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Bob Watson, Tyndall Centre, UEA - #steps13


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Bob Watson, Tyndall Centre, UEA - #steps13

  1. 1. Translating Sound Science into Sound Policy Bob Watson Strategic Director Tyndall Centre, UEA Sussex University February 7, 2013
  2. 2. Outline of Presentation• Key Elements of the Science-Policy Process • National and International Research Programs • National and International Assessments • Science Advisory Committees and Chief Scientific Advisors• Future Earth• Intergovernmental Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services• Science and Technology Advisors and Advisory Committees • Advisory Board to the United Nations on Sustainable Development• Conclusions
  3. 3. Sound Science into Sound PolicyGood Science is Essential for Informed Public Policy but not SufficientComprehensive natural and social scientific programs at the national level areessential - multi-disciplinary science is criticalCoordination of international scientific programs through Future Earth is essential,e.g., WCRP, IGBP, IHDP, Diversitas and Earth System Science ProgrammesNational and international multi-disciplinary scientific, technical and economicassessments are essential – best experts from all stakeholder groups must be involvedIndigenous knowledge needs to be integrated with “modern scientific knowledge”Effective involvement of decision-makers (governments, private sector, NGOs, mediaand civil society) is essential – co-design and co-productionRecognize that decision-makers need a consensus view in a digestible form of theevidence, including what is known, unknown and uncertainties, and what the policyimplications of uncertainties are
  4. 4. Sound Science into Sound PolicyAssessment processes need to be credible, transparent, legitimate and owned byrelevant decision-makers, policy relevant but not prescriptiveThere is a need to understand the needs of society, decision-makers and the politicalcontext of decision-making, and that inter- and intra-generational equity issues arecritically importantThere is a need to recognize the complexity of the socio-political system and politicalrealitiesThere is a need to assess the consequences of action and inactionThere is a need to assess the complementary roles of technologies, policies andbehaviour changeThere is a need to link environmental issues (e.g., climate change, loss ofbiodiversity) to societal needs – food, energy, water and security
  5. 5. Assessments: Features for Success Ownership and participation by all relevant stakeholders in the scoping, preparation, peer-review and governance structure  governments, private sector, civil society/non-governmental organizations, scientific community  balanced intellectually (natural and social researchers, economists, technologists)  balanced geographically - participation (developed, developing and economies in transition)  experts are involved in their individual capacity, nominated and chosen by an open and transparent process  utilize traditional and institutional knowledge as appropriate  co-chairs – one each if international – developed and developing country Conduct using an open, transparent, representative and legitimate process, with well defined principles and procedures
  6. 6. Assessments: Features for Success Peer-reviewed by all relevant stakeholders  Peer-review comments and author responses open for everybody to review  Review editors to ensure appropriate response by authors Policy-relevant, but not policy prescriptive, presenting options not recommendations Evidence-based, not based on ideological value systems Encompass risk assessment and risk management Present different views Identify areas of certainty, uncertainty and areas of controversy Outreach-communications strategy – starting at the beginning of the process Multi-thematic (environmental, technological, social, economic) Multi-spatial using a consistent framework Multi-temporal, i.e., historical to the future, employing plausible futures Multi-sponsors (maximize stakeholder involvement)
  7. 7. International Assessments• International Ozone Assessments (1981-present) – inter-governmental – expert peer-review – highly influential on national and international policy formulation• International Panel on Climate Change (1988-present) – inter-governmental – expert and government peer-review, government approval of the SPMs – influential on national and international policy processes, albeit limited in the US• International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development (2004-2008) – Inter-governmental, but with a multi-stakeholder Bureau – expert and government peer-review – multi-scale assessment: local to global – Impact has been increasing
  8. 8. Ecosystem Assessments• Global Biodiversity Assessment (1993-1995) – non-governmental – expert peer-review – limited impact on international policy formulation – lacked the appropriate mandate -- supply-driven not demand driven• Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2001-2005) – non-governmental, but tied to intergovernmental processes, e.g., CBD, CCD – broad range of stakeholders on the Board of Directors – expert and “informal” government peer-review – multi-scale assessment: local to global – Increasing influence on conventions (e.g., CBD) and governments (e.g., UK NEA)
  9. 9. Ecosystem Assessments• UK National Ecosystem Assessment (2009-2011) – non-governmental , but commissioned by Government – broad range of stakeholders on the Board – expert and government peer-review – multi-scale assessment: local to national – Immediate impact on policy – basis of the Natural Environment White Paper for England• Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services • An intergovernmental process • Four pillars of work • Assessments (global, regional and sub-regional) • Research (stimulate not fund) • Capacity-building • Policy-relevant tools • Detailed work program have yet to be established • Established in Panama, 2012
  10. 10. An Electronic Web-based Assessment Process• We need an integrated web-based assessment process that recognizes the inter-linkages among all regional and global environmental issues and development issues that is spatially explicit - global, regional and sub- regional level and, where possible, national level• The concept of a web-based electronic assessment process is currently being evaluated, which would for the first time truly integrate and assess the implications of climate change, loss of biodiversity/ecosystem services, land degradation, and air quality on issues such food, water, energy and human security• It would an inter-disciplinary assessment, embracing, inter-alia, the range of issues covered by the IPCC, MA, IPBES, IAASTD, TEEB, the Global energy assessment, and UNEP’s GEO focussing on the inter-linkages
