Generation of Priority Research Questions to Inform Conservation Policy and Management at a National Level

Rudd et al. (2011) full text summary PDF

For which topic were research priorities identified?

conservation policy and management

In which location was the research priority setting conducted?

North America - Canada

Why was it conducted at all?

Integrating knowledge from across the natural and social sciences is necessary to effectively address societal tradeoffs between human use of biological diversity and its preservation. Collaborative processes can change the ways decision makers think about scientific evidence, enhance levels of mutual trust and credibility, and advance the conservation policy discourse. Canada has responsibility for a large fraction of some major ecosystems, such as boreal forests, Arctic tundra, wetlands, and temperate and Arctic oceans. Stressors to biological diversity within these ecosystems arise from activities of the country's resource-based economy, as well as external drivers of environmental change. Effective management is complicated by incongruence between ecological and political boundaries and conflicting perspectives on social and economic goals. Many knowledge gaps about stressors and their management might be reduced through targeted, timely research.

What was the objective?

to identify questions that, if addressed or answered, would advance research that has a high probability of supporting development of effective policies and management strategies for species, ecosystems, and ecological processes in Canada

What was the outcome?

a list of 40 research questions

How long did the research prioritization take?

No information provided.

Which methods were used to identify research priorities?

survey; workshop

How were the priorities for research identified exactly?

Step 1: collecting research questions: survey asking: What research question, if answered, would substantially advance the development of effective policies and management strategies for species, ecosystems, and ecological processes in Canada?, 396 questions submitted. Step 2: data processing: cleaning of submissions, reducing list to 242 questions. Step 3: workshop: small group discussions, each breakout group discussed one loosely themed set of 25-30 candidate questions thereby narrowing set to four candidates for top 40 and two alternates, plenary discussion

Which stakeholders took part?

Federal government agencies with national responsibilities, environmental nongovernmental organizations, industry associations, policy analysis or advisory organizations, academia. Survey: 271 participants. Workshop: 28 participants.

How were stakeholders recruited?

Policy advisors and decision makers in governments and nongovernmental organizations were invited to participate. The final group of participants was drawn from federal government agencies with national responsibilities (N=10), environmental nongovernmental organizations (N=3), industry associations (N=2), policy analysis or advisory organizations (N=6), and academia (N=7).

Were stakeholders actively involved or did they just participate?

Stakeholders were mere participants of the research prioritization process; they were not actively involved in the process.