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The Development of Sustainability Science: Is There a Role for the CIG?. Edward L. Miles Co-Director, CSES Bloedel Professor of Marine Studies & Public Affairs University of Washington. Sustainability Science I: Miles & Sarachik, 4.29.04.

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The development of sustainability science is there a role for the cig

The Development of Sustainability Science: Is There a Role for the CIG?

Edward L. Miles

Co-Director, CSES

Bloedel Professor of Marine Studies & Public Affairs

University of Washington


Sustainability science i miles sarachik 4 29 04

Sustainability Science I: Miles & Sarachik, 4.29.04

  • I.FRAMING THE PROBLEM ( objectives & a tentative timeline)

    A. Garrett Hardin’s “Tragedy of the Commons”

    B. Defining Sustainability

    C. NRC. 1999. OUR COMMON JOURNEY

    D. The ECONOMIST, July 6, 2002

    E. The SCIENCE Series

    II. Elaborating Alternative Strategies

    III. Significant Issues not Included

    IV. Implications for the CIG: Climate in a World of Multiple Stresses


Nrc 1999 our common journey the cig

NRC. 1999. Our Common Journey& The CIG

  • Chapter 6. Integrating Knowledge & Action. The transition to sustainability:

  • “Meeting the demands of a sustainability transition will require a substantial expansion in the capacity of the world’s system for discovering new things”

  • CIG mentioned with favor along with the NRC “Pathways” Report re USGCRP I and many others in context of trend toward problem-driven vs disciplinary knowledge

  • CIG an example of place-based knowledge, linking the global to the local.


Implications for the cig climate in a world of multiple stresses

Implications for the CIG: Climate in a World of Multiple Stresses

  • NAS Priorities

  • How NAS views the CIG

  • The Monitoring Problem

  • Cross Scale Dynamics

  • The HD Emphasis on Institutional Design & Dynamics

  • Need for More Focused Effort on Identifying & Evaluating Policy Options

  • Need for Greater Emphasis on Communicating Uncertainties

  • Expanding Dialog with Stakeholders

  • Other Points


So why return to the issue now

So Why Return to the Issue Now?

  • On “Managed Evolution” as a Strategy for Organizational Development.

  • Different from, but not incompatible with, strategic planning. Broader, looser, & more opportunistic. [Don’t knock opportunism; consider the resilience of the cockroach & the crow!]

  • Components: 1.Know clearly who & what you are; what you do, why & how. 2. Set general overall targets of where you want to go on quinquennial basis. 3. Seek innovation as a means of avoiding going stale. 4. But always be prepared to take advantage of opportunities that arise which fit with overall targets & promise significant growth.

  • For CIG that means fundamental & applied research & peer-reviewed pubs; high levels of collaboration with stakeholders; & significant outreach.

  • Current institutional developments re sustainability science now fit that bill.


Nrc 1999 our common journey

NRC. 1999. OUR COMMON JOURNEY

  • SD= reconciling society’s developmental goals with the planet’s environmental limits over the long term.

  • Consider that current projections envisge world pop. reaching 9 billion by 2050 & leveling off to 10-11 billion by 2100= double present pop.


What s the problem

What’s the Problem?

  • Humans as source of stress on planetary scale evident, from paleo investigations over at least the last 8000 yrs (Rudiman, 2005; Diamond, 1999), but since late C18th humans emerging as major force of change akin to erosion, volcanism, natural selection, etc. (Clark et al., 2004)


The development of sustainability science is there a role for the cig

multiple causation

multiple causation

Summarizing the Sustainability Problematique(based on Our Common Journey)

  • Derivatives(and consequences for)

  • Climate change impacts

  • Air pollution

  • Urban sprawl

  • Impacts on water supply, quantity, and quality

  • Ecosystem effects

  • Toxins

  • Outcomes

  • Decline of natural ecosystems

  • Loss of biodiversity

  • Loss of ecosystem services

  • Increased vulnerability for natural and human systems in a world of multiple stresses

  • Environmental impacts on human health

  • Drivers

  • Population

  • Energy consumption

  • Land use/land cover change

  • Economic growth, including technological advance

  • Market failure

  • Government policies

  • Social preferences


Kates et al 2000 the core questions of sustainability science

Kates et al. 2000. The Core Questions of Sustainability Science

  • How can the dynamic interactions between nature & society--including lags and inertia--be better incorporated into emerging models and conceptualizations that integrate the Earth system, human development, and sustainability?

  • How are long-term trends in environment and development, including consumption and population, reshaping nature-society interactions in ways relevant to sustainability?

  • What determines the vulnerability or resilience of the nature-society system in particular kinds of places and for particular types of ecosystems and human livelihoods?

  • Can scientifically meaningful “limits” or “boundaries” [“thresholds”] be defined that would provide effective warning of conditions beyond which the nature-society systems incur a significantly increased risk of serious degradation?


Kates et al 2000 core questions cont d

Kates et al. 2000. Core Questions, cont’d.

  • What systems of incentive structures--including markets, rules, norms, and scientific information--can most effectively improve social capacity to guide interactions between nature and society toward more sustainable trajectories?

