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Conservation science relevant to action: A research agenda identified and prioritized by practitioners

Braunisch, Veronika; Home, Robert; Pellet, Jérôme and Arlettaz, Raphaël (2012) Conservation science relevant to action: A research agenda identified and prioritized by practitioners. Biological Conservation, 153, pp. 201-210.

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Online at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2012.05.007


A wide gap between research and practice hinders the implementation of biodiversity conservation recommendations. As subjects studied by conservation scientists might bear little relevance for implementation, surveys have identified and framed research questions relevant to conservation in practice. No attempts to prioritize these questions have yet been published, although it would provide invaluable information for steering practice-oriented research. We surveyed Swiss conservation practitioners with the aim of identifying and prioritizing their needs in terms of useful scientific information. A first inductive survey of a selected subgroup generated a list of relevant research questions that were reformulated to be generalizable to all main Swiss ecosystems. The resulting compiled questionnaire was submitted through an online platform to all officially registered practitioners who were asked to rate the importance to their own field of expertise of each question, to nominate possibly omitted, subsidiary questions and to specify ‘‘hot topics’’ typically relevant to their field. Most respondents operated in several ecosystems, which facilitated the identification of general and ecosystem-related research priorities. Generally, questions related to economic, societal and stakeholder conflicts were found to be more important than conceptual questions. Questions concerning single-species were rated higher than ecosystem-related questions. Subsidiary questions and hot topics were subsumed and integrated into a final catalogue of research questions. By identifying and framing scientific questions of both general practical relevance and specific regional importance, this study provides a practice-oriented research agenda and a basis for developing conjoint activities with the intention to bridge the gap between conservation science and action.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:Applied research Agenda, Biodiversity conservation, Research-implementation gap, Prioritizing conservation Research, Priority research questions. Theme cluster: Innovation in Agriculture, Themencluster: Innovation in der Landwirtschaft
Agrovoc keywords:
EnglishApplied research agendaUNSPECIFIED
EnglishBiodiversity conservationUNSPECIFIED
EnglishResearch-implementation gapUNSPECIFIED
EnglishPrioritizing conservation researchUNSPECIFIED
EnglishPriority research questionsUNSPECIFIED
Subjects: Environmental aspects > Biodiversity and ecosystem services
Research affiliation: Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Socio-Economics
Switzerland > Other organizations
Germany > Other organizations
Deposited By: Grand, Mr Gregor
ID Code:26221
Deposited On:18 Jun 2014 14:17
Last Modified:18 Jun 2014 14:17
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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