Global environmental change policy priorities from the Americas and opportunities to bridge the science-policy gap

Publicado en Ecosystems and People, 20(1)

Mastrángelo, M. E., Torres, I., Borbor-Cordova, M. J., Hurlbert, M. A., Silva, J., & Stewart Ibarra, A. M. 

Año de publicación 2024
  1. Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI), Montevideo, Uruguay
  2. Grupo de Estudio de Agroecosistemas y Paisajes Rurales, Facultad de Ciencias Agrarias, Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata, Balcarce, Argentina
  3. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET), Buenos Aires, Argentina
  4. Fundación Octaedro, Quito, Ecuador
  5. Pacific International Center for Disaster Risk Reduction (PIC-RRD), Escuela Superior Politecnica del Litoral (ESPOL), Guayaquil, Ecuador
  6. ESPOL, Faculty of Maritime Engineering and Sea Sciences, Guayaquil, Ecuador
  7. Centre for the Study of Science and Innovation Policy, Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Regina, Regina, Canada
Proyecto N/A
PDFGlobal environmental change policy priorities from the Americas and opportunities to bridge the science-policy gap.pdf


Governments and intergovernmental organizations support scientific research to produce the knowledge and tools needed to monitor and mitigate global environmental changes (GEC). However, GEC-related policy decisions are often not based on scientific evidence, and GEC research is often not based on policy-relevant questions, resulting in a science-policy gap. Assessing the GEC policy priorities of researchers and policymakers is an essential step towards closing this gap. This task was undertaken by the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI), an inter-governmental organization pursuing science and capacity building to reach the vision of a sustainable Americas. The assessment included survey consultations, listening sessions, and an analysis of policy documents for 17 countries of the Americas. Three key findings emerged from this assessment. First, the top current priority for policymakers was Climate action, and Biodiversity and ecosystem services for researchers, with a poor alignment between the priorities of these social actors at the country level. Second, clusters of non-neighboring countries had a profile of GEC priorities more similar than clusters of neighboring countries, although there were some sub- regional clusters around particular GEC goals. Third, researchers and policymakers agreed that the lack of cross-sectoral collaboration and communication between technical and non-technical actors are important barriers. A key opportunity for policymakers was the growing funding and interna-tional cooperation for GEC, while for researchers, the growing body of evidence to inform GEC decision-making. These findings have implications for the design of research and capacity-building actions targeted to the priorities and needs of the region.