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Twelve transnational projects receive 11.5 million euros for research on transformations to sustainability

Twelve transnational research projects starting in 2018 have been awarded 11.5 million euros from the Belmont Forum and NORFACE joint programme Transformations to Sustainability (T2S). The programme builds on and expands the Transformations to Sustainability programme launched by the ISSC in 2014. The twelve teams will undertake research in areas ranging from groundwater, mining, urban development and land registration, to the role of migration and intellectual property rights in sustainability transitions. The projects involve researchers from a wide variety of disciplines working together across the globe, from Brazil to Sweden and from Japan to Burkina Faso.

Innovative research with an impact

Climate change, environmental degradation and resource pressures pose unprecedented and urgent challenges for societies worldwide, requiring fundamental transformations in the way societies interact with each other and with the natural environment. The Belmont Forum and NORFACE Transformations to Sustainability programme aims to improve understanding of transformations to sustainability by promoting research on topics of significant social, economic and policy concern throughout the world. The programme also aims to have a lasting impact on the research landscape by cultivating durable research collaboration across multiple borders, disciplinary boundaries, and with practitioners and societal partners.

The twelve three-year projects will conduct theoretically and methodologically innovative research on transformations to sustainability in different locations experiencing socio-ecological challenges. The knowledge produced by the projects is intended to be of relevance to researchers, practitioners and policymakers across a multitude of sectors and to contribute to advancing transformative change around the globe. To enhance the relevance of the knowledge being produced, the project teams will integrate stakeholder and community-based partners in the research process.

The following Belmont Forum and NORFACE member countries provide funding to the twelve projects: Belgium, Brazil, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom and the United States. In addition, the ISSC, with the support of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), funds the participation of researchers in six low- and lower-middle income countries – namely Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, India, Nicaragua and Tanzania, in eight of the selected projects. The European Commission provides top-up funding to T2S.

The twelve projects are:

AGENTS: Amazonian Governance to Enable Transformations to Sustainability

Name of Project Leader from the United States to be announced (t.b.a).; Dr. F. De Castro, University of Amsterdam; Dr. C. Salk, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences; Prof. K. Andersson, University of Colorado at Boulder; Dr. M. Tengö, Stockholm University, name of Principal Investigator from Brazil t.b.a.

CON-VIVA: Towards Convivial Conservation – Governing Human-Wildlife Interactions in the Anthropocene

Prof. B. Büscher, Wageningen University; Prof. D. Brockington, University of Sheffield; Prof. A. Nygren, University of Helsinki; MSc. M. Bukhi, University of Dodoma; name of Principal Investigator from Brazil t.b.a., name of Principal Investigator from the United States t.b.a.

GoST: Governance of Sociotechnical Transformations

Dr. S. Beck, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research; Prof. A. Stirling, University of Sussex; name of Principal Investigator from the United States t.b.a.

H2O – T2S: H2O – T2S in Urban Fringe Areas

Dr. S. Sen, South Asia Consortium for Interdisciplinary Water Resources Studies; Dr. C. Butsch, University of Cologne; Dr. L. Hermans, Delft University of Technology.

IPACST: The Role of Intellectual Property to Accelerate Sustainability Transitions

Prof. C. Dreher, Freie University Berlin; Dr. A. Gurtoo, Indian Institute of Science; Prof. N. Bocken, Lund University; Dr. F. Tietze, University of Cambridge.

Misty: Migration, Transformation and Sustainability

Prof. N. Adger, University of Exeter; Prof. F. Gemenne, University of Liege; Prof. E. Boyd, Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies; Prof. S. Codjoe, Regional Institute for Population Studies; Dr. S. Fransen, University of Amsterdam; name of Principal Investigator from the United States t.b.a.

