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Catalyzing action towards the sustainability of deltas

Catalyzing action towards the sustainability of deltas
Catalyzing action towards the sustainability of deltas
Deltaic systems are among the most dynamic and productive environments on Earth and many have a high population density. Deltas play a central role in food and water security but are increasingly facing hazards such as submergence, riverine and coastal flooding, and coastal erosion. This paper synthesizes efforts of the Belmont Forum Deltas project, an international network of interdisciplinary research collaboration with focal areas in the Mekong, the Ganges Brahmaputra, and the Amazon deltas. The inherent complexity and dearth of knowledge about deltas require disciplinary expertise to advance jointly with interdisciplinary collaboration. An overarching research framework articulates focal research areas and collaborative modules, serving as an umbrella for both crosscutting and specific research questions. These modules have allowed for common definition of goals, responsibilities, and products, but flexible and decentralized disciplinary and interdisciplinary collaborations. Self-organization within and across areas of expertise has proven effective in bringing collaborators to commit to specific efforts. Knowledge co-production workshops focusing on vulnerability and risk have successfully strengthened interactions with regional organizations. As a distributed network, challenges remain in terms of type of and level of interaction and hands-on collaborative work among research partners, including joint fieldwork, but successes far outweigh difficulties. To illustrate these points, we present a review of three research domains built upon different arrangements of disciplinary and interdisciplinary collaborations: advancing biophysical classifications of deltas, understanding deltas as coupled social–ecological systems, and analyzing and informing social and environmental vulnerabilities in delta regions.
1877-3435
182-194
Brondizio, Eduardo S.
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Foufoula-Georgiou, Efi
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Szabo, Sylvia
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Vogt, Nathan
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Sebesvari, Zita
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Renaud, Fabrice G.
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Newton, Alice
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Anthony, Edward
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Mansur, Andressa V.
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Matthews, Zoe
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Hetrick, Scott
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Costa, Sandra M.
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Tessler, Zachary
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Tejedor, Alejandro
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Longjas, Anthony
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Dearing, John A.
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Brondizio, Eduardo S.
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Foufoula-Georgiou, Efi
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Szabo, Sylvia
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Vogt, Nathan
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Sebesvari, Zita
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Renaud, Fabrice G.
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Newton, Alice
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Anthony, Edward
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Mansur, Andressa V.
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Matthews, Zoe
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Hetrick, Scott
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Costa, Sandra M.
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Tessler, Zachary
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Tejedor, Alejandro
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Longjas, Anthony
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Dearing, John A.
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Brondizio, Eduardo S., Foufoula-Georgiou, Efi and Szabo, Sylvia et al. (2016) Catalyzing action towards the sustainability of deltas. [in special issue: Sustainability Science] Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 19, 182-194. (doi:10.1016/j.cosust.2016.05.001).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Deltaic systems are among the most dynamic and productive environments on Earth and many have a high population density. Deltas play a central role in food and water security but are increasingly facing hazards such as submergence, riverine and coastal flooding, and coastal erosion. This paper synthesizes efforts of the Belmont Forum Deltas project, an international network of interdisciplinary research collaboration with focal areas in the Mekong, the Ganges Brahmaputra, and the Amazon deltas. The inherent complexity and dearth of knowledge about deltas require disciplinary expertise to advance jointly with interdisciplinary collaboration. An overarching research framework articulates focal research areas and collaborative modules, serving as an umbrella for both crosscutting and specific research questions. These modules have allowed for common definition of goals, responsibilities, and products, but flexible and decentralized disciplinary and interdisciplinary collaborations. Self-organization within and across areas of expertise has proven effective in bringing collaborators to commit to specific efforts. Knowledge co-production workshops focusing on vulnerability and risk have successfully strengthened interactions with regional organizations. As a distributed network, challenges remain in terms of type of and level of interaction and hands-on collaborative work among research partners, including joint fieldwork, but successes far outweigh difficulties. To illustrate these points, we present a review of three research domains built upon different arrangements of disciplinary and interdisciplinary collaborations: advancing biophysical classifications of deltas, understanding deltas as coupled social–ecological systems, and analyzing and informing social and environmental vulnerabilities in delta regions.

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Accepted/In Press date: 4 May 2016
e-pub ahead of print date: 24 May 2016
Organisations: Social Statistics & Demography

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Local EPrints ID: 395304
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/395304
ISSN: 1877-3435
PURE UUID: 336dd449-291f-423f-8970-2167a2a78ef3
ORCID for John A. Dearing: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-1466-9640

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Date deposited: 27 May 2016 08:35
Last modified: 15 Aug 2019 05:28

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Contributors

Author: Eduardo S. Brondizio
Author: Efi Foufoula-Georgiou
Author: Sylvia Szabo
Author: Nathan Vogt
Author: Zita Sebesvari
Author: Fabrice G. Renaud
Author: Alice Newton
Author: Edward Anthony
Author: Andressa V. Mansur
Author: Zoe Matthews
Author: Scott Hetrick
Author: Sandra M. Costa
Author: Zachary Tessler
Author: Alejandro Tejedor
Author: Anthony Longjas
Author: John A. Dearing ORCID iD

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