Knowing but not doing: selecting priority conservation areas and the research-implementation gap

Conservation Biology : the Journal of the Society for Conservation Biology
Andrew T KnightBruce M Campbell

Abstract

Conservation assessment is a rapidly evolving discipline whose stated goal is the design of networks of protected areas that represent and ensure the persistence of nature (i.e., species, habitats, and environmental processes) by separating priority areas from the activities that degrade or destroy them. Nevertheless, despite a burgeoning scientific literature that ever refines these techniques for allocating conservation resources, it is widely believed that conservation assessments are rarely translated into actions that actually conserve nature. We reviewed the conservation assessment literature in peer-reviewed journals and conducted survey questionnaires of the authors of these studies. Two-thirds of conservation assessments published in the peer-reviewed scientific literature do not deliver conservation action, primarily because most researchers never plan for implementation. This research-implementation gap between conservation science and real-world action is a genuine phenomenon and is a specific example of the "knowing-doing gap" that is widely recognized in management science. Given the woefully inadequate resources allocated for conservation, our findings raise questions over the utility of conservation assessment s...Continue Reading

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Citations

Aug 17, 2011·Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences·Kent H RedfordLuigi Boitani
Dec 7, 2011·Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences·E J Milner-Gulland
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