Canadian researchers explore sustainable living on planet Earth

In October 2019, SSHRC, in collaboration with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, launched a Knowledge Synthesis Grants competition for Living Within the Earth’s Carrying Capacity. The goal of this competition is to mobilize multidisciplinary research on one of humanity’s most pressing questions: how to live sustainably on a finite planet.

Thirty-one grants have been awarded to researchers at institutions across Canada, totaling $1.5 million in funding. Research topics include energy-economy models; equitable sustainability; the circular economy; Indigenous knowledge and experience; resiliency in forest ecosystems; ecological restoration; freshwater biodiversity; and urban transformations, among many others. The themes comprise multidisciplinary approaches across the social sciences and humanities, health sciences, natural sciences and engineering.

These Knowledge Synthesis Grants support researchers in identifying strengths and gaps in existing research and knowledge on Earth’s capacity to support life. The findings will be published in evidence briefs and reports in spring 2021, and will help inform important directions for policy development, and new research toward a sustainable future.

Living Within the Earth’s Carrying Capacity is one of 16 future challenge areas identified through Imagining Canada’s Future, a SSHRC initiative that mobilizes research on critical topics and guides decision making towards a better future for Canadians.

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