, physical and social processes that regulate changes in the functioning of the Earth system, including the particular ways in which these changes are influenced by and impact on human activities”.


This networking space, coordinated by the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI), is focused on open, transdisciplinary, global change research and how it may contribute to the science-policy nexus in Latin America and the Caribbean.


Countries across the Americas have diverse cultural, political, and ecological realities which determine their interactions with global change processes and their adaptation and mitigation responses. Global change phenomena transcend national boundaries and effective interventions require a coordinated, mutually beneficial local to global response. Countries in the region are searching for meaningful adaptation and mitigation strategies that are tailored to reflect local realities and needs but are articulated at a regional level.


The search for effective public policies is urgent as global change is occurring at a radically faster exponential rate than experienced previously. Traditional research approaches are poorly suited to tackle these new inextricably linked problems, resulting in a mismatch between research results and the needs of decision makers. Additionally, the use of global governance environmental frameworks by national governments to deal with the consequences of global change is often under strain and is difficult to reach meaningful consensus leading to effective action.


Networking Session objective is the open discussion around the following questions:


  • Why are open and transdisciplinary research important in the science-policy nexus?
  • How has open and transdisciplinary research contributed to policy decisions?
  • What are the gaps for implementing open and transdisciplinary research in Latin America and the Caribbean? What types of research is needed?
  • What are the main obstacles to open and transdisciplinary research in Latin America and the Caribbean and how can they be overcome?