A two years project led by IRD aims to support transdisciplinary approaches in sustainability science projects
Human activities over the past 50 years have impacted ecosystems around the world more rapidly and profoundly than at any other time in history. Policy-makers are encouraged to choose sustainable development pathways, yet they are usually not equipped with the concepts, methodologies and tools that would allow them to make informed choices.
The design, testing, evaluation, implementation and management of these pathways are at the heart of the field of “sustainability science”, which falls in line with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the United Nations in 2015.
The PREMISS (Partnership for Research to Enhance Methodologies In Sustainability Science) project has two main objectives that revolve around SDG 9 and the nexuses it forms with three other SDGs (respectively SDGs 6, 13 and 15):
- To review, list and document the set of methods that cover all phases of sustainability projects and use modelling and simulation to support interdisciplinary interactions among scientists, participation of stakeholders and transdisciplinary approaches.
- To study in concrete applications how these methods can foster a citizen science approach to the implementation and monitoring of solutions to problems belonging to SDGs related to biosphere, agriculture and climate, namely SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation), SDG 13 (climate action) and SDG 15 (life on land).
The PREMISS project will therefore foster pluridisciplinarity and participation, two fundamental principles of “sustainability science”. While doing so, the PREMISS project also aims at developing an international network of researchers and a community of practice to these methodological challenges.
PREMISS will be organized in three complementary work packages:
- A systematic review of the existing literature of innovative methodologies in the field of sustainability science to address socio-environmental challenges, with the goal of producing operational and policy conclusions.
- The implementation and assessment of three case studies with similar approaches based on citizen science, crowdsourcing and agent-based modelling, and the identification of methodological challenges and good practices. The case studies represent the nexuses formed by SDG 9 and, respectively, SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation, about the sustainable management of irrigation systems in Vietnam), SDG 13 (climate action, about participatory environmental mapping in Taiwan) and SDG 15 (life on land, about the impact of sensor networks on precision agriculture in Turkey).
- A scholarly book and a methodological guide providing new perspectives and sets of recommendations to support transdisciplinary approaches in sustainability science projects.
This post has first been published by IRD.