Priority knowledge for marine environments: challenges at the science–society nexus.

Weichselgartner, Jürgen and Marandino, Christa (2012) Priority knowledge for marine environments: challenges at the science–society nexus. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 4 (3). pp. 323-330. DOI 10.1016/j.cosust.2012.05.001.

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As scientists call for more research on global environmental change (GEC), it remains an inconvenient truth that if the world had acted upon the knowledge that the scientific community produced, the state of many ecosystems would be different today. This raises questions about the approaches and tools used in assessment and management of GEC processes, including marine environments. By highlighting some challenges, we argue that progress is being blocked by fundamental barriers in the science-policy-practice interface. While global and international efforts can provide overarching structure for marine research, we believe that they are currently insufficient at tackling relevant issues at the science-society nexus. It is no longer the production of more detailed knowledge, but the context for using knowledge and turning it into sustainable actions that is one of the greatest challenges. Consequently, more attention should be paid to synthesising existing local knowledge and resources from non-scientific entities, since these are the avenues through which people experience the changes in marine environments. We emphasise better understanding of the science-society nexus and the conditions for translating research-based knowledge into action. Identification of institutions and organisational structures and the determination of institutional, economic and behavioural changes (e.g. how to anticipate, avoid and/or manage disruptive GEC) can enable effective steps towards sustainable marine environments. Co-designing knowledge is a feasible way to bridge gaps between marine scientists, policy makers and practitioners. Openness and attention to diversity may inspire more democratic ways to organise the science-society nexus.

Document Type: Article
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-CH Chemical Oceanography
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1016/j.cosust.2012.05.001
ISSN: 1877-3435
Projects: Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 06 Sep 2012 09:04
Last Modified: 30 Jul 2019 10:18

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