Barriers and enablers to using scientific evidence

Conservation practitioners: Are you interested in knowing how to implement evidence-based conservation within your organisation?

Researchers: are you interested in increasing the uptake of your science in conservation decisions?

Our new paper in Journal of Environmental Management organises over 200 barriers and enablers to using scientific evidence into a taxonomy and inventory that can help the conservation community understand which factors influence the use of evidence, and how they can work towards strengthening the science-practice interface.

We found that factors associated with the management organization’s structure, decision-making processes, and capacity were all key to facilitating research use. The links and relationships between researchers and practitioners were also common enablers.

Fig 1. Typology of barriers and enablers to using scientific evidence in conservation practice. Walsh et al. (2019) J. Envir. Mgmt.

The typology (Fig. 1) organises the categories, while the inventory (Appendix S4, xlsx file) lists all 230 barriers and enablers and highlights ones are relevant to researchers, practitioners, conservation funders, publishers, community stakeholders etc.

Please email me if you would like a copy. Or click on this link.

Evidence-based conservation of Australian woodland birds

Since October 2018, I have been working at the UQ Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation Science (CBCS) in Brisbane, Australia. I’m leading an exciting project to evaluate the effectiveness of conservation management actions for woodland birds across Australia. We want to know whether interventions such as revegetation, legal protection, stock reduction or exclusion, noisy miner control or weed management improve the woodland bird community.

Check out our Fact Sheet about the project.

My colleagues and I are collating existing bird survey data on sites where these management actions have (and have not) occurred, to determine how the woodland bird community responds over time to these actions using a quasi-experimental approach. Please let us know about any potential datasets that use the standaridsed 20 min 2 ha bird survey method across temperate woodland in NSW.

For information about the project check out our info sheet and website. This is part of the NESP Threatened Species Recovery Hub, which has strong collaborations with non-academic partners including the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, Birdlife Australia, Bush Heritage and the federal government.

A window opens for Pacific Canada’s Wild Salmon Policy

Myself and others at Simon Fraser University have just published an article in Policy Options about what is required to implement the Wild Salmon Policy (WSP).

In this article we point out that there is now a window of opportunity for the WSP to be implemented effectively, after a decade of slow progress. We compare how the stagnation of the Wild Salmon Policy is parallel to numerous recommendations from government inquiries into the declines of Pacific salmon that have been ignored.

Sockeye Salmon, Oregon State University, Flickr.

Using political theory, we demonstrate how all, but one factor, are aligned to transition away from the status-quo of stagnant policy towards a new trajectory where WSP implementation is a priority. The policy is ready to be implemented, the necessary science is available, and key stakeholders are engaged.

The single missing factor is political will. With direct leadership, the DFO Minister could initiate a dramatic shift towards immediate conservation and management of wild Pacific salmon.

This political will and leadership could provide three simple and targeted actions: additional funding allocated specifically to WSP implementation, a champion to lead and coordinate efforts, and a strong, thorough implementation plan. We recommend that the Minister and DFO senior managers take advantage of this window of opportunity to deliver an effective policy for wild Pacific salmon.

The public consultation period for the WSP Implementation Plan is currently happening in many locations around BC and the Yukon and they are looking for feedback on the draft plan.