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Foresight science in conservation: Tools, barriers, and mainstreaming opportunities.

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Kapoor, Tyreen 
Koppel, Olga 
Piczak, Morgan L 
Reid, Jessica L 


Foresight science is a systematic approach to generate future predictions for planning and management by drawing upon analytical and predictive tools to understand the past and present, while providing insights about the future. To illustrate the application of foresight science in conservation, we present three case studies: identification of emerging risks to conservation, conservation of at-risk species, and aid in the development of management strategies for multiple stressors. We highlight barriers to mainstreaming foresight science in conservation including knowledge accessibility/organization, communication across diverse stakeholders/decision makers, and organizational capacity. Finally, we investigate opportunities for mainstreaming foresight science including continued advocacy to showcase its application, incorporating emerging technologies (i.e., artificial intelligence) to increase capacity/decrease costs, and increasing education/training in foresight science via specialized courses and curricula for trainees and practicing professionals. We argue that failure to mainstream foresight science will hinder the ability to achieve future conservation objectives in the Anthropocene.


Funder: Canadian Network for Research and Innovation in Machining Technology, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada

Funder: Mitacs


Anthropocene, Decision-making, Environmental planning, Futures research, Strategic foresight, Conservation of Natural Resources, Artificial Intelligence, Forecasting

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Springer Science and Business Media LLC