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What role for global change research networks in enabling transformative science for global sustainability? A Global Land Programme perspective

de Bremond, Ariane, Ehrensperger, Albrecht, Providoli, Isabelle, Messerli, Peter
Current opinion in environmental sustainability 2019 v.38 pp. 95-102
global change, infrastructure, private sector, society, sustainability science and engineering, sustainable development
Global environmental change (GEC) and sustainability science (SS) communities’ science is increasingly challenged to inform transformations to sustainability. Recognizing this, the Global Land Programme (GLP), a network of the international land system science community, is developing, testing, and launching new network infrastructures, science–policy interfaces, and co-production approaches. This paper charts the efforts of the GLP – since its 2015 joining of Future Earth, a 10-year initiative to advance global sustainability science – to support the land system science community as it endeavors to produce transformative research oriented toward sustainable development. Moving from incremental to transformational modes of knowledge co-production across scientific research networks – such as those represented under the umbrella of the Future Earth — requires that these work across multiple knowledge domains, scales, contexts, and regions, and in collaboration with a diversity of actors from global-level decisionmakers to national, regional, and local level civil society organizations as well as the private sector. Beyond the generation of fundamental science, GLP’s rich co-design tradition of working with land managers and linking case-study and field-based research to global synthesis situate it as a key institution and platform accelerating transformative research oriented toward sustainable development.