Coastal Social-Ecological Millennium Institute (SECOS)

Coastal Social-Ecological Millennium Institute (SECOS)

The Coastal Social-Ecological Millennium Institute (SECOS), created in December 2020, it’s a research center of excellence of the Millennium Scientific Initiative, a program of the National Research and Development Agency (ANID), belonging to the Ministry of Science, Technology, Knowledge and Innovation of Chile.

SECOS proposes a new and innovative way of doing inter-transdisciplinary science, based on the study of small and medium-scale social-ecological systems (SES), understood as learning platforms (LP), which will address fundamental issues of artisanal fishing, shellfish aquaculture and coastal development.

In SECOS converge diverse disciplines, knowledge is co-produced in basic and applied ecology, economics, oceanography, genetics, sociology, public policies, aquaculture, fishing, coastal development, effects of global change, innovation in nature based solutions and art+science, all with a territorial approach.

SECOS Millennium Institute contributes to the coastal sustainability of Chile through cutting-edge research in three key Social-Ecological Systems by understanding global, regional and local drivers of change; the social-ecological conditions that hinder sustainability; and to test and implement actions that unravel these conditions. In addition, it focuses on the co-production of knowledge through sustainable solutions and through work with multiple actors; the strengthening of human resources in science for SES; and the promotion of novel processes of active public participation, through inter and transdisciplinary research.


National collaborative networks are key for SECOS goals. These include both academic and non-academic (e.g. NGO) institutions. Networks have been effective in the past as evidenced by research publications, patent applications, and mentoring with other national centers such as IMO, Centro Cambio Global, CEAZA, among others. In the NGO sector, the development of previous partnerships has allowed our team to engage civil society in sustainability challenges and develop strong synergies. This are characterized by the theoretical and methodological robustness of interdisciplinary science and the capacity to navigate real world constraints and generate opportunities for action from the NGOs.

Moreover, prominent supporters of SES research for sustainability from NGOs, research centers and scientists, nationally and globally, are enhancing past collaborations.

Research Centers that have partnered with SECOS staff, recognize the unique position that knowledge co-production can play in extending SES research frontiers. International networks bring expertise on the governance of SES, ocean acidification, multiple stressors, ecotourism, pollution, aquaculture and climate change for all three SES which are at the core of SECOS mission.

Among SECOS major international collaborations are the Stockholm Resilience Center (governance), the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management (fisheries), the Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions (aquaculture), the Plymouth Marine Laboratory (multiple factors of stress), Environment for Development (economics) and the International Group of Experts on Chemical Pollution.