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    Review of 'Communicating climate change and biodiversity loss with local populations: Exploring communicative utopias in eight transdisciplinary case studies'

    Communicating climate change and biodiversity loss with local populations: Exploring communicative utopias in eight transdisciplinary case studiesCrossref
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        Rated 4.5 of 5.
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        Rated 4 of 5.
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        Rated 5 of 5.
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    Communicating climate change and biodiversity loss with local populations: Exploring communicative utopias in eight transdisciplinary case studies

    Climate change and biodiversity loss trigger policies targeting and impacting local communities worldwide. However, research and policy implementation often fail to sufficiently consider community responses and involve them. We present the results of a collective self-assessment exercise for eight case studies of communications regarding climate change or biodiversity loss between project teams and local communities. We develop eight indicators of good stakeholder communication, reflecting the scope of Verran (2002)'s concept of postcolonial moments as a communicative utopia. We demonstrate that applying our indicators can enhance communication and enable community responses. However, we discover a divergence between timing, complexity, and (introspective) effort. Three cases qualify for postcolonial moments, but scrutinizing power relations and genuine knowledge co-production remain rare. While we verify the potency of various instruments for deconstructing science, their sophistication cannot substitute trust building and epistemic/transdisciplinary awareness. Lastly, we consider that reforming inadequate funding policies helps improving the work in and with local communities.

      Review information

      This work has been published open access under Creative Commons Attribution License CC BY 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Conditions, terms of use and publishing policy can be found at www.scienceopen.com.

      Philosophy of science,Environmental economics & Politics,Environmental studies,Environmental management, Policy & Planning,General social science,Development studies
      Climate change,Biodiversity,Sustainable development,People and their environment,local knowledge,local communities,climate change,Environmental justice and inequality/inequity,transdisciplinary communication,biodiversity loss,Environmental policy and practice,postcolonial moments,knowledge co-production

      Review text

      The topic of the paper is particularly interesting, and the methodology is properly described, as well as all the case studies. In addition, the paper can be an effective support for project coordinators in planning their work with local communities in different environments and socio-economic conditions.
      I only have some minor suggestions:

      Page 3, Paragraph 4 - I suggest authors to highlight more clearly the relations between traditional knowldge and climate change. How traditional knowledge can effectively contribute to climate change mitigation/adaptation? How it can contribute to biodiversity conservation?

      Page 5, Last Paragraph - I suggest authors to consider also the following issue to strenghten the link between traditional knowledge and biodiversity conservation. Protected Areas, established with the purpose of protecting biodiversity, sometimes neglect the role of traditional knowledge and of traditional agro-forestry activities in shaping the landscape and in creating different habitats and microhabitats. The paradox is that these Protected Areas prohibit those traditional activities that have allowed a high biodiversity and therefore are the reason of the recognition as a protected area. In some tropical countries, instead, it has been proved that the active involvment of local communities with their of traditional knowledge and agro-forestry activities act as a defence against illegal deforestation and biodiversity loss. An example can be represented by the Indigenous Reserve of Monochoa and the related chagras system, which is located in Colombia, one of the countries with a presented study case; other examples can be found in community forest management in Indonesia. In this regard, I do not completely agree with the second sentence of the conclusion section ("progress towards solving them has been meagre"), as there are different examples of projects that at local level contributed to climate change mitigation and biodiversity conservation, especially if carried out with the involvment of local communities. International programmes, such as the GIAHS Programme of the FAO, can represent an example of traditional knowledge valorization with positive effects on biodiversity conservation and on more sustainable agricultural systems.

      Page 8, last paragraph - Are oyu reffering to the south-american country of Colombia? Is it Colombia, not Columbia. Please, check it throughout the manuscript.

      Supplementary material. I am not sure that this part needs to be published as supplemetary materials. While I have found the Appendix (tab 3) really important (it is a pity that it is not included within the main text!), in my opinion the Supplementary material adds nothing particularly interesting (info and/or data) to the readers.


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