Effective engagement of conservation scientists with decision-makers. Chapter 10 in Conservation Research, Policy and Practice.

Date: 20, Apr, 2020
Author(s):   Rose, D.C., Evans, M.C., Jarvis, R.M.,
Publisher: Cambridge University Press

A range of decision-makers, including policy-makers, NGOs and local communities, have a stake in developing conservation interventions that are to be implemented on the ground. In order to ensure that decision-making is evidence-informed, the science community needs to engage these communities of policy and practice effectively. This chapter brings together work which explores how scientists can work effectively with decision-makers, using global case studies from South America, Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere to identify what works. It identifies 10 key tips for successful engagement : (1) know who you need to talk to, (2) engage early, (3) make it easy to engage, (4) include multiple knowledges, perspectives and worldviews, (5) think hard about power, (6) build trust, (7) good facilitation is key, (8) learn new engagement skills, (9) make use of existing spaces of collaboration, and (10) don't give up. While executing these tips will not guarantee successful engagement in every case, it will improve the chances for mutually beneficial relationships and hence better conservation outcomes.