Humanity has navigated through a period marked by unparalleled challenges and transformations since we gathered last for the GLP Open Science Meeting (OSM) in 2019 - a global pandemic, growing international conflicts and regional disputes reshaping geopolitical boundaries and narratives, and some of the hottest years in recorded history, all of which have tested the resilience of societies worldwide.
With their local repercussions, these global phenomena have cast a spotlight on the interconnectedness of our disparate realities, making us more aware of how vulnerable societies have become to sudden shocks, and how such events disproportionately impact marginalized and excluded individuals, further deepening existing inequities. Yet, amidst these challenges from across different parts of the world, there are efforts driven by individuals, social movements, organizations, and governments to halt the tide of catastrophic events, to build resilience, and to foster a renewed sense of connectedness both towards one another and towards our shared home.
This context provides an urgency for the type of research that the land system science community does: to better understand how the ongoing global and regional transformations affect people and nature in various locales, how local responses have global implications, and how to harness knowledge to envisage diverse futures and potential pathways of change, catalyzing knowledge for communities, civil society, and governments in support of collective efforts to realize these imagined futures.
The 2024 5th OSM will be an opportunity to gather and to reinvigorate conversations grounded in the strength of our collective knowledge. The conference will be hosted in collaboration with several local partners in Oaxaca, Mexico, a region enriched by centuries of cultural diversity and transformation; and a place that promises to inspire new ways of looking at our research practice.
Paralleling GLP’s 2024-2028 Science Plan three themes inspire these conversations:
New insights are gained from the exploration of our present that feed into our understanding of future trajectories. Future scenarios help us identify key turning points that can change the rules of the game. Levers interrogate the present with new questions and new ways of understanding the causes of our current state and the spaces where change is already happening. Thus, these three themes reinforce each other and will all deepen our understanding of land systems, their links to global change and to pathways towards sustainable and just land systems.