Improving the science-policy dialogue to meet the challenges of biodiversity conservation: having conversations rather than talking at one-another

JC Young, KA Waylen, S Sarkii, S Albon, I Bainbridge, E Balian, J Davidson, D Edwards, R Fairley, C Margerison, DI McCracken, R Owen, C Quine, C Stewart-Roper, D Thompson, R Tinch, S van den Hove, A Watt

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Abstract

A better, more effective dialogue is needed between biodiversity science and policy to underpin the sustainable use and conservation of biodiversity. Many initiatives exist to improve communication, but these largely conform to a ‘linear’ or technocratic model of communication in which scientific ‘‘facts’’ are transmitted directly to policy advisers to ‘‘solve problems’’. While this model can help start a dialogue, it is, on its own, insufficient, as decision taking is complex, iterative and often selective in the information used. Here, we draw on the literature, interviews and a workshop with individuals working at the interface between biodiversity science and government policy development to present practical recommendations aimed at individuals, teams, organisations and funders. Building on these recommendations, we stress the need to: (a) frame research and policy jointly; (b) promote inter- and trans-disciplinary research and ‘‘multi-domain’’ working groups that include both scientists and policy makers from various fields and sectors; (c) put in place structures and incentive schemes that support interactive dialogue in the long-term. These are changes that are needed in light of continuing loss of biodiversity and its consequences for societal dependence on and benefits from nature.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)387 - 404
Number of pages18
JournalBiodiversity and Conservation
Volume23
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusFirst published - 2014

Bibliographical note

1023312

Keywords

  • Biodiversity conservation
  • Biodiversity policy
  • Decision-making
  • Knowledge
  • Science-policy interfaces
  • Sustainability

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    Young, JC., Waylen, KA., Sarkii, S., Albon, S., Bainbridge, I., Balian, E., Davidson, J., Edwards, D., Fairley, R., Margerison, C., McCracken, DI., Owen, R., Quine, C., Stewart-Roper, C., Thompson, D., Tinch, R., van den Hove, S., & Watt, A. (2014). Improving the science-policy dialogue to meet the challenges of biodiversity conservation: having conversations rather than talking at one-another. Biodiversity and Conservation, 23(2), 387 - 404. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10531-013-0607-0