GLP 4th Open Science Meeting 2019 | Deadline for Session Proposals Extended to 27 August
the village smallSession proposals are invited for the Global Land Programme's 4th Open Science Meeting, 'Transforming Land Systems for People and Nature,' which will be held 24-26 April 2019 in Bern, Switzerland. 

Land use is key for achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in an increasingly threatened global environment. Should land system science produce a unifying vision for the planet? How do global narratives for use of land correspond to what people want when striving for access to land across diverse and distinctive regions? How can we support transformations that mutually reinforce global sustainability visions and goals, and people’s aspirations and needs?  

Land system science scholars will be confronting such questions at the 4th Open Science Meeting of the Global Land Programme (GLP 4th OSM 2019). It will be held from the 24-26 of April 2019 in Bern, Switzerland and will focus on topics and themes that aim to advance our understanding of how land systems can form the basis for sustainability transformations.

The land system science community is organized within the Global Land Programme (GLP), a Global Research Project of the Future Earth initiative. GLP is an interdisciplinary community of science and practice fostering the study of land systems and the co-design of solutions for global sustainability and represents the largest international research network in this field.

This conference represents a unique opportunity to build and enhance scientific capacity and enable transformations to a sustainable future by identifying core questions, synthesizing research, and setting future agendas.  Conference attendees will strive to develop connections between researchers and stakeholders from civil society, government, and the private sector, and to bridge science and decision-making for sustainable management and governance of land use worldwide.

Session proposals are now invited that represent relevant and innovative research in land systems science within the three following main conference themes:

Understanding land systems is key to addressing many complex threats facing the planet. This theme will focus on land systems science insights into complex human-natural system problems in the Anthropocene such as climate change, food security, and conservation of biodiversity. Questions and insights arising from integrated assessment, scenario research, geospatial analysis, earth system science, and modelling, as well as research focused on telecoupled systems and social and environmental impacts will help to build common understanding of land systems science as a nexus for developing global solutions. Critical discussions on bold large-scale approaches that propose optimal visions - including bioenergy transitions and land-based negative emissions, and rewilding visions such as Half-Earth - are encouraged.

Solutions to global challenges will only be viable when they are designed to meet the needs and value the priorities of peoples and communities. This theme will focus on taking into account the multiple goals, values, norms, and functions that people assign to land, how they actually manage land systems, what solutions they are building, and who decides what to do with land. Sessions are welcome that explore how issues of land tenure, conflicts and power, nature and health, co-production of ecosystem services and agrobiodiversity, food systems and livelihoods, human mobility and migration, multifunctional land uses, large-scale land acquisitions, soil degradation, and landscape restoration, among others, can be articulated into local and global narratives that are safe and just. 

Land system transformations in response to global challenges are already underway. The science community addresses such transformations in part by working to understand changes and evaluating their contribution to global sustainability transitions. Such approaches include techniques such as remote sensing, agent-based modelling, crowd-sourcing, and 'Big Data.' Others are advancing the science of measuring economic, social, and legal aspects of land system change or studying the territorial and flow-based governance of social-environmental systems, such as land reforms, land use planning, or supply-chains governance. Engagement with stakeholders can involve participatory research methods building on indigenous knowledge, ethnographies, and other qualitative analysis. Recent normative science includes the co-production of knowledge, and policy and program evaluation. Contributions on the application of these tools to manage global challenges and support an equitable and productive future are encouraged.

The conference will use various session formats to confront these challenges, including presentations of the latest research findings, identification of new challenges emerging from science, stakeholder engagement opportunities, and learning through immersive and integrative formats. The conference will feature plenary keynotes, parallel-keynote sessions, research presentation sessions, innovative and immersive sessions, short training and workshop sessions, and poster sessions. The Science Committee will balance session proposals received across the different formats to ensure a dynamic, interactive meeting.

Sessions are 1 hour and 30 minutes each. Participants are invited to submit session proposals under one of the formats listed below. Based on the selected session proposals, a call for abstracts will be launched. Proposals for innovative formats not listed below are also welcomed, with pre-approval from the Science Committee (please contact Patrick Meyfroidt:

1. Research presentation sessions

  • Research sessions provide an opportunity for individual scientists to present recent findings of relevance to the conference themes. These sessions are 1.5 hours and will generally be comprised of five 15-minute presentations (12 minute talks + 3 minutes for Q&A) on related topics.
  • Session proposers should identify and confirm 2-3 presenters in the proposal and ensure that, when abstract submission is open, these presenters submit their abstract. All abstract submissions are subject to review by the Science Committee.
  • The remaining slots will be allocated by the Science Committee based on submitted abstracts. Special consideration will be given to early career research contributions.
  • 10 minutes of each session should be reserved for a general introduction, synthesis, or overall discussion led by the session chair or an invited stakeholder.
  • Based on the number of sessions and abstract submissions, some sessions may be requested to accommodate more than 5 talks with shorter time allotted to each presenter (i.e., flash talk sessions).
2. Innovative and immersive sessions:
  • Ideas for creative, innovative, and experimental sessions during the conference, lasting 1.5 to 2 hours, are encouraged. Innovative sessions are nontraditional conference sessions such as roundtable discussions with stakeholder participation (including policy-makers, non-governmental organizations, private sector representatives); panel presentations with opportunities for audience participation; World Café or other forms of open, interactive discussions; video, documentaries, photo, music, and creative research communication formats; and games and crowdsourcing exercises.
  • The session proposal should include the scientific rationales for the session as well as a description of the proposed format. 
  • Other formats are welcome.
3. Short training and workshop sessions:
  • Short training and workshop sessions of 1.5 hours can be proposed to provide an educational opportunity on a specific topic such as a model, research approach and methods, or policy tool.
  • Half or all-day post-conference workshop proposals may be submitted, to be held on Saturday, 27 April 2019.

Session submission deadline: 27 August 2018
Abstract submission opens: 15 September 2018
Abstract submission deadline: 30 October 2018
Abstract acceptance notification: 15 December 2018

For more information and to submit your session proposal, please visit the GLP website.