  • How can today’s operational systems for monitoring and reporting on environmental and social conditions be integrated or extended to provide more useful guidance for efforts to navigate a transition toward sustainability?

  • How can today’s relatively independent activities of research planning, monitoring, assessment, and decision support be better integrated into systems for adaptive management and societal learning?


Kates et al 2000 research strategies

Kates et al. 2000. Research Strategies

  • Span the range of spatial scales between very diverse phenomena.

  • Account for both temporal inertia & urgency of processes.

  • Deal with functional complexity arising from multiple stresses.

  • Recognize the wide range of outlooks re what makes knowledge usable within both science and society.

  • Expect that research & action will tend to occur simultaneously & become entangled with each other.


The development of sustainability science is there a role for the cig

Human-Environment Systems

Improved technology, practice and policy

Improved understanding

“basic” research

“ applied”

R&D

Existing understanding

Existing technology,

practice and policy

Matson, 2006

(modified from Stokes, 1997)


The development of sustainability science is there a role for the cig

Human-Environment Systems

Improved technology,

Practice,

and policy

Improved understanding

Use-inspired fundamental research

Existing understanding

Existing technology, practice,

and policy

Matson, 2006

(modified from Stokes, 1997)


The development of sustainability science is there a role for the cig

Human-Environment Systems

Improved technology,

practice,

and policy

Improved understanding

Sustainability Science

Use-inspired fundamental research

“Basic” research

“Applied” research

Existing understanding

Existing technology, practice,

and policy

Matson, 2006

(modified from Stokes, 1997)


The development of sustainability science is there a role for the cig

  • What will it take for a transition to sustainability?

    • new knowledge, tools and approaches

    • linking knowledge (old and new) to action


The development of sustainability science is there a role for the cig

The “pipeline” model of knowledge and technology transfer rarely works….

Knowledge producers

Knowledge Users

Matson 2006


The development of sustainability science is there a role for the cig

Human-Environment Systems

Decision Makers

Improved technology,

practice,

and policy

Improved understanding

Sustainability Science

Use-inspired fundamental research

Basic Research

Applied research

Existing understanding

Existing technology,

practice,

and policy

Matson 2006

(modified from Stokes, 1997)


The development of sustainability science is there a role for the cig

Human-Environment Systems

Decision Makers

Improved technology,

practice,

and policy

Improved understanding

Sustainability Science

Use-inspired fundamental research

Basic Research

Applied Research

Existing understanding

Existing technology,

practice,

and policy

Matson 2006

(modified from Stokes, 1997)


New developments

New Developments

NAS, AAAS, & NSF, 2006-Present


Sustainability science in the nas 2008

Sustainability Science in the NAS, 2008

  • The National Academies have established a Science and Technology for Sustainability Program (STS) in the division of Policy and Global Affairs to encourage the use of science and technology to achieve long term sustainable development - increasing incomes, improving public health, and sustaining critical natural systems. Specific projects under the STS program include the Roundtable on Science and Technology for Sustainability and a workshop series entitled Strengthening Science-Based Decision Making.


Sustainability science at the nas recent publications

Sustainability Science at the NAS: Recent Publications

  • ・Analysis of Global Change Assessments (2007)・

  • Environmental Public Health Impacts of Disasters--Hurricane Katrina, Workshop Summary (2007)・

  • Sustainable Management of Groundwater in Mexico--Proceedings of a Workshop, Series--Strengthening Science-Based Decision Making in Developing Countries (2007)・

  • Linking Knowledge with Action for Sustainable Development: The Role of Program Management-Summary of a Workshop (2006)・

  • Knowledge-Action Systems for Seasonal to Interannual Climate Forecasting: Summary of a Workshop (2005)・[***]

  • Partnerships for Reducing Landslide Risk: Assessment of the National Landslide Hazards Mitigation Strategy (2004)・

  • Urbanization, Energy, and Air Pollution in China (2004)


Sustainability science at aaas 2008

Sustainability Science at AAAS, 2008

  • Sustainability Science: Integration of the science and technological aspects of sustainable development denotes an emerging new scientific field. Science and technology for sustainability seeks to enable the knowledge and actions that allow human society to meet its present needs without compromising future needs. A virtual Forum on research, institutions, and events associated with the emerging field of sustainability science is supported by AAAS and executed in partnership with the international Initiative on Science and Technology for Sustainability.

  • Go to http://sustsci.aaas.org


Sustainability science @ aaas 2008 cont d

Sustainability Science @ AAAS 2008, cont’d.

  • AAAS is also leading a review of university-based sustainability science programs, aimed at stimulating dialogue on how programs might develop and interact, not only in the U.S., but globally.

  • In addition to compiling empirical data on these programs, AAAS also hosted a roundtable discussion at the 2007 AAAS Annual Meeting.

  • Working in conjunction with our affiliate organizations and the AAAS Center for Careers in Science and Technology, AAAS has also begun to help define career paths for young scientists and engineers who are interested in contributing to sustainable development.

  • AAAS Forum on Sustainability Science, using data referred to above, seeking to link Fellows to: build an international community; a global recruitment pool; train future collaborators; & develop a short course on sustainability science hosted by member University programs. UW already included.


