CONSERVATION, MISMATCH AND THE RESEARCH-IMPLEMENTATION GAP

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In July 2014 my colleague and I ran a workshop at Society for Conservation Biology Oceania Conference in Suva, Fiji, called “Bridging the research-implementation gap”. It was a fantastic! the participants (both researchers and practitioners) contributed to a lively discussion on the mismatches between conservation science and on the ground conservation action. The discussion on the research-implementation gap in conservation is not a new one, but the workshop highlighted the fact that it is still very much an issue in the conservation community. Our paper that came out of this workshop on the research-implementation gap is up on early view in Pacific Conservation Biology:

Jarvis, R.M., Borrelle, S.B., Bollard Breen, B., & Towns, D.R. (2015). Conservation, mismatch and the research-implementation gap. Pacific Conservation Biology (early view).

Abstract

Despite calls to better link research and practice, the gap between knowing and doing continues to limit conservation success. Here we report on the outcomes from a workshop at the Society for Conservation Biology Oceania Conference 2014 on bridging the research–implementation gap. The workshop highlighted how the gap is still very real in conservation and the importance of bringing together researchers and practitioners to discuss their work. Workshop participants discussed how the research–implementation gap influenced their conservation efforts, identified five key mismatches between research and practice, and recommended seven ways we can work together to bridge the gap. The outcomes identified by the workshop are highly relevant to conservation efforts around the world.

Mismatches

  • Scale mismatch
  • Temporal mismatch
  • Priority mismatch
  • Communication mismatch
  • Institutional mismatch

Bridging the gap

  • Multiscale projects coordinating broader goals and local actions
  • Action adaptive and future-oriented, while grounded in theory
  • Design research with action in mind
  • International open-access resource of projects
  • Institutions to encourage time spent linking research and action
  • Co-supervision of students by researchers and practitioners to develop complementary skills in research and implementation
  • Role for connectors to identify the most valuable links between researchers, practitioners and projects

You can read the full article here (open access)

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