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. This project aims to identify critical research needs specifically for conservation and natural resource management in the Pacific Islands.


– Researchers benefit by learning which questions and issues practitioners consider most important
– Policy makers and practitioners benefit if their information needs are met
– Donors benefit if they can support projects that researchers and practitioners agree is important


  1. To identify research questions that, if answered, will increase the effectiveness of policies related to conservation and management of natural resources in the Pacific Islands within the next 10 years
  2. To identify where information that practitioners need exists in the scientific literature, but has not been made accessible to end-users
  3. To compare research priorities among conservation scientists, policymakers and practitioners



Our survey of conservation scientists and practitioners has now closed. Ninety-six survey respondents suggested a total of 149 unique research questions that, if answered, could increase the effectiveness of conservation and management of natural resources in the Pacific Islands within the next 10 years. Respondents included representatives from academic institutions (45%), government agencies (27%), NGOs (45%) and consultants (9%), and had experience in all jurisdictions across Oceania.

In the next phase of the project, We will then invite participants to shortlist the questions which they think are most important. Finally, we will ask both practitioners and scientists to rank the shortlisted questions. It will be most helpful if participants can be involved in all phases of the project.

The primary outcome of the project will be a list of high priority research questions identified by policy practitioners in the region. This list can be used to guide the development of scientific research undertaken in the region, and to prioritise funding allocations. Results will be published in a peer-reviewed journal, and summarised in separate reports for funding bodies and practitioners.


Dr Rebecca Weeks, James Cook University rebecca.weeks@jcu.edu.au

Logo-ColorDr Vanessa Adams, Charles Darwin University vanessa.adams@cdu.edu.au