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

      In review
        1 , , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 3 , 6 , 7 , 8 , 4 , 3 , 9 , 9 , 10 , 11 , 12 , 12 , 13 , 14 , 12 , 9 , 2 , 15 , 6 , 13 , 16 , 4
      UCL Open: Environment Preprint
      UCL Press
      transdisciplinary communication, climate change, biodiversity loss, knowledge co-production, postcolonial moments, local communities, local knowledge, People and their environment, Environmental policy and practice, Environmental justice and inequality/inequity, Climate change, Sustainable development, Biodiversity


            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.


            Author and article information

            UCL Open: Environment Preprint
            UCL Press
            18 July 2022
            [1 ] Energy Access and Development Program (EADP), German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin)
            [2 ] Free University Berlin
            [3 ] WWF Colombia
            [4 ] Luc Hoffmann Institute
            [5 ] Energy Access and Development Program (EADP)
            [6 ] University of Greifswald
            [7 ] Equilibrium Research
            [8 ] Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation
            [9 ] Technische Universität Dresden
            [10 ] Bangladesh Agricultural University
            [11 ] Open University of the Netherlands, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Hasselt University
            [12 ] CEBioS
            [13 ] Fenner School of Environment and Society
            [14 ] Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich
            [15 ] Red Cross/Red Crescent Climate Centre
            [16 ] Hasselt University
            Author notes

            This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

            This research was partially funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research BMBF (FoReSee, grant no. 01LA1811B, Economics of the Climate Change II programme; COMTESS, grant no. 01LL0911A-G, Sustainable Land Management programme; Carbiocial, grant no. 01LL0902F, Sustainable Land Management programme, ECAS-BALTIC, grant no. 03F0860G, Küno Küstenforschung Nordsee / Ostsee), the European Commission (DESIRE, project number 561638-EPP-1-2015-1-JO-EPP KA2-CBHE-JP, grant agreement number: 2012-3324/001-001), the Flemish Interuniversity Council – University Development Cooperation VLIR-UOS (North South South Cooperation Programme ZIUS2015VOA3106), the Belgian Directorate-General for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid (CEBioS programme), the Special Research Fund of Hasselt University (BOF20TT06), the Belgian Science Policy BELSPO (EVAMAB of CEBioS programme), the Luc Hoffmann Institute, and the German Research Foundation DFG (Germany's Excellence Strategy – EXC 2037 'CLICCS - Climate, Climatic Change, and Society', project no 390683824). see above

            Data sharing not applicable to this article as no datasets were generated or analysed during the current study.
            Philosophy of science,Environmental economics & Politics,Environmental studies,Environmental management, Policy & Planning,General social science,Development studies
            transdisciplinary communication,climate change,biodiversity loss,knowledge co-production,postcolonial moments,local communities,local knowledge,People and their environment,Environmental policy and practice,Environmental justice and inequality/inequity,Climate change,Sustainable development,Biodiversity


            Date: 21 July 2022

            Handling Editor: Prof Sarah Bell

            This article is a preprint article and has not been peer-reviewed. It is under consideration following submission to UCL Open: Environment for open peer review.

            2022-07-21 14:54 UTC

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