How can we deal with environmental sustainability while achieving economic development?

Evidence for policy: Approaches for effectively supporting policymaking towards sustainable development

Workshop Area A 301 September 6, 2017 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

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Susanne Wymann von Dach¹, Albrecht Ehrensperger¹, Manuel Peralvo², Macarena Bustamante², Frédéric Pichelin³, Sauro Bianchi³, and Ueli Jezler³

¹Centre for Development and Environment, University of Bern, Switzerland.

²Consortium for the Sustainable Development of the Andean Ecorregion (CONDESAN)

³Bern University of Applied Sciences, Architecture, Wood and Civil Engineering, Biel-Bienne, Switzerland


 The sustainability science community concurs on the fact that fostering sustainable development requires three types of knowledge: systems knowledge tells us how socio-ecological systems work; transformation knowledge provides us with guidance on how to shape transformation towards a more sustainable future, and target knowledge is a repository of envisioned goals of sustainable development. While, traditionally, science is contributing mainly systems knowledge, today, society is challenged to define viable futures and to negotiate consistent development targets. These challenges call for an engaged science and development practice that, in collaboration with societal partners, avails tools and approaches for the identification of development paths, the monitoring of sustainability progress, and the negotiation of development trade-offs.

The proposed session will present concrete examples on how science and technology can inform and support policy making with a view to identifying and negotiating development targets and sustainability pathways. The contributions to this session highlight a range of tools and approaches ranging from the monitoring of development processes and policy dialogue support, to the designing of future scenarios as a basis for development negotiations, and including system analyses in support of the transition of entire systems towards more sustainability. The subsequent discussion will provide a platform for identifying jointly the advantages, challenges, and possible pitfalls that are likely to come along the application of such tools and approaches in the global South.

The session will address the main conference themes from a methodological angle, asking how various tools and approaches can inform the science-policy interface. In doing so, presentations will thematically contribute to a selection of themes.