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靜宜大學 生態研究所 碩士班 自然保育學 the integration of conservation science and policy 鄭先祐 (Ayo) 國立 臺南大學 環境與生態學院 生態科學與技術學系 教授 Introduction

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the integration of conservation science and policy

靜宜大學 生態研究所 碩士班

自然保育學the integration of conservation science and policy


國立 臺南大學 環境與生態學院

生態科學與技術學系 教授

  • Our challenge today is not about convincing our colleagues that there is a biodiversity crisis, rather it is about making science an integral part of how we solve that crisis at local, state, federal, and international levels.
  • To do this, conservationists must actively work to make conservation science a central component of environmental decision, policies, and laws.
It presents new opportunities for economists, planners, and other social scientists to engage natural scientists in collaborative efforts toward the same ends.
  • To be effective in applying conservation science to policy and retain scientific credibility in the process, a conservation scientist has to be familiar with the policy terrain in advance.
  • Knowledge of conservation science is necessary, but not sufficient for successful conservation.
  • The need for translational scientists at the interface of science and policy
  • The interface between the pursuit and use of scientific knowledge in conservation
  • What is conservation policy?
  • Who makes conservation Policy? Breaking the science-policy barrier
  • Dealing with uncertainty and risk through adaptive management
  • Being a conservation scientist in the real world
the need for translational scientists at the interface of science and policy
The need for translational scientists at the interface of science and policy
  • It is impossible to integrate conservation science into environmental policy if no one but the scientist understands the science.
  • This is one of the greatest challenges to applying conservation science to decisions.
  • Policy and decision makers are rarely natural scientists.
  • One of the greatest needs in conservation practice is a cadre(幹部,核心) of “translational scientists” to aid in conservation policy.
translational scientist work at the interface between conservation scientists and policymakers
Translational scientist work at the interface between conservation scientists and policymakers
the interface
The interface
  • Scientific disagreements are not understood or even seen as helpful by decision-makers.
  • A translational scientist in the policy arena (競技場) must help policy analysts sift (過濾) through issues of incomplete data and conflicting results in ways that enable a robust(健全的) understanding of the science, and that help individuals and groups make consequential environmental decisions, not inhibit them.
the interface9
The interface
  • Policy-relevant science is different from ecologically relevant science.
    • Laws and other policies often determine what scientific information can be used in conservation decisions.
  • Policy involves a diversity of professions
    • Environmental attorneys, politicians, government policymakers, the public, and environmental or industry representatives.
  • Knowing others’ concerns, constraints, and opportunities
    • People are motivated by their needs, incentives, and values and tend to seek a set of “goods” or values that they obtain trough policy outcomes. (Table 17.1)
table 17 1 values bases of influence and power that affect policy outcomes and practices
Table 17.1 values, bases of influence, and power that affect policy outcomes and practices
  • Value: power(權力), enlightenment(啟蒙), wealth(財富), well-being(福利), skill, affection(情感), respect(尊重), rectitude(公正)
  • Doctrine: political doctrine, standards of disclosure(揭露), economic doctrine, nutrition, hygiene(衛生), exercise, professional standards, code of friendship, code of honor, moral code.
the interface11
The interface
  • Conservation scientists must equally protect against the misuse of science when battle lines have been drawn in an environmental dispute and the science is being used by one side as justification for their actions.
  • Conservation scientists can ensure the science influences the decision, and their information can help parties identify the range of acceptable decisions.
  • A decision will be made regardless of the quality and quantity of available information, and if scientists exclude themselves from the debate, conservation policies will be made without them.
the interface12
The interface
  • All scientists have values.
    • As with all humans, we are influenced in everything that we do by our larger world-view.
  • Policymakers and the public respond to scientific information differently
    • Conservation scientists evaluate a scientific study based on its questions, methods, and conclusions. The public—including policymakers– used a wider set of evaluation criteria when deciding whether or not to accept scientific information.
three main attributes
Three main attributes(歸因)
  • Salience(特點): is the scientific assessment relevant to me because it informs the choices I makes?
  • Credibility(可信度): Does the study meet scientific and technical standards?
  • Legitimacy(合理性): Is the assessment respectful and unbiased in addressing values, concerns, and questions of myself and others?
what is conservation policy
What is conservation policy?
  • Conservation policy is concerned with how we regulate human activities that affect the environment, the continued existence of biodiversity in all its forms, and the support of human welfare.
  • People achieve this through environmental laws regulations, policies, and agreement.
    • Environmental policy is a broad category and includes all the ways that society tries to address environmental problems, including laws and regulations.
  • Conservation policy covers a wide spectrum of activities and decisions.
who makes conservation policy breaking the science policy barrier
