Researchers as experts
BECC science targets issues at the core of society’s dependency on natural resources for its material well-being and economic and cultural development, today and in a future, warmer world. Researchers act as experts, thus contributing to policy processes at international, national and local levels.
Researchers in BECC also impacts society by informing policy-makers, farmers, forest managers and the public on issues related to biodiversity, ecosystem services and climate, particularly in relation to agriculture, forestry and Arctic ecosystems.
- as lead authors and reviewers in three working groups of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report
- experts to international environmental conventions on Biological Diversity and Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution
- contributors to the Arctic Resilience Interim Report
- the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) global assessment of REDD+.
- BECC researchers have acted as experts at the EU level and been involved extensively in national policy making, e.g. in the high level climate reference group as well as the environmental research committee linked to the Ministry of the Environment, in the Mistra Council for Evidence-based Environmental Management, and by providing commissioned reports and advice to various agencies and authorities.
- By participating in international umbrella programmes and networks (COL 10), BECC contributes to international debates about future research needs, which then are translated to concrete proposals for research in BECC.
BECC has provided research syntheses to e.g. the Board of Agriculture, the County Administration of West Götaland, Lund Municipality, and initiated joint studies with e.g. Skåne Regional Council and the Forest Agency.
Some examples on synthesis and briefs with involvement of BECC researchers is:
Input from society to research
Projects also receive input from societal partners through participatory research activities such as focus groups.
- In the forest sector we have several projects that interact closely with key stakeholders, to target both societal and business-related objectives. These efforts include research on forest tree genetics that address challenges posed by a changing climate; and model-based tools to explore the relative benefits of alternative silvicultural management regimes in terms of forest production, health and economy, given projected developments in the climate, insect pests, and land use patterns that affect e.g. exposure to wind damage. The resulting tools have been used e.g. to provide input to a “climate manual” commissioned by the forest company Holmen Skog. BECC also collaborates with the Forest Agency on an updated review of climate change impacts on forests that will influence the official management recommendations to Swedish forest owners and companies.
- Our research informs farmers how ecosystem services contribute to crop production and reduce detrimental environmental effects. To transfer research knowledge to farmers and advisors we have for instance established collaborative research to develop tools supporting farmers in their decision-making.
Social needs affecting research
Identification of societal needs has affected research, e.g.:
- The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency’s concerns regarding conflicting environmental objectives in a changing climate were taken in to account in model development (e.g. Zanchi et al. 2014 Ecol Mod).
- To provide theSwedish Board of Agriculture with insight into the effectiveness of Agri-Environment Schemes we developed specific model tools (e.g. Stjernman et al. 2013 Ecol Indic).
- Research on emissions of greenhouse gases from drained soils was defined in dialogue with the Swedish Forest Agency and the Swedish Board of Agriculture.
- Novel methods to assess forest carbon stocks, e.g. under a future emissions reduction agreement being negotiated in the UNFCCC process, are developed using model-data fusion techniques.
Read the new report (in Swedish) from "miljöforskningsberedningen" (MFB), a council for dialogue between the scientific community and the Swedish Minister for climate and the Environment. Henrik Smith, BECCs coordinator, is one of the 12 authors of the report and a member of MFB.
You can find the report here (open link to SOU - Statens offentliga utredningar)