As conservation scientists, most of us hope to conduct research that will be useful to practitioners, and will ultimately “make a difference”. However, it remains unclear whether the areas towards which we are investing our research efforts will actually produce the information that conservation practitioners and natural resource managers need.
Understanding the information that decision-makers need to inform conservation policy and natural resource management can help to direct scientific research effort and funding toward questions of greatest relevance to policymakers and practitioners. Previous studies have sought to identify priority areas for research globally, for the US, UK, Canada, and Australia. However, we think that critical research needs for Oceania, and the Pacific Islands in particular, are likely to be underrepresented in global studies. For this reason, we’ve initiated a project to identify research needs specifically for conservation and natural resource management in the Pacific Islands. We also hope to identify whether there are research questions posed by practitioners which academics consider to be already answered, indicating a need for better communication of that information to end users.
You can read more about the project here. Once you’ve done that, we’d really like anyone anyone working in, or with an interest in conservation and natural resource management in the Pacific Islands, to participate! Unfortunately, we don’t have the funds to hold a workshop on an idyllic Pacific Island somewhere, so you’ll have to do so from the comfort of your own home or office, by completing our online survey. You will be asked to suggest potential research questions that, if answered, would provide information that could increase the effectiveness of conservation policy and/or natural resource management in the Pacific Islands region. The geographic scope of the project is the Pacific Islands, including Micronesia, Melanesia, and Polynesia and research questions may relate to conservation or management of marine, terrestrial or freshwater ecosystems, and may include those answerable by ecological or social science research. The survey will only take two minutes of your time, though you might want to think about it for a few minutes first.