Priority questions and horizon scanning for conservation: A comparative study

Kark, Salit, Sutherland, William J., Shanas, Uri, Klass, Keren, Achisar, Hila, Dayan, Tamar, Gavrieli, Yael, Justo-Hanani, Ronit, Mandelik, Yael, Orion, Nir, Pargament, David, Portman, Michelle, Reisman-Berman, Orna, Safriel, Uriel N., Schaffer, Gad, Steiner, Noa, Tauber, Israel and Levin, Noam (2016) Priority questions and horizon scanning for conservation: A comparative study. PLoS One, 11 1: 0145978.1-0145978.29. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0145978


Author Kark, Salit
Sutherland, William J.
Shanas, Uri
Klass, Keren
Achisar, Hila
Dayan, Tamar
Gavrieli, Yael
Justo-Hanani, Ronit
Mandelik, Yael
Orion, Nir
Pargament, David
Portman, Michelle
Reisman-Berman, Orna
Safriel, Uriel N.
Schaffer, Gad
Steiner, Noa
Tauber, Israel
Levin, Noam
Title Priority questions and horizon scanning for conservation: A comparative study
Journal name PLoS One   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1932-6203
1932-6203
Publication date 2016-01-27
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0145978
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 11
Issue 1
Start page 0145978.1
End page 0145978.29
Total pages 29
Place of publication San Francisco, United States
Publisher Public Library of Science
Language eng
Subject 2700 Medicine
1300 Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
1100 Agricultural and Biological Sciences
Abstract Several projects aimed at identifying priority issues for conservation with high relevance to policy have recently been completed in several countries. Two major types of projects have been undertaken, aimed at identifying (i) policy-relevant questions most imperative to conservation and (ii) horizon scanning topics, defined as emerging issues that are expected to have substantial implications for biodiversity conservation and policy in the future. Here, we provide the first overview of the outcomes of biodiversity and conservation-oriented projects recently completed around the world using this framework. We also include the results of the first questions and horizon scanning project completed for a Mediterranean country. Overall, the outcomes of the different projects undertaken (at the global scale, in the UK, US, Canada, Switzerland and in Israel) were strongly correlated in terms of the proportion of questions and/or horizon scanning topics selected when comparing different topic areas. However, some major differences were found across regions. There was large variation among regions in the percentage of proactive (i.e. action and response oriented) versus descriptive (non-response oriented) priority questions and in the emphasis given to sociopolitical issues. Substantial differences were also found when comparing outcomes of priority questions versus horizon scanning projects undertaken for the same region. For example, issues related to climate change, human demography and marine ecosystems received higher priority as horizon scanning topics, while ecosystem services were more emphasized as current priority questions. We suggest that future initiatives aimed at identifying priority conservation questions and horizon scanning topics should allow simultaneous identification of both current and future priority issues, as presented here for the first time. We propose that further emphasis on social-political issues should be explicitly integrated into future related projects.
Formatted abstract
Several projects aimed at identifying priority issues for conservation with high relevance to policy have recently been completed in several countries. Two major types of projects have been undertaken, aimed at identifying (i) policy-relevant questions most imperative to conservation and (ii) horizon scanning topics, defined as emerging issues that are expected to have substantial implications for biodiversity conservation and policy in the future. Here, we provide the first overview of the outcomes of biodiversity and conservation-oriented projects recently completed around the world using this framework. We also include the results of the first questions and horizon scanning project completed for a Mediterranean country. Overall, the outcomes of the different projects undertaken (at the global scale, in the UK, US, Canada, Switzerland and in Israel) were strongly correlated in terms of the proportion of questions and/or horizon scanning topics selected when comparing different topic areas. However, some major differences were found across regions. There was large variation among regions in the percentage of proactive (i.e. action and response oriented) versus descriptive (non-response oriented) priority questions and in the emphasis given to socio-political issues. Substantial differences were also found when comparing outcomes of priority questions versus horizon scanning projects undertaken for the same region. For example, issues related to climate change, human demography and marine ecosystems received higher priority as horizon scanning topics, while ecosystem services were more emphasized as current priority questions. We suggest that future initiatives aimed at identifying priority conservation questions and horizon scanning topics should allow simultaneous identification of both current and future priority issues, as presented here for the first time. We propose that further emphasis on social-political issues should be explicitly integrated into future related projects.
Keyword Multidisciplinary Sciences
Science & Technology - Other Topics
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
School of Biological Sciences Publications
 
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