Non-technical summary Sharing information between different countries is key for developing sustainable solutions to environmental change. Coastal wetlands in the Gulf of Mexico are suffering significant environmental and human-related threats. Working across national boundaries, this research project brings together scientists, specialists and local communities from Cuba and the USA. While important advances have been made in strengthening collaborations, important obstacles remain in terms of international policy constraints, different institutional and academic cultures and technology. Overcoming these limitations is essential to formulating a comprehensive understanding of the challenges that coastal socioecological systems are facing now and into the future. Technical summary This article presents initial results from an ongoing transnational research collaboration between the USA and Cuba for the conservation of coastal wetlands in Caguanes National Park, Sancti Spíritus, Cuba. It focuses on the first two initial workshops among research scientists from Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies (Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi) and Universidad de La Habana, resource managers from Caguanes National Park and local communities. The main goals of these exchanges were to share knowledge and experiences in the protection of wetlands, to identify current and future environmental threats to these habitats and to develop a common programme of research that might potentially enhance wetland conservation in the larger Gulf region. A comparison between Caguanes and the Laguna Madre ecosystem is made to establish similarities in ecological conditions. As outcomes of the exchanges, participants agreed on a common set of research interests, management priorities and extension activities that will include the active engagement of local communities. The contribution also explores issues about local development, co-production of knowledge and societal transformations in place-based research. The article highlights the complexities of developing a research programme that relies on transnational partnerships that are very sensitive to larger geopolitical configurations. Social media summary Transnational research in Cuba for wetlands conservation shows benefits of collaboration in sustainable solutions.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Global and Planetary Change
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
- Adaptation and mitigation
- Communication and education
- Ecology and biodiversity