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


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), represent promising approaches. To this end, we offer a generalized approach for linking modeling and decision-making.

Publication Type
Journal Article
Sarah R. Weiskopf
Zuzana Harmáčková, Czech Academy of Sciences and Stockholm Resilience Centre
Ciara G. Johnson
Maria Cecilia Londoño-Murcia, Instituto Alexander von Humboldt
Brian W. Miller
Bonnie J. E. Myers
Laura Pereira, University of Witwatersrand and Stockholm Resilience Centre
Maria Isabel Arce-Plata, Université de Montréal
Julia L. Blanchard
Simon Ferrier, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation
Elizabeth A. Fulton
Mike Harfoot, United Nations World Conservation Monitoring Centre
Forest Isbell, University of Minnesota
Justin A. Johnson
Akira S. Mori, University of Tokyo
Ensheng Weng, Columbia University/ NASA GISS
Isabel M. D. Rosa
Environmental Modelling & Software

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