Author: Juan C. Ortiz – University of Queensland

Rebecca E. Holt
Danette Langbecker

In this proposal we reviewed the health literature and identified key principles for the care of patients with chronic conditions that could be applied to environmental management. We propose a new framework that draws from the health, social and environmental sciences to enhance the effectiveness of environmental management by maximising stakeholder engagement. The basic framework was adapted from a chronic disease management model by positioning the reef as analogous to a chronic disease patient and the reefs’ associated stakeholders to the patients’ family. Tools available to managers for stakeholder engagement were extended to utilise pride as a catalyst for behaviour change, highlighting small gains and incorporating positive framing approaches. Within this frame work, we identified the need for scouting and crafting stake holders specific good news stories that are likely to trigger the most effective emotional response and potentially lead to sustained behavioural change. This is more than just translating scientific results to inform stakeholders. This is about actively sourcing and combining information from multiple sources to identify locally relevant good news stories that would otherwise be missed in the current system. When applying the framework to the management of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, we noticed that in the present governance of the GBR the identification of good news stories is currently scattered among several roles. We conclude that for the proposed framework to be effective, formal recognition in the governance system for the need of story scouting and crafting as well as personnel exclusively dedicated to this role is essential for maximising the effectiveness of environmental management.

The author has not yet submitted a copy of the full paper.

Presentation type: Roundtable discussion
Theme: Science
Area of interest: Applying science communication research to practice