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Translating policy from global to local in a complex natural world

Dr Matt Hare explores policy translation from global to local
"This work seeks to support effective adaptation planning by communities and policymakers to foster a transition towards sustainability and increased societal wellbeing, in the face of unprecedented climate change"

Policy translation from the international down to the local scales can be rather like a game of Chinese whispers: what you end up with is often not what was intended. Part of the problem is that the best laid plans become ruthlessly exposed to the intertwined complexity of ecosystems, human nature and society.

Dr Matt Hare, a Macaulay Development Trust research fellow based within the James Hutton Institute’s Information and Computational Sciences group in Aberdeen, is working to explain what can happen when nature-based solutions – including payments for environmental services, urban greening, biodiversity offsetting and carbon credits to reduce deforestation - meet the vagaries of human nature in a complex natural world.

“My fellowship is all about developing tools for the analysis of vulnerabilities and transitions in complex socio-ecological systems, combining transdisciplinary, empirical and theoretical systems modelling approaches, whether it involves conceptual paper models or computational agent-based simulations.

“As part of this work, I am using these approaches to analyse the effectiveness and consequences of nature-based solutions for climate change adaptation when applied within such systems. Overall, this work seeks to support effective adaptation planning by communities and policymakers to foster a transition towards sustainability and increased societal wellbeing, in the face of unprecedented climate change.”

Dr Hare’s research was inspired by his time working with the United Nations, providing capacity development on climate change adaptation at the national scale, followed by a consulting role supporting communities in Mexico to strengthen their capacities for adaptation and risk reduction.

“These two experiences taught me that well-crafted, internationally promoted, nature-based solutions do not always work as planned at the community scale.”

His experience as an MDT Fellow has provided him with a platform upon which to carry out novel research, both theoretical and empirical, to analyse and explain what he has seen in the field, with the intention of providing decision-makers with tools for making nature-based solutions more effective at the local level.

“In my opinion, the MDT Fellowship program is an invaluable source of funding for explorative, innovative research that might otherwise not meet the immediate needs of what is becoming an increasingly prescribed research funding environment. It provides space and time for new ideas and tools to gestate, mature and bloom.”

To learn more about Dr Hare’s work, visit his staff page.

More information from: 

Bernardo Rodriguez-Salcedo, Media Manager, Tel: +44 (0)1224 395089 (direct line), +44 (0)344 928 5428 (switchboard) or +44 (0)7791 193918 (mobile).


Printed from /news/translating-policy-global-local-complex-natural-world on 24/10/19 05:58:51 AM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.