SecTenSusPeace: Securing Tenure, Sustainable Peace?The challenges of localizing land-registration in conflict-affected Burundi and eastern DR Congo

Dr. M. van Leeuwen, Radboud University Nijmegen; Dr. G. van der Haar, Wageningen University; Dr. A. Ansoms, Catholic University of Leuven; Prof. S. Mugangu, Institut Supérieur de Développement Rural de Bukavu.

ST-ASGM: Sustainability Transformations in Artisanal and Small-scale Gold Mining: A Multi-Actor and Trans-Regional Perspective

Dr. E. Fisher, University of Reading; Dr. M. de Theije, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam; Prof. M. Schnegg, University of Hamburg; Dr. C. Lanzano, Nordic Africa Institute; Dr. P. Hochet, Insuco Foundation for Social Science Research; Dr. S. Luning, Leiden University; name of Principal Investigator from Brazil t.b.a.

T2SGS: Transformations to Groundwater Sustainability – joint learnings from human-groundwater interactions

Prof. M. Zwarteveen, University of Amsterdam; Prof. F. Cleaver, University of Sheffield; Dr. M. Kuper, French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development; Dr. L. Börjeson, Stockholm University; MA. S. Kulkarni, Society for Promoting Participative Eco-system management; name of Principal Investigator from the United States t.b.a.

TAPESTRY: Transformation as Praxis – Exploring Socially Just and Transdisciplinary Pathways to Sustainability in Marginal Environments

Prof. L. Mehta, Institute of Development Studies; Dr. S. Movik, Norwegian University of Life Sciences; Prof. D. Parthasarathy, Indian Institute of Technology; name of Principal Investigator from Japan t.b.a.

TRUEPATH: TRansforming UnsustainablE PATHways in agricultural frontiers – articulating microfinance plus with local institutional change for sustainability in Nicaragua

Prof. J. Bastiaensen, University of Antwerp; Dr. S. Flores, Universidad Centroamericana; Dr. N. Garambois, Paris Institute of Technology for Life, Food and Environmental Sciences.

Waterproofing Data: Engaging stakeholders in sustainable flood risk governance for urban resilience

Dr. J. Porto de Albuquerque, University of Warwick; Prof. A. Zipf, Heidelberg University; name of Principal Investigator from Brazil t.b.a.

Researchers supported by the ISSC are highlighted in bold above. Please note that the names of the Principal Investigators from Brazil, Japan and the United States will be publicly announced later due to national funding regulations. More information on all funded projects can be found on the Transformations to Sustainability web page.

Download the full press release.


4 responses to “Twelve transnational projects receive 11.5 million euros for research on transformations to sustainability

  1. I would like to ask what does it mean Principal Investigator t.b.a.? Does this mean to be announced? Does this mean the rules changed half way through the process? Was this allowed? Please clarify.

    1. Hi Diana, ‘Principal Investigator t.b.a’ means that the name of the Principal Investigator will be announced in due course, not that the Principal Investigator has changed over the course of the selection process. As explained underneath the list of projects, the names of the Principal Investigators from Brazil, Japan and the United States will be publicly announced later due to national funding regulations. We’ve also updated the text above to make ‘t.b.a’. clearer. Thanks for your interest.

  2. Thank you for your response. I cannot still understand your explanation though. If the PIs from Brazil, Japan and US cannot be announced yet why did you not wait to publish the results when their names could be announced? I understand that there is no PIs in Japan, US and Brazil so far and this is now being decided which is not what the rules said. Can you explain what the main steps of the evaluation process were? Both in phases 1 and 2? Thank you very much in advance.

    1. Thanks for your follow-up query. We can assure you that the investigators in the US, Brazil and Japan are known, that they have not changed since the submission of the proposals, and that all proposals have been subjected to the same rigorous evaluation process. As explained, their names are not being published yet because there are some administrative procedures in the relevant funding agencies that need to be concluded first.

      The evaluation procedure is described in some detail in the call for proposals which you can find here:

      If you have more questions on the evaluation procedure after reading the call for proposals, please direct them to the programme coordination office at [email protected].

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