The Andalusian Network of Global Change Observatories: An innovative ecosystem for the transfer of knowledge

The changing reality on a planetary scale faced by society in the 21st century implies a qualitatively different capacity to respond to environmental changes than has been the case up to now. As far as environmental management is concerned, this implies assuming a degree of uncertainty with which to work, and the transformation of current management models in order to adapt the relationship between society and the natural environment to the new environmental scenarios. Such adaptation is essential to advance along the road to sustainability, and it is now more evident than ever that it should not be restricted to the sphere of environmental administration, but should be extended to other sectoral policies, since it is these that have an impact on the drivers of global change.

This network, which is based on the experience accumulated in environmental research centers and the management of protected areas in Andalusia over the last 20 years, has as its main objectives:

  1. to improve the use of existing resources in the associated research centers,
  2. develop management strategies to contribute to the mitigation and adaptation to Global Change in Natural Spaces,
  3. support the Climate Change policies of the Junta de Andalucía, and
  4. serve as a basis for sectoral analyses of the impacts of Global Change.

One of the most relevant aspects of this network is that it was created with the premise that in order to adequately develop policies for adaptation to global change, scientists and managers of the natural environment must work together. In Andalusia, both groups have a long experience of working together, but since the drivers of global change operate continuously and the generation of scientific knowledge is permanent, it is necessary to increase and dynamize their interaction. In this sense, the Global Change Observatory Network probably represents one of the most innovative platforms for knowledge transfer. Scientists have the role of assisting in the evaluation and analysis of environmental problems, and in the identification of systems of indicators of pressure and state of ecosystems. The managers, for their part, make their decisions taking into account the latest scientific advances, place the proposals for action within the framework of the administrative reality, and contribute to the proposal of response indicators that allow the social effectiveness of the measures adopted to be evaluated. The result should be a set of actions that make it possible to manage natural resources with the flexibility required by a changing reality, and from which experience and knowledge can be derived to guide management in the field of other sectoral policies. On the other hand, the network considers that the final recipient of the knowledge derived from monitoring the effects of global change must be society as a whole, so that the monitoring indicators with which it works must promote a thorough understanding of the effects of global change on natural and socioeconomic systems on the part of citizens.

The Andalusian Network of Global Change Observatories is made up of a set of technical and knowledge infrastructure located in natural areas that cover a representative range of the main unique ecosystems of the Andalusian Community and is made up of the Global Change Observatories in Arid Zones, in Sierra Nevada, in Doñana, in the Strait of Gibraltar and in the Cazorla-Segura Las Villas National Park, all of them linked to research centers and institutions integrated in the CEI cambio. Cazorla-Segura Las Villas, all of them linked to research centers and institutions integrated in the CEI cambio. Each observatory constitutes a node of the Monitoring Network, and the emerging properties resulting from the advantages of collaborative work derived from the network structure itself should be enhanced.

Within this transfer ecosystem, it is worth highlighting the role of the Natural Heritage, Biodiversity and Global Change Foundation, which was created through an agreement between the Regional Ministry of Innovation, Science and Enterprise and the Regional Ministry of the Environment, and which extends the scope of transfer to companies. The main purpose of this foundation is to quantify, prevent and mitigate the social, economic and environmental impacts of global change and the loss of biodiversity and natural heritage. Aware of the multidisciplinary reality that these impacts represent, this foundation is created to be a meeting platform between businessmen linked to climate change and Global Change, research groups and competent public administrations. To this end, its main function will be to establish technical criteria and provide a rational structure for all research on Global Change that is being carried out in Andalusia. Likewise, the Foundation will contribute to the development and technological improvement, technological management and innovation, the improvement of competitiveness and productivity of companies in Andalusia with the promotion of innovation and / or generation of new products, and in general, the welfare and sustainable development of the Andalusian Community.

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