RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2016

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280 Breaking through Barriers and Ties that Bind: Nexus Thinking in Transboundary Climate Change Mitigation Research
Convenor(s) Irena Connon (University of Dundee, UK)
Ed Hall (University of Dundee, UK)
Chair(s) Ed Hall (University of Dundee, UK)
Timetable Friday 02 September 2016, Session 1 (09:00 - 10:40)
Session abstract While developments in academic conceptualisations of climate change, including complexity theory, have succeeded in breaking down the ontological classifications that underpin orthodox thinking on human-environmental interactions, challenges continue in seeking to break through these boundaries (including the binaries of rural/urban, social/physical) within the institutions that drive the majority of strategic, policy and practice developments in mitigating the human impacts of climate change. Further, these are reinforced by the top-down power structures (national, regional, local) and the privileging of positivist methods of inquiry, quantifiable findings and solutions favouring scientific and engineering-based solutions. For many researchers, these embedded ontologies and structures can mean that transdisciplinary and transboundary research can be very challenging. This panel will explore the developments, successes and limitations of attempts to develop integrated trans-institutional and trans-disciplinary approaches to mitigating the human impacts of climate change. The panel seeks suggestions as to how to overcome inter and intra ontologically-based classificatory-boundaries, differences in socio-cultural norms and practices, and to challenge the underlying and hidden dynamics of contemporary power trajectories that produce the disparities that can limit the potential of new developments in safeguarding human well-being during periods of rapid-onset environmental change. The themes and questions to be explored will include: What is not being addressed by current integrated developments?; How do pre-existing ontologies, socio-cultural perceptions and power trajectories affect developments to safeguard human security at the community level?; How can researchers break through existing organisational cultural boundaries rather than merely bridging communication divides?; What is the relationship between the voluntary sector, grass-roots, public sector and private sector in existing strategy development and what can be done to bridge existing boundaries and overcome complexities of culture and power that problematize new climate change mitigation developments?; What can be learned from international, trans-national and cross-cultural research?; Are traditional methods of defining the urban and rural environments and the scale of the local, regional and national that underpin current policy development still relevant in the contemporary world or do the complexities inherent in contemporary human-environmental relations and diversity of designated spaces call for a different approach?

Contact the conference organisers to request a change to session or paper details: AC2016@rgs.org
Breaking through Barriers and Ties that Bind: Nexus Thinking in Transboundary Climate Change Mitigation Research
Irena Connon (University of Dundee, UK)
Martin Phillips (University of Leicester, UK)
Harriet Thomson (The University of Manchester, UK)
Chris Donaldson (University Of East Anglia, UK)
While developments in academic conceptualisations of climate change, including complexity theory, have succeeded in breaking down the ontological classifications that underpin orthodox thinking on human-environmental interactions, challenges continue in seeking to break through these boundaries (including the binaries of rural/urban, social/physical) within the institutions that drive the majority of strategic, policy and practice developments in mitigating the human impacts of climate change. Further, these are reinforced by the top-down power structures (national, regional, local) and the privileging of positivist methods of inquiry, quantifiable findings and solutions favouring scientific and engineering-based solutions. For many researchers, these embedded ontologies and structures can mean that transdisciplinary and transboundary research can be very challenging.This panel will explore the developments, successes and limitations of attempts to develop integrated trans-institutional and trans-disciplinary approaches to mitigating the human impacts of climate change. The panel seeks suggestions as to how to overcome inter and intra ontologically-based classificatory-boundaries, differences in socio-cultural norms and practices, and to challenge the underlying and hidden dynamics of contemporary power trajectories that produce the disparities that can limit the potential of new developments in safeguarding human well-being during periods of rapid-onset environmental change. The themes and questions to be explored will include: What is not being addressed by current integrated developments?; How do pre-existing ontologies, socio-cultural perceptions and power trajectories affect developments to safeguard human security at the community level?; How can researchers break through existing organisational cultural boundaries rather than merely bridging communication divides?; What is the relationship between the voluntary sector, grass-roots, public sector and private sector in existing strategy development and what can be done to bridge existing boundaries and overcome complexities of culture and power that problematize new climate change mitigation developments?; What can be learned from international, trans-national and cross-cultural research?; Are traditional methods of defining the urban and rural environments and the scale of the local, regional and national that underpin current policy development still relevant in the contemporary world or do the complexities inherent in contemporary human-environmental relations and diversity of designated spaces call for a different approach?