Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/32501
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): Thomas‐Walters, Laura
Nyboer, Elizabeth A
Taylor, Jessica J
Rytwinski, Trina
Lane, John F
Young, Nathan
Bennett, Joseph R
Nguyen, Vivian M
Harron, Nathan
Aitken, Susan M
Auld, Graeme
Browne, David
Jacob, Aerin L
Prior, Kent
Smith, Paul A
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: Thomas‐Walters L, Nyboer EA, Taylor JJ, Rytwinski T, Lane JF, Young N, Bennett JR, Nguyen VM, Harron N, Aitken SM, Auld G, Browne D, Jacob AL, Prior K & Smith PA (2021) An optimistic outlook on the use of evidence syntheses to inform environmental decision-making. Conservation Science and Practice. https://doi.org/10.1111/csp2.426
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 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), 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): http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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