Table 1. Summary of main characteristics of the three regional networks: Inter-American Institute for Global Change (IAI), Southern Africa Regional Science Initiative 2000 (SAFARI 2000), and Large-Scale Biosphere-Atmosphere Experiment in Amazonia (LBA).

Program Central Science Problem and Regional Coverage Primary Participants Capacity Building Policy Influence Organizational Structure and Institutions
Global environmental change impacts on ecosystems, biodiversity, and socioeconomic systems; economic aspects of climate change mitigation and adaptation.

North, Central, and South Americas.

Originally just 16 countries, now 19 countries of the Americas: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, United States, Venezuela. Multinational and multidisciplinary teams of scientists including physical, natural, and social scientists. Made significant contributions in building research capacity and networks throughout the Americas. Strong support for South-South research collaboration. Use of some outputs in various laws and climate-change strategies. Promotion of policy dialogues. Implementation of ‘training institutes’ to actively link researchers, practitioners, and other stakeholders to identify policy-relevant research needs and stimulate such research. IAI Directorate operates independently. Fairly bureaucratic and hierarchical, with strong centralized structure and formal hierarchy. Location between various governments and researchers created a buffer that insulated research activities from political or economic influence.
Funding: National contributions.
Linkages between land and atmosphere processes; relationship of biogenic, pyrogenic, and anthropogenic aerosol and trace gas emissions and transports over the Southern African Development Community. Australia, Belgium, Botswana, Canada, France, Germany, Mozambique, Namibia, Portugal, South Africa, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States, Zambia, Zimbabwe. Improvement of communication between scientists across institutions and nations. Developed consortium of institutions of higher learning. Graduate-student researchers participated in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Copenhagen. “Maputo Declaration on the Prevention and Control of Air Pollution in Southern Africa and its likely Transboundary Effects” Flat, decentralized, and relatively autonomous and driven by specific research questions and needs.
Funding: Leveraged informal and formal support from U.S. NASA, international community, various southern African Nations
LBA - Phase I: 1996-2005 Sustainable land use in Amazonia; understanding the role of the Amazon and deforestation in global environmental change.
Amazon Basin/transition Amazon to Cerrado (Brazil).
Phase I: Brazilian research institutes and universities, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Venezuela, Colombia, United States, United Kingdom, Germany. Mostly physical and natural scientists. Law requires international research located in Brazil be led by Brazilian Co-Principal Investigators. Limited policy-relevant outputs. As program matured researchers sought to inform research with more input from stakeholders. Evolved from flat, decentralized organization with scientist-led, bottom-up initiative, becoming more bureaucratic as resources were needed and leveraged.
Funding: NASA and Brazil
LBA - Phase II: 2005-present Phase II: Mainly Brazil. Primarily physical and natural scientists.