Who makes conservation policy? Breaking the science – policy barrier
  • Conservation policy is rarely made by scientists.
    • Policy decisions often are made by elected officials whose profession is to make decisions based on their perceptions of the views of people who elect them.
  • Even when a decision is presented as science based or “based on the best science available” it does not mean that scientist either participated in or actually made the decision.
  • 例:the US forest Service has two separate branches. One is the research arm, the other arm is concerned with enforcing policy and management decisions.
    • Many conservation scientists express frustration with decisions that apparently are not based on science.
Conservation policy – even that which claims to be science-based policy – invariably reflects compromise among the social, political, economic issues.
  • This has been true across public lands in the US most of which are explicitly managed for multiple uses, and which cover extensive areas in the West.
  • There is undoubtedly an argument to be made that science is objective, and to maintain that objectivity scientists should not be in the fray(磨損) when economics, politics, and social factors are being debated.
The separation of science and values is an ongoing challenge for everyone.
  • Unless, as a conservation biologist, you are content to leave the final decisions to others, you have to be prepared to advocate for the science and for the presence of scientists when decision are made.
  • Nonscientists such as attorneys are very willing to make conservation policy decisions and exercise their own judgment and influence based on whatever information is available.
  • Scientists, too, need to be willing to contribute their judgment to conservation policy decisions even when more research is needed.
The best available science: quality and quantity of scientific information for conservation decisions
  • Understanding what constitutes the best science available is important not only because the law demands it, but because conservation decisions have to be made now.
  • The scientific method consists of generating hypotheses, gathering data, and drawing conclusion based on data that may falsify the null hypothesis as an argument of proof.
  • Scientific information that has been reviewed and accepted by peers is considered “better” than non-reviewed reports.
scientific uncertainty and risks
Scientific uncertainty and risks
  • Doubt is ubiquitous in science.
  • Scientists use the scientific method to reduce uncertainty and get closer to the truth, but we accept that we will never have perfect knowledge.
  • Decisions must be make with whatever information is available today, regardless of the quantity or quality of that science.
  • All conservation efforts directed at complex ecosystems have many sources of uncertainty.
dealing with uncertainty and risk through adaptive management
Dealing with uncertainty and risk through adaptive management
  • Adaptive management treats management as an element of the learning process.
    • Explicit experimental design to test management outcomes must be built into the project.
  • Science and advocacy conservation scientists have strong personal opinions on how we should conserve species and habitats.
    • But how far should scientists go when speaking out?
    • Where is the line between advocacy for science and advocacy for the environment?
    • Debated this issue for years
The central issue here is whether scientists should express values by advocating for a particular decision in a debate over conservation policies and management.
  • Scientists are being relied upon for neutral, credible, scientific information.
  • When a conservation scientist advocates for a position while pretending that the position is scientifically supported when it is actually a personal value statement.
    • This is simply unethical.
    • The scientist’s views become suspect.
being a conservation scientist in the real world
Being a conservation scientist in the real world
  • Clark (1997, 2001) recommends that conservation professionals follow a structured process for policy involvement that includes five tasks:
  • Identify and clarify goals of those involved or affected by problem and its solution
  • Describe the trends and history of the problem with respect to the goals, including the strategies participants have been using to affect various outcomes.
  • Analyze the conditions under which these trends have taken place
  • Project possible future trends in the problem.
  • Invent alternatives to solve the problem and to realize their goals, evaluate how well each alternative might work, and choose one to implement
working with the policy process
Working with the policy process
  • To work effectively in a policy process, scientists need to become adept at summarizing critical information, and developing visual aids or other material to communicate key points.
  • Know what the issues are and how science affects them,
  • Know who your audience is.
  • Know why you are there
  • Be clear on your responsibilities and expectations.
  • Disclose(揭露) any potential conflict of interests upfront.
  • Distinguish between speaking as an expert scientist and giving your own opinion
contributing to conservation policy as a conservation scientist
Contributing to conservation policy as a conservation scientist
  • Conservation science spans a continuum of activities (Table 17.2), but not all of them incorporate policy.
  • The role that will be right for each person involved in conservation practice will depend on one’s values, the skills one enjoys cultivating, and where one remains motivated to be persistent through all the ups and downs of conservation practice.
  • There is broad array of professional roles for the conservation scientists, as well as many activities and arenas for engagement in the policy process (Table 17.3)

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