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The case for policy-relevant conservation science.



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Rose, David C 


Drawing on the "evidence-based" (Sutherland et al. 2013) versus "evidence-informed" debate (Adams & Sandbrook 2013), which has become prominent in conservation science, I argue that science can be influential if it holds a dual reference (Lentsch & Weingart 2011) that contributes to the needs of policy makers whilst maintaining technical rigor. In line with such a strategy, conservation scientists are increasingly recognizing the usefulness of constructing narratives through which to enhance the influence of their evidence (Leslie et al. 2013; Lawton & Rudd 2014). Yet telling stories alone is rarely enough to influence policy; instead, these narratives must be policy relevant. To ensure that evidence is persuasive alongside other factors in a complex policy-making process, conservation scientists could follow 2 steps: reframe within salient political contexts and engage more productively in boundary work, which is defined as the ways in which scientists "construct, negotiate, and defend the boundary between science and policy" (Owens et al. 2006:640). These will both improve the chances of evidence-informed conservation policy.



boundary work, conservación con base en evidencias, evidence-based conservation, evidence-informed policy, framing, interconexión ciencia-política, marco, política informada con evidencias, science-policy interface, trabajo fronterizo, Conservation of Natural Resources, Environmental Policy, Policy Making, Politics

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Conserv Biol

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This work is taken from a PhD project in the Department of Geography at the University of Cambridge and was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (grant number ES/I901957/1) and by a Homerton College Charter Scholarship. I thank S.E. Owens, C. Sandbrook, T. Pryke, H. Allen, and reviewers for their comments on previous drafts.