Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences - Biogeography

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PASANOA - Project goals and planned utilization of results


Aside from the scientific impact of our project, a major strategic goal of the project is to deepen existing ties and establish new long-term collaboration between leading Argentine, German and international scientists. To ensure the envisaged interdisciplinary cooperation, we will organize regular project meetings, co-supervision of doctoral students and research visits of Argentine researchers in Germany. These collaborative efforts are expected to lead to joint publications, follow-up projects and lasting international research partnerships.

We aim to formulate results of direct policy relevance. Argentina currently faces huge challenges regarding the sustainable use of its natural resources. Agriculture represents a main income source and the current agricultural strategy, the Agro-industrial Plan 2020 (PEA2 2020), foresees major agricultural expansion, mainly in the Chaco, along with the continued industrialization of the food sector (Ministerio de Agricultura Ganadería y Pesca Argentino 2011). However, decision makers and planners currently face critical information gaps to align agriculture and conservation objectives and to enable Argentina’s economic development without compromising its natural capital and thus future development potentials. Major knowledge gaps pertain to the trade-offs between agriculture and conservation, the drivers of land use decision making, the potential future development pathways and the landscape patterns, which balance production and conservation goals. Current planning is decentralized, without consideration of regional ecological processes and outcomes. While new tools to balance conflicting land uses are now available, Argentina currently lacks the capacity to use these tools. Taken together, this leads to inconsistent and worrisome planning outcomes (Garcia Collazo et al. 2013; Piquer-Rodriguez et al. 2014).

A key goal of our project is therefore the dissemination of our results to decision makers and stakeholders at subnational and national level. To achieve this, we will make use of the large stakeholder network that our Argentine partners have, with close ties to agricultural producers, planning agencies and conservation actors. INTA itself is the main agricultural research and technology transfer institution in Argentina and our team maintains close ties with the Argentine Forest Service. We will identify key stakeholders and decision makers and invite them to join PASANOA from its onset. We expect stakeholder integration to be particularly fruitful for the identification of policy options, the drafting of plausible future scenarios and the joint interpretation and validation of project results. Policy briefs will summarize the most important findings of the project for a wider audience and, if needed, we will organize training sessions to build capacity in the tools we develop in order to support Argentine planners to utilize our project results.

Last but not least, we will also invest into intensifying the dialogue with the public about key project results. This will include creating visually appealing and comprehensible synopses of major project results such as the ES maps, the regional trade-off analyses and the future scenarios we will develop for the Chaco. We will build a website and regularly disseminate newsletters, use social media for wide outreach and channel salient project outcomes to important Argentine and German media via press releases and by actively approaching science journalists.