  11. 11. Future Earth
  12. 12. photos: Future Earth research for global sustainability  WMO
  13. 13. Future Earth: goal To provide the knowledge required for societies in the world:to face risks posed by global environmental change and to seize opportunities in a transition to global sustainability Future Earth will intellectually integrate WCRP, IGBP, IHDP, Diversitas and ESSPs
  14. 14. Conceptual framework for Future Earth Global sustainability within Earth system boundaries - Cross scale interactions from local to regional and global scales  14
  15. 15. Future Earth: proposed Research Themes Transformation towards Sustainability Global Dynamic Development Planet
  16. 16. Proposed Research Themes1 Dynamic Planet: Observing, explaining, understanding, projecting earth, environmental and societal system trends, drivers and processes and their interactions; anticipating global thresholds and risks.2 Global development: Providing the knowledge for sustainable, secure and fair stewardship of food, water, biodiversity, health, energy, materials and other ecosystem functions and services.3 Transformation towards Sustainability: Understanding transformation processes and options, assessing how these relate to human values, emerging technologies and economic development pathways, and evaluating strategies for governing and managing the global environment across sectors and scales. 16
  17. 17. Establishing an institutional design for Future Earth Co-design with users Develop distributed knowledge nodes and regional initiatives to address real-world Steering problems at local Committee and regional scales & Office 17
  18. 18. The Intergovernmental Platform forBiodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)
  19. 19. What is IPBES? • Established in April 2012, Panama City, after years of discussion and negotiation. • An interface between scientific and policy communities
  20. 20. IPBES Principles Address terrestrial, Inter- and multidisciplinary marine and inland approach water biodiversity and ecosystem services Gender equity and their interactions Collaboration – Bottom-up avoiding duplication Full participation ofdeveloping countries Scientific Policy-relevant but not independence, policy-prescriptive credibility, Contribution of indigenous relevance and and local knowledge legitimacy
  21. 21. IPBES structurePlenary – Decision making body of the PlatformGovernment Members (currently over 100) and observersBureau – Overseeing administrative functions and observers onthe MEP10 members (2 from each UN region)Multidisciplinary Expert Panel (MEP) – overseeing scientificand technical functions25 members ( 5 from each UN region)
  22. 22. What will IPBES do? Four main functions • Knowledge generation • Regular and timely assessments • Support policy formulation and implementation • Capacity building
  23. 23. Potential activities in the area of assessments• Regular multidisciplinary assessments at regional (including sub-regional) and global scales.• Thematic assessments on policy relevant issues, including emerging issues• Technical support and capacity building for national assessment activities• Developing common conceptual frameworks and tools for assessment• Catalogue of assessments
  24. 24. Potential activities in the area of policy support • Overview of policy-relevant knowledge, tools and methodologies • Partnerships to develop priority tools and approaches • Promotion of effective tools through communication and capacity building • Policy-relevant (eg sector specific) knowledge syntheses
  25. 25. Potential capacity building activities • Maintain a list of CB needs • Specific workshops and training on assessment approaches • Increasing access to data, information and knowledge for use in assessment • Scholarships, fellowship programme, mentoring • Peer to peer exchange visits • Regional hubs supporting assessment and peer learning
  26. 26. Potential activities on knowledge generation • Identifying and communicating gaps in knowledge – including from assessments • Convening research and donor communities to agree on policy-relevant research priorities • Supporting peer learning and networks to strengthen generation of policy-relevant research
  27. 27. Progress at First PlenaryElected Bureau members – chair (Dr. Zakri), vice-chairs andother membersElected members of the Multi-disciplinary Expert Panel (MEP)Significant progress on finalizing Rules of ProcedureAgreed on a inter-sessional work programAgreed UNEP will provide the Administrative functions of thesecretariat, and developing roles for UNDP, UNESCO andUNDP
  28. 28. Outstanding decisionsAgree on a detailed work programAgree on the spatial structure for regional and sub-regionalassessmentsAgree on a Conceptual Framework that operates over a rangeof spatial and temporal scales and can include different types ofknowledgeDecide whether to have regional or thematic hubsDecide whether the IPBES should be transformed into a UNbody
  29. 29. Potential IPBES Conceptual Framework
  30. 30. Science and Technology Advisors and Committees
  31. 31. Scientific Advisors and Scientific Advisory Committees UK system of “independent” CSAs for each Government Department working in a highly collegial and integrated manner is a model that should be replicated by other Governments Government Departments should also have independent multi- disciplinary Science Advisory Committees Each Government should have a Science and Technology Advisor and Science and Technology Advisory Committee, ala, the UK and US The establishment of a multi-disciplinary Science Advisory Board for Sustainable Development to the Secretary-General of the United Nations is a very positive step to strengthen the science-policy interface within the UN system
  32. 32. Conclusions The science-policy interface requires:  strong national and international trans-disciplinary research programs  trans-disciplinary national, regional and global assessments  independent scientific advisors and advisory committees Co-design and co-production involving all relevant stakeholders is vital, ensuring policy-relevance
  33. 33. Conclusions The science-policy interface requires:  strong national and international trans-disciplinary research programs  trans-disciplinary national, regional and global assessments  independent scientific advisors and advisory committees Co-design and co-production involving all relevant stakeholders is vital, ensuring policy-relevance