Increasing the uptake of ecological model results in policy decisions to improve biodiversity outcomes

Sarah R. Weiskopf, Zuzana V. Harmáčková, Ciara G. Johnson, María Cecilia Londoño-Murcia, Brian W. Miller, Bonnie J.E. Myers, Laura Pereira, Maria Isabel Arce-Plata, Julia L. Blanchard, Simon Ferrier, Elizabeth A. Fulton, Mike Harfoot, Forest Isbell, Justin A. Johnson, Akira S. Mori, Ensheng Weng, Isabel M.D. Rosa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Models help decision-makers anticipate the consequences of policies for ecosystems and people; for instance, improving our ability to represent interactions between human activities and ecological systems is essential to identify pathways to meet the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. However, use of modeling outputs in decision-making remains uncommon. We share insights from a multidisciplinary National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center working group on technical, communication, and process-related factors that facilitate or hamper uptake of model results. We emphasize that it is not simply technical model improvements, but active and iterative stakeholder involvement that can lead to more impactful outcomes. In particular, trust- and relationship-building with decision-makers are key for knowledge-based decision making. In this respect, nurturing knowledge exchange on the interpersonal (e.g., through participatory processes) and institutional level (e.g., through science-policy interfaces across scales) represents a promising approach. To this end, we offer a generalized approach for linking modeling and decision-making.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number105318
JournalEnvironmental Modelling and Software
Volume149
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Sarah Weiskopf reports financial support was provided by National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center.This work was supported by the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) under funding received from the National Science Foundation DBI-1639145. A portion of this research was supported by the U.S. Geological Survey National and North Central Climate Adaptation Science Centers. Any use of trade, firm, or product names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government. We thank A. Cravens for her helpful review comments.

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center ( SESYNC ) under funding received from the National Science Foundation DBI-1639145. A portion of this research was supported by the U.S. Geological Survey National and North Central Climate Adaptation Science Centers . Any use of trade, firm, or product names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government. We thank A. Cravens for her helpful review comments.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022

Keywords

  • Biodiversity-ecosystem function relationships
  • Co-production
  • Ecological modeling
  • Policy relevance
  • Stakeholder engagement

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