Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Appears in Collections:Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: An optimistic outlook on the use of evidence syntheses to inform environmental decision-making
Author(s): Nyboer, Elizabeth A
Jacob, Aerin L
Lane, John F
Browne, David
Smith, Paul A
Bennett, Joseph R
Rytwinski, Trina
Prior, Kent
Nguyen, Vivian M
Harron, Nathan
Young, Nathan
Thomas‐Walters, Laura
Taylor, Jessica J
Aitken, Susan M
Auld, Graeme
Keywords: Canada, conservation social science
environmental decision‐making
environmental policy
mixed methods
natural resource management
survey data
Issue Date: 5-Apr-2021
Date Deposited: 7-Apr-2021
Citation: Nyboer EA, Jacob AL, Lane JF, Browne D, Smith PA, Bennett JR, Rytwinski T, Prior K, Nguyen VM, Harron N, Young N, Thomas‐Walters L, Taylor JJ, Aitken SM & Auld G (2021) An optimistic outlook on the use of evidence syntheses to inform environmental decision-making. Conservation Science and Practice.
Abstract: Practitioners and policymakers working in environmental arenas make decisions that can have large impacts on ecosystems. Basing such decisions on high‐quality evidence about the effectiveness of different interventions can often maximize the success of policy and management. Accordingly, it is vital to understand how environmental professionals working at the science‐policy interface view and use different types of evidence, including evidence syntheses that collate and summarize available knowledge on a specific topic to save time for decision‐makers. We interviewed 84 senior environmental professionals in Canada working at the science‐policy interface to explore their confidence in, and use of, evidence syntheses within their organizations. Interviewees value evidence syntheses because they increase confidence in decision‐making, particularly for high‐profile or risky decisions. Despite this enthusiasm, the apparent lack of available syntheses for many environmental issues means that use can be limited and tends to be opportunistic. Our research suggests that if relevant, high quality evidence syntheses exist, they are likely to be used and embraced in decision‐making spheres. Therefore, efforts to increase capacity for conducting evidence syntheses within government agencies and/or funding such activities by external bodies have the potential to enable evidence‐based decision‐making.
DOI Link: 10.1111/csp2.426
Rights: © 2021 The Authors. Conservation Science and Practice published by Wiley Periodicals LLC. on behalf of Society for Conservation Biology This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Notes: Output Status: Forthcoming/Available Online Additional co-authors: Karen E. Smokorowski, Steven M. Alexander, Steven J. Cooke
Licence URL(s):

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
csp2.426.pdfFulltext - Published Version1.14 MBAdobe PDFView/Open

This item is protected by original copyright

A file in this item is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons

Items in the Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.

If you believe that any material held in STORRE infringes copyright, please contact providing details and we will remove the Work from public display in STORRE and investigate your claim.