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Land systems lie at the intersection of diverse and sometimes contradictory sustainability claims. Thus, within the land policy and land science community alike, there is growing recognition that the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) may translate into competing claims on scarce land resources. Therefore, science-policy-society interfaces are needed to co-design and co-produce innovative approaches towards sustainable land systems, to navigate trade-offs among competing development claims, and, ultimately, to achieve the SDGs.
GLP understands as co-design the joint formulation of research questions, objectives and methods involving science and society. Co-production of knowledge means the generation of “new knowledge involving both academics and non-academics in a strongly interactive way, so that the research process requires forms of knowledge and expertise that cannot be supplied by the researchers alone” (Robinson and Tansey 2006). We will use thereafter in the text “co-production” meaning both co-design as well as co-production.
The main goal of the WG is to foster the adoption and multiplication of co-production of social-ecological knowledge within the GLP community, to enhance its relevance for the solving of pressing land sustainability concerns. This main goal will be addressed through the following specific objectives:
The GLP Science Plan 2016-2021 calls land system scientists to respond to the knowledge needs from policy, practice, and society by enhancing co-design, co-production, and dissemination of social-ecological knowledge to promote sustainability and resilience. The WG responds to this call for more transformative research by encouraging the GLP community to engage in co-production in the daily practice of research. By linking up scientists with practitioners, we hope to help closing the gap between scientific production and land related knowledge requirements, thus enhancing the relevance of GLP as a transformative agent. By availing opportunities for the exchange of experiences and the development of transdisciplinary capacities of interested scientists, we hope to build up a strong community of practice that will be able to convey land system science outputs into relevant societal processes.
The working group will be open to all GLP researchers and seeks to build on the wealth of knowledge and experience already available within the network, as well as to support those members who are newer to co-production approaches and who seek to learn more. Membership in the working group is open. Participation in some specific events (e.g. webinars and workshops) will depend on availability of funds and may be restricted to a limited number.
To assess the interest of the GLP community in such a WG, a survey was launched in October 2017 among a selected sub-group of the GLP community who had listed co-production as one of their thematic priorities in their profile on the GLP website. Out of 218 contacted researchers 78 (35.8%) responded and voiced a very strong interest in participating in the working group and in specific activities that were listed as options in the survey. The results are summarised here.
GLP Methods: Co-production and transdisciplinarity
The International Summer School on Concepts and tools to engage in knowledge co-production and public participation is a 5-day interactive training course designed and organized by a small international team of experts – researchers and practitioners of participatory approaches. It will be held in Montpellier, France from 6-10 July. Register deadline is 15 June, participant count limited to 20.
Webinar 1: Setting the stage (June 2018)
Webinar 2: Adaptive landscape approaches using role-playing games (October 2018)
Webinar 3: Participatory modelling, scenario building and forecasting techniques in land system science (November 2018)
Webinar 4: Co-designing sustainable land systems with spatial analysis and mapping tools (December 2018)
Webinar 5: Ethical and contextual considerations in knowledge co-production; and lessons learned from the webinar series (March 2019)