Moving toward development of a sustainability science program @ nsf 2008

Moving Toward Development of a Sustainability Science Program @ NSF, 2008

  • NSF sponsored an Expert Roundtable on Research Priorities in Sustainability Science organized by the Earth Institute of Columbia University. Purpose to design an interdisciplinary Research Agenda to “…explore fundamental scientific unknowns at the interface of natural, social, and technological systems that can inform policy formulations regarding human wellbeing and the health of the planet from local to global scales”

  • Unit sponsor was Division of Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE). From beginning, significant tension between the explanatory & normative dimensions of the problem. Jeff Sachs, in particular, pushing the latter with emphasis on the Millennium Goals of the UN. NSF leadership insisting on focus on fundamental science.


Nsf view of developing sustainability science

NSF View of Developing Sustainability Science

  • David Lightfoot framing NSF approach at beginning:

  • What science can be done re SD? NSF can’t do policy. Program to be embedded within a new initiative on cyber-enabled investigation & discovery within overall problem-focus of “complexity” planned to begin in 2008 and to continue for 5 years.

  • Program will involve cross-Directorate alliances, including dynamics of coupled human-natural systems involving SBE.


Reinforcing the nsf view at end of meeting

Reinforcing the NSF View at End of meeting

  • Tom Baerwald (responsible for Environment in SBE):

    What are the core theories to be developed? That is the issue to enervate the NSF research community. Agreed that framing is to be based on Pasteur’s Quadrant (use-inspired fundamental research). We, the scholarly community, need to ask what are some very important research questions. They want to involve both disciplinary folks as well as interdisciplinary folks. They want this initiative to emphasize transformative research.


Draft output of selected questions to date closing may 23 2008

Draft Output of [Selected] Questions to Date, Closing May 23, 2008

  • Multiple Stresses, Scales and Non-Linearities

    • What are the behaviors and emergent properties of natural systems with multiple interacting stresses operating at different temporal and spatial scales? Can the limits to prediction of future natural system behavior be established? Can system collapse be anticipated?

      • oFor instance, can the dynamics of fish populations stressed by oceanographic changes in the Arctic and global commercial exploitation be predicted?

      • oCan the future forest stocks similarly stressed be anticipated?

      • [Note: Only questions of direct relevance to CSES chosen].


Research agenda multiple stresses cont d

Research Agenda: Multiple Stresses, cont’d.

  • How can the limits to social system behavior be predicted under multiple stresses? Can major social disruptions such as large-scale migration and the abandonment of regions in response to environmental changes be anticipated? Can environmental stress generate violent conflict (development in reverse) -- does the conflict in Darfur, for instance portend a future in which scarcity due to increasing environmental stress triggers deadly conflict?

    • oCan we examine the history of population movements under past stresses such as long term drought, to assess how future populations will move?

    • oWhat evidence exists that environmental stresses do generate violent conflict?

    • oWhat is the nature of the resource curse associated with single commodity dependence such as oil in Nigeria?

    • oHow have people adapted to massive resource collapses like the complete loss of fisheries?

    • oHow can we learn adaptation strategies from the way people adapt to inter-annual variations such as the El Niño?


Research agenda cont d

Research Agenda, cont’d.

  • キDo we have adequate metrics to track the stresses and responses in natural and social systems across multiple temporal and spatial scales? How can we link natural and social science data to create dynamic models of interacting systems? For example, can we imagine a social equivalent to high resolution satellite imaging of natural system functions?

    • oWhat is the global effect of the sudden growth in the production and use of biofuels?

    • oWhat are the development implications of rising energy costs, of rising food prices?


Research agenda cont d1

Research Agenda, cont’d.

  • Vulnerability, Robustness and Adaptiveness

    • What social outcomes do natural system shocks such as extreme climate events (hurricanes, floods, droughts) cause in social systems of different development status? Can shocks destabilize emerging countries so much as to cause setbacks and the descent into poverty traps? Does economic strength guarantee the ability to buffer natural system shocks? Is an increasingly urbanized world more or less able to cope with these shocks? Can disaster shocks ever benefit development?

      • oHow can we monitor recovery after natural disasters (i.e. New Orleans) over a long time period?

      • oAre there better ways of measuring costal impacts exposure zone besides distance from the coast? Do we look at the 1% chance flood or the worst case scenario? How do physical and social vulnerability interact?


Research agenda cont d2

Research Agenda, cont’d.

  • キHow can the widely discussed concepts of vulnerability, robustness and adaptiveness be made rigorous and useful? These concepts are poorly understood proxies for much needed direct measures of social system functions because, in general we lack robust theory on which to base measures of system change. How can we combine the insights and tools from different social science disciplines to understand the interrelationships between individual and group behavior, and social and economic institutions in anticipation of and response to environmental challenges? What are useful measurable properties of complex human-natural systems and how can they be assessed? How can cross-sectoral management in government improve adaptive capacity and robustness by exploiting critical interactions? What integrative research is needed to identify the emerging behaviors in urban systems?

    • oWhat enabled the Swedish economy to grow as it cut emissions by 9% since 1990?


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