Just accepted, a new paper in Conservation Letters looks at the barriers and solutions to the use of conservation science in policy. The main data used in the paper are from a global multi-lingual survey filled in by 758 research scientists, practitioners, or people in policy positions, executed as part of the EU BON project.

"The most interesting result from our study is that there is agreement (perhaps surprisingly!) between research scientists, practitioners, and people in policy positions about the main barriers preventing the use of conservation science in policy. Although barriers such as lack of policy relevant science, lack of understanding of science on the part of policy-makers, and limited awareness of policy processes from researchers, featured in the top-ten barriers included in the online survey, they were not the most highly ranked," shares lead author David C. Rose in a dedicated post on his blog Academic Optimism.

Read more in the blog post:

The original research is available at:


Conservation policy decisions can suffer from a lack of evidence, hindering effective decision‐making. In nature conservation, studies investigating why policy is often not evidence‐informed have tended to focus on Western democracies, with relatively small samples. To understand global variation and challenges better, we established a global survey aimed at identifying top barriers and solutions to the use of conservation science in policy. This obtained the views of 758 people in policy, practice, and research positions from 68 countries across six languages. Here we show that, contrary to popular belief, there is agreement about how to incorporate conservation science into policy, and there is thus room for optimism. Barriers related to the low priority of conservation were considered to be important, while mainstreaming conservation was proposed as a key solution. Therefore, priorities should include the elaboration of public policy pathways with education initiatives that promote the importance of long‐term conservation‐compatible policies.

Posted by Eu Bon
Recently published in Biological Conservation, the new EU BON supported paper is titled "Unlocking biodiversity data: Prioritization and filling the gaps in biodiversity observation data in Europe".
Large quantities of biodiversity data are required to assess the current status of species, to identify drivers of population and distributional change, and to predict changes to biodiversity under future scenarios. Nevertheless, currently-available data are often not well-suited to these purposes. To highlight existing gaps, we assess the availability of species observation data in Europe, their geographic and temporal range, and their quality. We do so by reviewing the most relevant sources for European biodiversity observation data, and identifying important barriers to filling gaps. We suggest strategies, tools and frameworks to continue to fill these gaps, in addition to producing data suitable for generating Essential Biodiversity Variables (EBVs). Our review of data sources shows that only around a third of data-providers provide unrestricted data access. Particularly large geographic gaps exist in Eastern European countries and many datasets are not suitable for generating EBVs due to the absence of long-term data. We highlight examples built on recent experiences from large data integrators, publishers and networks that help to efficiently improve data availability, adopt open science principles and close existing data gaps. Future strategies must urgently consider the needs of relevant data stakeholders, particularly science- and policy-related needs, and provide incentives for data-providers. Hence, sustainable, longterm infrastructures and a European biodiversity network are needed to provide such efficient workflows, incentives for data-provision and tools.


Posted by Eu Bon

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flag big This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement No 308454.