Science-policy interfaces for biodiversity : dynamic learning environments for successful impact
Geamana, Nicoleta Adriana
Faculty of Applied Economics
Faculty of Social Sciences. Sociology
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Biodiversity and conservation / Malaysian Society of Pathologists. - London
, p. 1-24
To address the pressing problems associated with biodiversity loss, changes in awareness and behaviour are required from decision makers in all sectors. Science-policy interfaces (SPIs) have the potential to play an important role, and to achieve this effectively, there is a need to understand better the ways in which existing SPIs strive for effective communication, learning and behavioural change. Using a series of test cases across the world, we assess a range of features influencing the effectiveness of SPIs through communication and argumentation processes, engagement of actors and other aspects that contribute to potential success. Our results demonstrate the importance of dynamic and iterative processes of interaction to support effective SPI work. We stress the importance of seeing SPIs as dynamic learning environments and we provide recommendations for how they can enhance success in meeting their targeted outcomes. In particular, we recommend building long-term trust, creating learning environments, fostering participation and ownership of the process and building capacity to combat silo thinking. Processes to enable these changes may include, for example, inviting and integrating feedback, extended peer review and attention to contextualising knowledge for different audiences, and time and sustained effort dedicated to trust-building and developing common languages. However there are no one size fits all solutions, and methods must be adapted to context and participants. Creating and maintaining effective dynamic learning environments will both require and encourage changes in institutional and individual behaviours: a challenging agenda, but one with potential for positive feedbacks to maintain momentum.